All Staff Email Updates:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
All Staff Email Updates
March 17, 2020
BSCS is still in Phase 3 of our response plan.
According to the Alberta Health Services, On March 17, 23 new cases were confirmed in Alberta. This means that the risk for community spread has increased. Protocols established in previous updates are still valid. Please review if you haven't already.
Many of you are likely feeling nervous, anxious and uncertain, we understand this and want to thank you for being so dedicated to this work.
Today the Premier declared a state of emergency in the Province. This will limit the number of individuals in public spaces and will be making recommendations regarding what businesses can be open. These restrictions excluded emergency services and essential services (which we are). We are hopeful that this change will ensure that the government now has the resources to begin to really tackle the crisis at our level.
We started screening clients at the community centre and in the bank as of yesterday before the state of emergency was declared, this has been in line with what we have been instructed to do by health authorities. Today we distributed masks to all of our locations across the city and protocols regarding their use are being distributed to program managers. This is the current direction from AHS if client presents with symptoms:
provide a face mask right away to any client exhibiting respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, additional respiratory symptoms, muscle aches or extreme tiredness.
If symptoms are mild, and consistent with COVID-19 use the self-assessment tool to determine whether they should be tested for COVID-19 or whether they need to call Health Link at 811. The assessment can be completed by the client or on behalf of them if they are unable. The COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool can be found at https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/COVID-Self-Assessment.aspx
If clients develop SEVERE symptoms, contact 911 immediately; advise dispatcher and any medical teams who arrive that symptoms are consistent with COVID-19.
I want to reiterate that we are an essential and necessary service and for as long as it is in the best interest of our clients and staff we will be keeping our buildings open. Our goal as an organization is to balance providing the greatest amount of services possible to the people that we serve while ensuring their health and safety. This will continue to be our guiding principle as we move forward.
I also want to remind everyone that we are a large organization and that what works for one program or building may not be appropriate for others. Just as some aspects of our organization may not be essential to our organization in the short term.
This situation is moving quickly and we are trying to respond accordingly. Please use you manager as a channel to direct questions at this time.
I have to say what has amazed the most in this response has been the capacity of most people in our communities to reach out and support each other, to avoid selfishness and act for the greater good. It's quite amazing really.
Thank you everyone.
Ian and the COVID-19 Response Team.
More to come.