Last Updated: June 18, 2020
This framework is designed to provide guidelines for the relaunch of volunteers to support acute care health services during and following the COVID-19 response. Implementation of this framework is dependent on service needs and may differ depending on the facility and the ability to meet COVID -19 guidelines. These decisions will be made in collaboration with Volunteer Resources and the appropriate Site Leadership reporting structure. Note: This guidance document does not apply to Long Term Care, Designated Supportive Living, and other licensed supportive living, all of which remain subject to CMOH Order 23-2020.
Volunteer programs in acute care facilities can be relaunched in collaboration with site and program needs adhering to following criteria:
- Programs that have been supported throughout the pandemic will continue. These include, but are not limited to:
- Community - Meals on Wheels, lab driver(s)
- Edmonton/Calgary Acute Care - wayfinding, emergency, palliative support
- All sites - administrative support, stocking of supplies, delivery of sacraments etc.
- Virtual support of isolated patients at home and in facilities
- Virtual consultation with patient/family advisors.
- Additional programs may be launched at the request of the site / facility with site/program leadership approval. These include, but are not limited to:
- Volunteer wayfinding programs - guiding essential visitors to units, guiding patients to their outpatient appointments and delivery of support items for patients
- Support for assessment of staff, physicians, designated visitors, patients and volunteers at front door entrances.
- Outdoor programs, provided social distancing is maintained
- Garden / grounds volunteer/client projects on facility property.
- All ancillary revenue generating operations, including gift shops, hair salons, bookshops and cafés may open with the permission of the site provided they are compliant with all CMOH orders and Biz Connect resources. Further guidance may be sought and/or provided by AHS IP&C and respective ZEOC(s)
- External vendors will not be permitted at this time. This will be reassessed in conjunction with site leadership when Essential Visitor guidelines are updated and relaunch processes developed specific to post COVID vendor participation.
- Volunteer visitation, program assistance and community programs will not be permitted at this time with the exception of virtual programs.
- When the Essential Visitor guidelines are updated, these programs will be considered for relaunch in consultation with site leadership, provided appropriate CMOH orders are complied with.
- Where there are initiatives that require volunteer support, Volunteer Resources, at the direction of the site/program leadership will reach out to appropriate registered volunteers.
Appropriate registered volunteers are as follows:
- Registered volunteers of all ages who have indicated interest in supporting AHS at this time.
- Registered volunteers who meet the following screening criteria:
- Have not returned from travel outside of Canada within the past 14 days;
- Have not had contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19;
- Have not had laboratory exposure to biological material known to contain COVID-19;
- Are not currently experiencing any of the following symptoms – fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
- Volunteer Resources will provide volunteers with guidance so they are aware of the safety and health risks associated with COVID-19, at the time of request. Volunteers will then be able to make an informed decision about their involvement
- Volunteers must complete a mandatory COVID orientation. This orientation will be consistent across the province with Zone/site/program specific additions appended as needed.
- Volunteer Resources and /or the program area will provide volunteers with training and essential protective equipment needed to provide the service requested.
- As most volunteers cannot complete the AHS FFW screening tool (95% of volunteers do not have AHS login credentials), volunteers will need to be assessed at each entrance as per facility entrance procedures.
Recruitment - In the event that Volunteer Resources must recruit new volunteers:
- Volunteer Resources will open their online application portal for new volunteers
- Volunteers will be directed not to come to facilities unless specifically requested by Volunteer Resources.
- Volunteer interviews and orientation (AHS, site and role) will be held online to minimize their presence at facilities.
Information for relaunch of Long Term Care, Designated Supportive Living, and other licensed supportive living will occur in a separate document as CMOH orders dictate.