January 14, 2021
Dear Families of Siksika Elders Lodge Residents:
RE: COVID-19 exposure at Siksika Elders Lodge
Families of our beloved Elders Lodge residents, as you may be aware, we have been notified by the Siksika Public Health Team that there have been confirmed positive COVID-19 cases at the Siksika Elders Lodge (SEL). As of January 14, 2021, there are two residents who have tested positive with COVID-19. The confirmed cases are isolating in a separate area of the Lodge, away from the other residents. Both residents are doing well and are being assessed hourly by medical staff who are designated to care for those in isolation specifically; these staff do not integrate with other Lodge residents out of precaution. Siksikas CDC Team has completed extensive follow-up, and determined the risk of further spread to residents and essential staff is low, as there are no other people who are considered close contacts at this point by the CDC team.
As per the recommendations from the First Nations Indigenous Health Branch (FNIHB) Medical Officer of Health, Siksika Elders Lodge residents and staff are tested for COVID-19 twice per week, with results being determined via rapid testing. All staff are required to wear appropriate PPE for all resident interactions, including mask and eye protection at all times, when engaged in patient interactions that occur within two metres. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of all high touch surfaces throughout the facility occurs three times a day, or when surfaces or equipment are contaminated.
All except one Resident have received their vaccinations, as well several SEL Staff Members and Team Leader, who voluntarily stepped up to receive the vaccine to protect our SEL Residents, themselves and their families. Residents and staff are expected to receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine at the end of the month.
We continue to respectfully request that all residents and their families cooperate with the restrictions currently in place due to the pandemic. Albertas public health orders for Continuing Care facilities have remained strict to-date, in an effort to prevent COVID-19 spread and protect our beloved Elders. The Siksika Elders Lodge has implemented all of the provincial orders by the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health for congregate care facilities such as the Siksika Elders Lodge and of which most are mandatory in standards and practices. Together with SEL staff, we are continuing to work very hard to ensure that our residents comfort and safety are at the forefront, and practice daily public health measures for continued safety.
The Siksika Elders Lodge Team has become extremely busy ensuring that residents health and safety is prioritized, therefore going forward, all direct communication will be to those who are listed as the main contact for each resident. Updates will be provided as soon as possible, as they become available, to residents main contacts, with updates provided to the public once per week via Siksika Health Services official communication platforms, including: website (www.siksikahealth.com); and Facebook (@SHWCSiksika). Thank you, and please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns.
Kory Duck Chief,Team Lead, Siksika Elders Lodge
Tyler White, CEO, Siksika Health Services