Peace Hills Lodge Outbreak

update January 15 at 4:30 p.m.

We still have six swab test results pending from the first round of prevalence testing for residents. Another round of prevalence testing will take place tomorrow. We hope to have more results next week but of the ones returned, residents have tested negative for COVID-19.

Staff have also undergone prevalence testing. We have one more positive staff member associated with the lodge bringing our total to three staff members with COVID-19.

The next meeting with Alberta Health Services will be on January 19. Hopefully, we will have more news then.

update January 13 at 4:30 p.m.

As you may know, all residents were tested on Monday, January 11th. We have received all but six of the results back – these results were negative for COVID-19. A second round of prevalence testing is scheduled for Saturday, January 16th. Testing for staff members is also underway and we are awaiting news of those results.

The next scheduled meeting is Friday, January 15th.

update January 12 at 7:30 a.m. - New Outbreak

In consultation with Public Health, an outbreak was declared for Peace Hills Lodge effective January 9, 2021 after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Residents have been isolated to their rooms as a precaution and meal service is being delivered. All group activities have been put on hold until the outbreak is lifted.

Prevalence testing for all residents took place on January 11th and we await results. 

The next meeting with Alberta Health Services is scheduled for Wednesday, January 13th.

update January 4 at 3:00 p.m.

We are very pleased to report that Outbreak protocols were lifted this past weekend. This is great news and we are very excited that some normalcy can return for our residents and their families.

While Safe Visitation can resume at the lodge, there are some restrictions:

  • Only one designated visitor per resident is allowed at this time.
  • Visits are restricted to the resident room only.
  • Visitors must complete a screening at the door. As well, please review the Risk of Unknown Exposure Checklist before coming for your visit.
  • Please use the provided disinfectant wipes after visiting and before leaving.

This also does not mean public health orders have changed and must still be followed:

  • While residents are able to leave the lodge, they are encouraged to limit outings to essential only.
  • Residents within the building must practice safe distancing and masking (unless eating at their assigned table for meals).
  • Hand hygiene and screening remain important daily practices at the lodge.

Ongoing changes to site restrictions may take place based on the risk tolerance assessments that are completed on a regular basis. This may mean more restrictions on visitations or residents only leaving the lodge for essential appointments depending on the assessment.

update December 29 at 4:00 p.m.

We are pleased to report that there are no further symptomatic residents or staff. However, one staff member at Peace Hills Lodge did test positive over the Christmas break. Another staff member who was in close contact with the positive staff member is off and waiting to be tested.

This will mean that the outbreak period will be extended. At this time, we do not know when the protocols will be lifted. While residents are able to leave their rooms, they are not able to leave the lodge and designated persons/visitors are still restricted.

We hope to receive more information from Alberta Health Services this week as to how long the outbreak will be extended and if there will be further restrictions.

update December 22 at 3:30 p.m.

As you know, we haven’t had meetings with Alberta Health Services (AHS) this past while regarding the outbreak protocols at Peace Hills Lodge. We still have no positive cases amongst residents and are hopeful the outbreak will be lifted on Christmas Eve. However, until the Zone Medical Officer of Health gives official notice, we cannot announce the lifting.

Two staff members with symptoms are being tested and we hope to have those results back soon.

While safe visitation may resume after the outbreak is lifted (perhaps with some added measures), this does not mean public health orders have changed and are not to be followed:

  • While residents are able to leave the lodge, they are encouraged to limit outings to essential only
  • Residents within the building must practice safe distancing and masking (unless eating at their assigned table for meals)
  • Hand hygiene and screening remain important daily practices at the lodge
  • Visitors will be required to screen and follow all measures put in place when at the lodge

Ongoing changes to site restrictions may take place based on the risk tolerance assessments that are completed on a regular basis. This may mean more restrictions on visitations or residents only leaving the lodge for essential appointments depending on the assessment.

Unless something arises, there will be no updates over the Christmas break.

update December 18 at 3:30 p.m.

We continue to have no new cases or symptoms at the lodge. As we continue this trend, we are on track to have the outbreak lifted. We will have another meeting with Alberta Health Services (AHS) on Tuesday where we hope to have confirmation the outbreak status will be declared over as of December 24th.

update December 15 at 3:30 p.m.

