Starting Oct. 25, masks will be required at all times for those visiting continuing care facilities, and residents of those facilities will have to quarantine after being admitted to the facility or returning from the hospital until the test negative for COVID-19.
Unvaccinated family and friends are encouraged not to visit, and facility operators can also implement additional rules, including requiring proof of vaccination, as they see appropriate.
The province says while continuing care outbreaks are smaller and COVID-related deaths are fewer, continuing care residents are “uniquely vulnerable” to severe outcomes.
“By protecting continuing care facilities, we are protecting our health-care system and our entire community. These measures will make residents safer while still supporting their quality of life during this difficult time,” said Jason Copping, Minister of Health. “I continue to call on all Albertans to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible to protect our most vulnerable friends and neighbours.”
The new rules, regardless of vaccine status, require all visitors to wear masks in all indoor areas of all continuing care facilities, including while in residents’ rooms. Exceptions, determined by staff, can be made where there are communication challenges with residents who may be hard of hearing or have dementia.