As you are aware, there is global preparation and containment measures being taken around the COVID-19 virus. With the situation changing on a daily basis we wanted to make sure we made the best decisions possible given the right information.

The Government of Alberta has provided excellent leadership in providing information and measures to respond to this crisis. Wetaskiwin & Area Lodge Authority (WALA) follows their lead and encourages everyone to visit their website www.alberta.ca/covid19 for up-to-date information.

March 23 Update

Changes to visitors at seniors' sites include:

  • No social visits are permitted.
  • An essential visitor, designated by the Resident or guardian (or other alternate decision maker), may be a family member, friend or paid caregiver over 18 years of age.  Visits from children are restricted, as children do not necessarily show symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Visits from a designated essential visitor are limited to situations where: 
    • direct care is being provided to the Resident (i.e. feeding, constant observation for safety or participating in care when sites can’t meet resident care needs), or
    • a Resident is dying.
  • No visiting pets

Exceptions to the above for residents who are dying must have the prior approval of the facility manager. 


How is WALA preparing?

A team of Senior Leadership and Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) staff are in communication daily to monitor and respond to the situation. This team maintains contact with the Government of Alberta and municipalities to address and respond to any concerns.

  • We have several Policies & Procedures in place to deal with outbreaks. These are available at all our sites.
  • We have a comprehensive IPC program led by experienced staff who are monitoring and communicating the situation within our facilities.
  • Existing contingency and emergency plans are being reviewed and will be implemented as necessary. We are also in contact with municipalities and their emergency planning.
  • Our Education Department provides necessary training to ensure all staff are current and meet necessary standards.
  • Frontline staff receive ongoing education regarding Personal Protective Equipment and IPC protocols.
  • We are in contact with suppliers and contractors to ensure critical goods and supplies are available.

How are we protecting our residents?

Our residents are a priority and we are implementing measures to ensure their health & safety.

  • Our lodges follow the essential visitor restrictions as outlined by Alberta Health Services.
  • Meal service changes for our residents  have been implemented to meet  guidelines of social distancing in all our facilities that offer food service.
  • Activities will continue but with limitations on group sizes and no volunteer involvement.

What should families and visitors do?

As per Alberta Health guidelines, we are restricting our lodges. 

If you are visiting, please follow the below guidelines:

  • If you have travelled out of the province, please self-isolate for 14 days and do not visit your loved one
  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching your face
  • Please stay home if you are unwell to prevent the spread of illness

If you believe you have been exposed, please take the necessary precautions. You can do a self-assessment at https://myhealth.alberta.ca/journey/covid-19/Pages/COVID-Self-Assessment.aspx. As well, you can call the HealthLink at 811 for guidance. We understand there are wait times involved with this number but it is the best resources available.

If you have any questions, please contact lodge staff.


What is an essential visitor?

An essential visitor, defined by Alberta Health Services, as designated by the resident or guardian (or other alternate decision maker):

  • May be a family member, friend or paid caregiver over 18 years of age.  Visits from children are restricted, as children do not necessarily show symptoms of COVID-19. 

Visits from a designated essential visitor are limited to situations where: 

  • direct care is being provided to the Resident (i.e. feeding, constant observation for safety or participating in care when sites can’t meet resident care needs), or
  • a Resident is dying.