We are pleased to report no new cases among residents and staff. We did have a staff member with symptoms and are awaiting results.

Our hope is that if the staff case tests negative, the outbreak will be declared over in the next week or so. We will follow up with residents and families on what visitation will look like after the outbreak.

Our next meeting with Alberta Health Services will be on Friday.

update December 11 at 4:00 p.m.

As you know, restrictions were lifted for most of the residents which allowed them to leave their rooms while wearing masks, physical distancing, and practicing hand hygiene. We are pleased this took place after a long period of isolation. Unfortunately, one of the residents needed retesting; we are hoping to receive these results soon so that the resident may leave isolation.

We are pleased to report we still have no new positive cases amongst residents and staff. We hope this will mean the potential lifting of the outbreak status later this month, provided there are no positive cases or new symptoms. We will keep you updated on this and what it means as we get closer to a date and learn more.

Meetings with Alberta Health Services will move to Tuesdays and Fridays. The frequency of the meetings may be reassessed as we move forwards.

update December 8 at 4:00 p.m.

It is never an easy task for us to notify anyone of a death but regretfully, today, Alberta Health Services has confirmed that the resident who tested positive has passed away in the hospital. It saddens us whenever a resident passes but under these circumstances, it becomes particularly poignant and upsetting. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends as they grieve.  

Though we are deeply saddened by this, we are also hopeful that things are getting better at the lodge.

We have been lucky that our test results have come back negative for COVID-19 since the first case. It has not been an easy road for residents, their families, and staff and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time.

Today, we are pleased to report that all residents who have tested negative are able to leave their suites while wearing masks and practicing physical distancing and hand hygiene when outside their rooms and in the common areas (in technical terms, this means they have been removed from isolation precautions). We have around 10 residents with pending test results who will remain in isolation until negative test results arrive.

This is good news for residents and their well being and mental health. We look forward to welcoming everyone outside of their rooms.

If the pending test results come back negative, there will be no more prevalence testing required.

In terms of the length of the outbreak – the outbreak will not be lifted until 28 days have passed from the last positive test results or the last onset of symptoms (whichever is longer). That day count resets each time there is a new case. For example, if we were to receive a positive case tomorrow then the 28 day countdown resets.

This is consistent with provincial outbreak standards to help ensure seniors and other at-risk individuals living and working in those facilities are kept as physically safe as possible. Maintaining strong protections is important within these settings to minimize the introduction of and risk of virus transmission and spread.

Individuals over 60 years of age, and those with certain pre-existing health conditions, are most at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, especially when they live in close proximity.

We’ve also been asked why we don’t report on “recovered” cases. A recovered case is generally defined as:

  • Anyone who has gone 14 days since their swab test was collected without requiring hospitalization or additional treatment
  • If a case required hospitalization, anyone who has gone 10 days following their date of discharge
  • Two negative tests at least 24 hours apart

Even if someone no longer has symptoms or has recovered, they can still shed the virus (up to three months or longer) and could still potentially test positive though they would likely not be infectious to others. This makes it hard to report the number of recovered cases.

As well, tests for COVID-19 can only detect the virus at the time of the swab collection and provides only a point in time result. Someone with a negative test result may still go on to develop COVID-19 during the incubation period of 14 days after exposure.

The next meeting with Alberta Health Services will be on Friday. We hope to have another update for you at that time. 

update December 4 at 4:30 p.m.

After today’s meeting with Alberta Health Services, we are pleased to report that results coming back so far are negative. However, some results are still pending from previous prevalence testing and no decisions on lifting some restrictions have been made.

We want to thank our residents and families again for their patience during this time. It is an incredibly frustrating time for everyone and we hope to get through this together. Our staff on site continue to provide the best service they can.

 We will update again on Monday when we meet with Alberta Health Services.

update December 2 at 4:30 p.m.

We are pleased to report there are no new positive results among residents and staff. The next round of prevalence testing will take place on December 5th.

