Stettler’s Points West Living has confirmed seven cases amongst some staff and residents.
Carol Dyck, general manager of Points West, said two staff members and five residents have been confirmed as having been infected with the virus.
“We have two staff members and five residents, but the good news is that it’s all in one area – we’ve got them all isolated,” she said. “We’ve also got full (personal protective wear), face shields, masks, gown, gloves – everything we need. Our goal is to keep it contained and to get through this,” she said, adding that it’s unknown how the virus came into the building.
“It just matters now that we keep it contained as best we can,” she said.
One of the staffers is asymptomatic and the other is experiencing some symptoms but is recovering. Of the five residents, two were of particular concern due to other medical conditions. “We are taking extra precautions,” she said.
Meanwhile, guests allowances are down to essential visitors only which is of course hard especially at Christmastime, she said.
“We just can’t afford to have this spread anywhere.”
On a seasonal note, staff at Points West Living Stettler, along with several community members, have succeeded in brightening up the season with a special musical project.
“We had four family members (take part), we also had the high school send us a little message, and we some of our own staff members contribute, and we even had some of our residents included, too. So we are going to put this little virtual concert together – it’s probably about 45 minutes long I think – and we can play it over and over again for our residents,” she explained.
Contributors to the project include Garry Fix who taped a song and sent it in, as did Town Councillor Malcolm Fischer.
Eric Rahn, the band teacher at William E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus, also put together a little presentation to be included as well, said Dyck.
“Myself and a couple of other staff members also put together a (rendition) of the poem The Night Before Christmas,” she said. “So there is a little bit of everything.
“Also, a couple of our residents who are really good singers did a song for it also,” she said.
“In addition, we have a Christmas card project going where many of the school kids as well as other members of the public have sent cards to our residents. We received over 300 cards from various groups which means each resident will receive three cards each.”
Of course, the Christmas season overall looks quite different this year as well.
In normal years, there are potlucks and a family dinner with all the trimmings, to name just a couple of popular holiday traditions at Points West.
“There are lots of local new Canadians who bring their international homemade dishes to the potluck and it’s so much fun, but we couldn’t do that this year,” she said. Instead, some special foods will be prepared for a celebratory meal.
The family dinner of course couldn’t be held either, but there were plans for another special dinner last week.
Looking back over the past year, there have been a number of challenges with keeping COVID-19 at bay. But there has been a silver lining in it all.
“In some ways, it’s brought us all closer together because we all have a common foe,” she said, reflecting on the year. “We are working together to make it safe for everyone, and the staff has been just amazing.”