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AgeCare Harmony Court COVID-19 Weekly Update: Food Safety + Dining

Dear Residents and Families,

We remain committed to providing updates to our residents, families, and staff at AgeCare. We are providing weekly updates to keep you all informed on what is happening in our community and organization-wide.

 

  1. Information and announcements – with Thanksgiving occurring this weekend, we are sharing some tips on dining out and hosting gatherings.
  2. Recreation calendar as the need to stay active, intellectually stimulated, and socially connected never ends.
  3. A weekly shout-out to celebrate the great work and activities happening at our community.

These updates are sent on Friday each week. We hope that you find them helpful. Thank you all for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Cindy Kahlon
Administrator

 

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope you all have a Thanksgiving filled with love and cheer (and full tummies!). As we all know, a big part of Thanksgiving is celebrating with loved ones over a meal. If that is part of your plans this Thanksgiving, we wanted to share some suggested precautions you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These tips are intended to help you make informed decisions and choices if you are gathering with other households over the holidays.

 

 

Dining at a Restaurant

 

Suggested Guidelines for Dining Out

  • You and/or guests must stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All guests should know and understand their unknown exposure to COVID-19. Individuals with a higher risk of unknown exposure should consider the potential risk to their loved ones by not attending.
  • Use physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from people who do not live in the same household.
  • Wear masks, especially when other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Keep a list of guests who attended for potential contract tracing.

 

Before You Go, Check the Restaurant’s Prevention Practices

 

  • Check the restaurant’s website and social media to see if they have updated their information to address any COVID-19 safety precautions.
  • Before you go to the restaurant, call and ask if all staff are wearing masks while at work. Depending on where the restaurant is located, servers may not be required to wear masks but may choose to wear them to provide added assurance to their customers.
  • Ask about options for self-parking to remove the need for valet service.

 

Take Steps to Protect Yourself

 

  • Wear masks when less than 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other people or indoors, including entryways, hallways and waiting areas.
  • Take precautions during the meal as much as possible, such as:
    • When possible, sit outside at tables spaced at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other people.
    • Wear a mask when not eating and maintain a proper physical distance if you are dining with others who don’t live with you.
    • Choose food and drink options that are not self-serve to limit the use of shared serving utensils, handles, buttons, or touchscreens.
    • When the meal is over, assist physical distancing by moving used dishes to the end of the table.

 

 

Clean Hands Often

 

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting the restaurant. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Before using the restroom, make sure there is adequate soap and paper towels or hand sanitizer.

Download our hand washing brochure that shows how to wash or sanitize your hands or watch these videos on our website.

 

Hosting Gatherings or Cook-Outs

 

Suggested Guidelines for Hosting Gatherings or Cook-Outs

 

  • Guests must stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All guests should know and understand their unknown exposure to COVID-19. Individuals with a higher risk of unknown exposure should consider the potential risk to their loved ones by not attending.
  • Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well ventilated (for example, open a window).
  • Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
  • If you are serving food at your gathering:
    • Identify one or two people to prepare food and drinks. Do NOT host potluck gatherings; this is a high-risk activity.
    • Identify one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Use physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from people who do not live in the same household.
  • Wear masks, especially when other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Consider the space and the number of guests attending, perhaps capping your guest list to 15 individuals or less.
  • Keep a list of guests who attended for potential contract tracing.

Download the Help Prevent the Spread information sheet (pdf), which covers physical distancing, monitoring symptoms, what to do if you have symptoms, and isolation.

 

 

 

Preparing Food Safely

You can lower your risk of infection and kill the virus that causes COVID-19 by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

 

  • Use common cleaning and disinfection methods to kill coronaviruses.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and food packaging. If you do not have running water, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables under running water.
    • Washing fresh produce with soap, chlorine or other chemicals is not recommended. Fresh produce is porous and can absorb chemicals that are not intended for you to eat.
  • Cook your food to recommended safe internal temperatures. Coronaviruses are killed by normal cooking temperatures.
  • Avoid cross-contamination of raw and ready-to-eat or cooked foods.
  • Disinfect any surfaces that will come in contact with food.

 

Encourage Physical Distancing

 

  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow for physical distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together. Members of different households should be 2 metres (6 feet) away from each other.
  • When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. Do not shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead, wave and verbally greet them.

 

Wear Masks

 

  • All guests should wear masks when not eating and when less than 2 metres (6 feet) apart from people or indoors.
  • Consider providing disposable medical (procedural) masks for guests. They are more effective at preventing the spread than homemade or cloth masks.

 

Clean Hands Often

 

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. Provide hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol in clearly marked hand washing areas at the entrances to your gathering and throughout.
  • In your restroom, make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer available and encourage guests not to form a line at the door.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands, so guests do not share a towel.
  • Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.
  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
  • Print and post the How to the Wash Hands (page 2) in these areas.

 

Limit the Number of People Handling or Serving Food

 

  • Limit people from coming through or near the areas where food is being prepared, such as in the kitchen or around the grill.
  • If serving any food, identify one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.

 

Limit Contact with Commonly Touched Surfaces or Shared Items

 

  • Use touchless garbage cans or pails.
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash – wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
  • Do not use shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins).

 

Recreation Calendar

We are happy to share that our recreation calendar is back, and many of our regular recreational activities in the community have resumed. Residents can participate in a variety of engaging activities that enrich the mind, body and spirit, while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.

 

Harmony Court Recreation Calendars – October 2020

 

Weekly Shout-Out

Welcome Rex to the AgeCare Harmony Court team. Rex just graduated from the RN program and has been a Care Aide at Harmony Court for five years.