Memo to: People we Support, Families, Guardians and Skills Society Employees
Re: Prevention and Preparedness Regarding the Novel-Corona Virus (COVID-19)
From: Senior Leadership of Skills Society
May 5, 2021
COVID-19 Cases in Alberta and at Skills Society
As of May 5th, Alberta has 23,623 active cases (6,014 in the Edmonton zone), and 1,743 new cases (876 variant cases) in Alberta were identified on May 3rd.
In our Skills Society Community, to date and since the beginning of the pandemic 37 individuals we serve and 43 employees have tested positive with COVID-19.
To date, 92% of the people we support who have consented to receive COVID-19 immunization have received at least one dose.
Alberta COVID-19 Vaccine Update
All people supported by Skills Society and employees are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 2B and 2C of the Alberta COVID-19 vaccine rollout. We encourage people we support and employees to book an appointment; family members and Guardians of the people we support are also encouraged to reach out to their loved one to book an appointment. Ensure doctors are consulted where appropriate and whether physicians recommend a person served by Skills Society receive a vaccine. For more information visit the Alberta Government website here.
Phase 3 Begins May 6th
- Every Albertan born in 1991 or earlier (turning 30+), starting May 6
- Every Albertan born in 2009 or earlier (12+), starting May 10
There are 3 ways to book a vaccination appointment:
What to bring with you to your appointment
- One piece of identification that proves your age, which could include your Alberta Health Care card, a driver’s license, Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, or passport;
- For individuals who have an alternate decision-maker, the signed AHS COVID-19 Immunization Consent form. Team Leaders can help you access this through MyCompass;
- For employees receiving immunization as part of Phase 2C, employment verification documents available through the Company Documents section in Avanti – see Skills Society April 13th memo for more information;
- Any additional items you are asked by Health to bring when you book.
NEW Public Health Restrictions
On May 4th, 2021 the Government of Alberta expanded restrictions for high case regions (communities with more than 50 cases per 100,00 people and with 30 or more active cases), which currently includes Edmonton.
Mandatory Public Health Measures for High Case Regions
- Outdoor social gatherings
- All outdoor social gatherings must be limited to no more than 5 people and a maximum of 2 household cohorts is encouraged
- Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.
- All indoor social gatherings are still prohibited.
- Fitness, performance, sport, and recreation activities
- All indoor fitness, sport, performance and recreational activities are prohibited
- All outdoor sports and recreation activities are prohibited, expect with members of your household, or your two close contacts if you live alone
- Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10 per cent of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of five customers.
- Curbside pick up, delivery and online services are encouraged.
- Places of worship
- Faith services are limited to 15 in-person attendees.
- Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times.
- Virtual or online services are strongly recommended.
- Working from home
- Working from home remains mandatory unless the employer requires the employee’s physical presence to operate effectively.
- Where at work for operational effectiveness, employees must mask for all indoor settings, except in work stations or where two-metre physical distancing or adequate physical barriers are in place.
- Schools (K-12)
- All kindergarten to Grade 12 students will temporarily shift to at-home learning, starting on May 7. Students will return to in-class learning on May 25.
- Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges and cafes – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9
- In-person dining on patios is prohibited. Only take out or delivery services are allowed.
- Personal and wellness services – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9
- Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.
All other public health measures remain in place, including masking and physical distancing requirements. For additional restrictions and more information on the provincial mandatory public health measures visit alberta.ca/COVID19.
NEW CMOH Order 16-2021
On May 10th, 2021 a new public health order (CMOH Order 16-2021) comes into effect providing guidance for easing of some visiting restrictions in continuing care settings (all licensed supportive living, long term care, and hospice settings). The extent of these changes vary by site based on the design of the building, wishes of residents and other factors. These visiting restrictions differ from those for all Albertans, one reason being the impact of high vaccination coverage of residents and staff within these settings.
Skills Society does not operate licensed facilities, we support people in their own homes, nor do we have the same vaccination coverage as that of continuing care settings, with many of the people we support and staff only partially vaccinated based on vaccination health prioritization. As per the Government of Alberta, fully vaccinated people must continue following all public health measures (i.e., no indoor social gatherings, wear a mask in public, stay home when sick). With increased community spread and variants of concern, it is of the utmost importance that we all remain vigilant in our actions to safeguard as best possible against COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, we have implemented recommendations and guidance from facility-based guidelines in two ways: (1) by implementing safeguards and procedures that our employees are required to follow in order to protect the people we support, our employees and community, and (2) by sharing the recommendations with the people we serve to make informed decisions about their own preferences and risk tolerance during COVID-19 (individual plans and roommate agreements). In addition, people we serve and staff are legally required to follow all mandatory public health restrictions. When easing of provincial restrictions occurs, we will ensure that people we support, families, Guardians and staff have the most up to date recommendations from the CMOH in a timely manner, to support conversations and informed decision making regarding reviewing, and amending(if applicable) individual plans and roommate agreements.
Remember, people we serve direct their own lives and make their own decisions. We are diligent about sharing the most up to date information with people we serve and guardians in order to be aware of the recommendations from Health Authorities, our Ministry CSS/PDD and the safeguards, policies and expectations we have in place for our Skills employees. People we serve and their guardians have rights and responsibilities in the decisions and risks they assume around activities undertaken during the global pandemic. In addition, most people we serve do not live alone, but with roommates whom we also support. Roommates and guardians have different perspectives and the choices of each roommate and guardian will impact each other. We need roommates and guardians to work together to find common ground that keeps everyone in the home as safe as possible.
With the weather warming we encourage people to spend time outdoors with appropriate gear to stay safe. People we serve and Guardians are asked to reference individual and roommate COVID-19 plans regarding outdoor visits/gatherings, while following and abiding by all municipal and provincial restrictions and health measures.
For More Information
- If you are a family or guardian and require additional information please be in touch with the manager associated with your loved one’s support.
- If you are a Skills Employee and require additional information you can be in touch with your supervisor or Pandemic Coordinators, Linda or Ed at 780-496-9686.
- Keep up to date on our COVID-19 Resources section on our website: https://skillssociety.ca/covid19-resources/.
Previous Public Memos
Public Memos are available on our website under the ‘news’ tab.
Note: What’s happening with COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We become aware of new information from the provincial and federal governments and health authorities on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. We are working hard to be responsive to this new information as it becomes available. As such, information in this memo may change and quickly become outdated. We are doing our best to communicate new information to the people we support, families, guardians, and staff in a timely manner.