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All Staff Email Updates:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

All Staff Email Updates


March 23, 2020

Hi everyone - I know its been three days since you have heard from me and in these times days feel like weeks.  Hard to believe that we only started sending these out just over a week ago. 


As of today there were 40 new cases in Alberta which brings the total Confirmed cases to 301 in Alberta and 1,432 in Canada.  


We are still at a phase 3 of our response plan. 


Here are a few things to keep in mind as we move into our new normal. 


What is being sick? 

You will get sick, as we all do form time to time.  Being sick has not changed.  If you are feeling unwell and it does not meet the risk factors of Covid-19 then you would take sick time as normal policy states.  This means you are off until you feel better. At this time we are still not asking for sick notes from doctors. To determine your risk of Covid-19 please check the updated online assessment tool from AHS.



What is, and when do, I self-isolate?

Self isolation is when you may be at risk of having Covid-19.  This must be done in conjunction with a medical advice and with the awareness of your supervisor.  Self isolation occurs when you have returned from abroad in the last 14 days or you have been directly exposed to someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19.  You may be asked to self isolate by Boyle Street and/or a health care professional for other reasons. Simply feeling sick or being in the presence of sick people is not always a reason to require self-isolation.  As we have said in previous updates if you are in a family with some who is self-isolating then there is no the requirement fo you to self-isolate as well.  If you become symptomatic then you will require self-isolation.  


What about working form home?  Is that Self-isolation? 

If we have arranged for you to work from home that is not self-isolation. We have asked certain staff to work from home to reduce the amount of staff at our facilities.  However, many staff are still required in service delivery roles and with the opening of the Expo centre facility as well the requirement for coverage at our Group Living facilities we have a need for many staff to be relocated to these sites.  Speak to your manager if you think this applies to you. Otherwise the expectation is that you stay at home if you have been asked to by your supervisor. 


Self-isolation timeframe changes to 10 days: This is directly from the update from the CMO today at 4 pm: 


"The most-up-to-date medical evidence now indicates that if you are feeling well after 10 days from the onset of symptoms, you will be able to stop self-isolating, provided your symptoms have resolved. If symptoms continue past 10 days, self isolation should as well.The 10 day timeline is for those who are sick. For those who are well and have had an exposure of concern, such as travellers returning from out of Canada or close contacts of a confirmed case, they will still need to self isolate for 14 days upon their return or after last exposure as a precaution.Should they start to experience symptoms, they must also follow the same 10-day guidance.This means that if a person returned from abroad and experienced symptoms after 7 days, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms. In this example, that would extend their self isolation to 17 days."


Some staff are working at different locations - does this pose a risk for spreading Covid-19?  

No as long as staff are taking the current recommended precautions this doesn't pose a risk.  All staff should be monitoring their health, washing their hands frequently and practicing social distancing. If these measures are done then working at different sites won't currently be an issue.  



Big Thanks!  

I want to thank all of our staff for being so malleable and flexible in these tumultuous times!  In particular I want to thank our colleagues at Ubuntu for being ready to offer support to our drop-in programs and at group living.  This really exemplifies the importance of supporting each-other in tough times. 


We also have to recognize that this is still early days of this new normal and we will be asking everyone to make adjustments as we go along.  We will be working with other agencies in stressful situations, so our community has grown given this, please offer the same patience and support to other staff in other agencies as you would your own teams.  We are doing a great job and many folks from AHS and other stakeholders have told me how impressed they are with BSCS' response.  THIS IS  because of all of you!  Keep it up, one day at a time. 


You are all amazing! 


Boyle Street is a home, a family, a village – a place of safety, trust, love, welcome and also a place with all the challenges that a home, a family, and a village bring


And while many of us may be away from our "work home" I know we will bring that spirit wherever we labour.