COVID-19 Update – April 24, 2020

Harley HempelResident Updates

Dear Family & Friends of Sherwood Care Residents,

It certainly felt like spring this week! It’s surprising to see how quickly the snow disappeared with the warmth of the sun over just a couple of days. I hope you have had the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.

I want to share with you today some important updates:

  • We have no COVID “positive” cases in the building
  • We are now considered to be on a Probable (Presumptive) Outbreak Status. This is for the following reasons:
    • Requirements to put isolation protocols in place and swab residents who exhibit just 1 of the 18 symptoms listed. This could include one episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
    • Although there are no direct connections (roommates, table mates, etc.) between symptomatic residents, our building is an open concept with limited ability to limit traffic and movement between the 4 wings
  • We are taking further action to reduce the risk of spread by:
    • Increased Resident Screening: As we are considered to be on a Probable Outbreak Status, we are required to formally screen residents 2x/day. Aside from the formal screening, our staff are diligently working to identify signs and symptoms throughout their shifts.
    • Increased Cleaning Protocols: We are adding personnel and extending shifts for Housekeeping staff to increase the cleaning of high touch surface areas (door knobs, railings, tables, etc.) from 4 to 6x per day. This reduces the risk of contact spread.
    • Single Site Work: We have worked with our staff and the government in meeting this requirement with minimal impact to our current operations. Implementation of this policy is another step to reduce the risk of spread and transmission.
    • Resident Companion Support: We have added an additional shift from 12-8 pm daily, which is covered by one of our Health Care Aides. This role is not focused on care, but on companionship and one-to-one interactions with the residents. This may include walks in the courtyard, sitting with a resident who is on isolation, walking the halls with some of our “movers and shakers”, providing additional support over lunch and supper, etc.
    • Continuous Masking: All staff are wearing masks at all times in the residents’ space. I am happy to report that we have the appropriate PPE’s and Alberta Health Services has kept their commitment to provide the masks necessary to fulfill this requirement.

Our normal practice will continue, where we will speak with you personally in the event that your family member or loved one is ill with anything.

Funding Announcements for Continuing Care: There has been news about increased funding for continuing care and wage top ups for the staff. We are waiting for clarification and further direction from the government, and look forward to providing additional support to our residents and staff through this initiative.

Despite some of these issues, we had some delightful moments this week:

Considerations and Appreciation:

  • Window visits: We are happy to accommodate this form of connection for you with your loved one. These visits can be scheduled by speaking with Amanda, our Social Worker. We are asking that you please provide at least 24 hour notice to book. Window visits will occur through the Conference Room window and will be scheduled Monday thru Friday, between,11 am – 5pm.
    • Please be conscious of and maintain social distancing during these visits
  • Skype and FaceTime: This is another great alternative to maintain connection. These visits can be scheduled by contacting Harley, our Recreation Therapist
  • Notes of Appreciation/Food/Donations: Your thoughtfulness has blessed us, through your emails, cards, gifts of food (thank you for your awareness of individual items) and donations. Your words of encouragement and support are a bright spot in our busy days and are highlighted for all the staff to see.

The strength of an organization is best evidenced during challenging periods, such as the one we are in. I am so grateful for this amazing community of residents, family members, volunteers and staff who are all contributing in various ways to ensure Sherwood Care remains the “Best place to Live and Work” .

There’s a wonderful verse in the Bible that speaks to the value of working together:

“Two are better than one…if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” Ecclesiastes 4:9-19

Thank you for “helping us up”!
Warmest Regards,


Kathy Fortunat