We have been asked by many family members why restrictions are not lifted when residents and staff are testing negative. At this time, we have not received all test results from residents and staff. When we do, Alberta Health Services will assess the situation and potentially start lifting restrictions. Alberta Health Services has also provided some information in regards to prevalence testing and the need for restrictions.

As part of the measures available to help protect the most vulnerable populations from the risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, residents may be required to quarantine in their rooms in the event a continuing care facility experiences a COVID-19 outbreak. This is not unique to the Peace Hills Lodge, rather it is an outbreak response measure all continuing care facilities can utilize at the direction of the local Alberta Health Services’ Medical Officer of Health (MOH), in accordance with provincial public health guidelines and requirements laid out by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Even if individually a resident tests negative for COVID-19, the advice from the MOH is to continue to adhere to outbreak protocols as a precaution to minimize the risk of contracting illness from others until such a time that the outbreak can be declared over. This is done after a set number of days without anyone in the facility presenting with symptoms or positive COVID-19 test results.

Alberta Health Services supports all guidance and direction put in place by Alberta Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. AHS strongly advises all Albertans to follow public health guidelines and respect local regulations regarding physical distancing, use of masks, self-isolation and COVID-19 testing protocols in order to limit the transmission of the virus.

 The next meeting with Alberta Health Services will take place on Friday, December 4th. Unless we have information to share, there will be no update until then.

update December 1 at 4:00 p.m.

With no further results today from the prevalence testing, there was no meeting with the Zone Medical Officer of Health. We expect to meet with them tomorrow.

We are in discussions with the lodge staff to develop a meaningful way to decorate for the residents. Whether this means staff and families decorating outside, residents participating in decorating if approved by Public Health, or a combination of both, we wanted to bring some cheer to the residents. One we have ideas of moving forward with this we will let everyone all know.

update November 30 at 4:30 p.m.

We are pleased to report that Public Health confirmed today that all resident prevalence tests (that were taken on November 25th) have come back negative. The second prevalence testing occurred today and the third round will happen on December 5th.

update November 27 at 3:00 p.m.

Today’s update has changed little from yesterday. We have no new resident cases while we await results from the prevalence testing conducted earlier this week. 

Staff members who had been tested as being close contacts received their results. All three (3) tested negative for COVID.  The next round of prevalence testing will take place on Monday.

Unless we receive positive test results, there will be no updates over the weekend.

updated November 26 at 4:30 p.m.

Since the outbreak was declared at the lodge, we have no new information or changes. We still have only one (1) positive resident and no staff cases. 

Prevalence testing was carried out at the lodge yesterday for all residents and we are awaiting results. A second round of prevalence testing will happen on November 30th.

Environment Public Health and Alberta Health Services, Infection Prevention & Control conducted a ‘COVID Inspection’ today – their findings were that processes at the site are good and made a few additional suggestions that may help.

The staff have done an exceptional job of adjusting and continuing to provide caring and supportive service to the residents. We also thank our residents for their patience and support during this difficult time.

updated November 25 at 5:30 p.m.

In consultation with the Medical Officer of Health, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared for Peace Hills Lodge in Wetaskiwin. Usually, an outbreak is declared after two (2) confirmed cases but in this case an outbreak was but in place after one (1) confirmed case. 

We are working closely with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and after investigating the level of potential exposure within the lodge, Peace Hills Lodges is being placed on Outbreak protocols. This means: 

  • Visitors are not allowed into the building 
  • Group activities have been suspended 
  • No new move-ins at this time 
  • Meal service will be delivered to residents’ private rooms 
  • Dining room and common areas are closed 

All residents were swabbed today for prevalence testing. Staff will book appointments at the Wetaskiwin testing centre to have their swabs completed - this will include Lodge staff, Home Care staff, Housing staff, and AHS Home Care staff.

We continue to work collaboratively with residents and families to mitigate the spread of the virus within the facility. At the same time, we support residents and families remaining connected through virtual means.

If you have a question or concern, please contact Chantal Beesley at 780-679-3066 or email Office hours are 8:00 a.m. – Noon and 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. If she cannot answer your call right away, please leave a message and she will get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that she cannot answer questions about specific residents/family members.

Daily Updates will be posted after 4:00 p.m.