January 13, 2022
Navigating COVID-19 Symptoms
Alberta Health Services has posted a COVID-19 Self-Care Guide. According to this guide, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can assume you have the virus and likely the Omicron variant. You do not not need to be tested to confirm.
The Self-Care Guide offers information on managing COVID-19 symptoms at home and how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home, as well as links to self-care resources and answers to frequently asked questions.
The Alberta Medical Association has also prepared a Red-Amber-Green Guide for Navigating COVID-19. This guide assists with identifying your risk levels if you contract COVID-19 as well as when you should seek medical assistance.
PPE Update for Health Care Professionals
Alberta Health Services has issued new guidance on the use of masks. KN95 masks, N95 respirators, and a well-fitting procedure/surgical mask are all considered safe practice for continuous masking.
A seal-tested KN95 mask is a safe and reasonable alternative for a fit-tested N95 respirator: use a well-fitting procedure/surgical mask if neither are available. Do NOT double-mask in any combination as there is an increased risk of self-contamination.
KN95 masks, like N95s, provide 95% or greater particulate filtration efficiency.
January 12, 2022
Alberta Health Services has prepared a guidance document for community health care providers. The document provides guidelines in the following areas:
Part A (pre-screening): for all community providers including pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, primary care providers, physiotherapy, etc.
Parts B (risk assessment), C (testing) and D (management): for all community providers whose scope of practice includes assessing and treating patients with respiratory symptoms.
September 16, 2021
The Government of Alberta has announced a Public Health Emergency and put in place additional measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19. We have been notified by Alberta Health that no changes are required for health care professionals. Masking remains in effect for all indoor workplaces.
The COA’s current guidelines, last updated September 4, 2021, therefore remain in effect. However, we strongly recommend that all registered opticians also review the public health measures announced by the Government of Alberta and implement additional precautions. This may include:
Restricting capacity to 1/3 fire code occupancy
Re-implementing 2 metre physical distancing
Service by appointment only and/or additional screening to ensure patients attend with household members only (or 2 close contacts if they live alone)
September 4, 2021
Temporary measures have been put into place by the Government of Alberta. A summary of the relevant measures are outlined below.
Effective September 4, 2021, masks are mandatory for all indoor public spaces and workplaces in Alberta.
In addition, Albertans are encouraged to limit in-person contacts.
It is also recommended that employers pause their plans to have staff return to work and instead continue with work-from-home measures. If employees are working on location, employees must mask for all indoor settings, except in work stations or where two-metre physical distancing or adequate physical barriers are in place.
Click here for the COA guidelines with key information for opticians. The temporary public health measures issued by the government supersede the COA guidelines until further notice.