December 18, 2021
Our last communication, way back in July, closed on a hopeful note with summer in full bloom and a promise that we would begin communications with you once again should the need arise. We know the last few weeks have been hard on us all, but we want to start this communication on another hopeful note, with the holiday season right around the corner and COVID-19 vaccines beginning to roll out early 2021.
With a COVID-19 vaccine becoming available over the coming weeks and months, we can finally start to think about the things we have been so dearly missing: visiting with friends and family, connecting with the community, going to a movie, or just being able to relax a bit when we go outside. In Dr. Bonnie Henry’s words, “As we approach this winter solstice, the longest night of the year, there is light ahead, and that light is a little brighter.”
In the meantime, we must stay the course and continue working hard to ensure we keep each other safe. While this means a holiday season that will be different than any we’ve had before, there are ways we can remain connected to our loved ones and our communities and remain safe. Taking a walk with a friend is a great idea, even if you have to bundle up. Phoning family over the holidays can renew your sense of connection. And if you celebrate Christmas, share dinner or open gifts together over Zoom, FaceTime, or other video chat. While it isn’t the same as being in the same space together, know that we will all have the opportunity to share holiday with our friends and families again in future.
In this special holiday edition of the Brightside COVID-19 Brief, it is with joy that we can convey details of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan and related information, some helpful resources ahead of the holiday season, and a few holiday-themed activities for fun.
From all of us on the Brightside team, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
BRIGHTSIDE COMMUNITY HOMES FOUNDATION
The COVID-19 Vaccine and What You Should Know
On December 9, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced BC’s plan for a vaccine rollout. While the first vaccines will be available for use as soon as December 14, 2020, the first doses will be limited and available to health care workers in long term care facilities only, followed by residents in long term care. We can expect a broader rollout of public vaccinations to begin in January 2021.
Vaccine availability will be prioritized, and some of the first to receive vaccinations in January-February 2021 will be:
- Adults 70 years of age and older, beginning with adults 80 years of age and older, then decreasing the age limit by 5-year increments to age 70 years as supply becomes available
- Health care workers (including all those who work in health care settings and personal support workers whose work involves direct contact with patients)
For many, the first vaccine that will be available is the Pfizer vaccine. This vaccine requires two doses for full immunity.
The vaccine is free, and will be available for everyone
By March, 2021, the Public Health Officer expects a large proportion of those prioritized for the vaccine will be vaccinated, as more vaccines (such as Moderna’s vaccine) become available. By September, it is expected that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be.
The vaccine is safe and effective
Canada’s globally recognized high standards for drug and vaccine approval ensures that only vaccines that meet exacting trial and safety requirements are approved for use. The Pfizer vaccine has already passed Canada’s stringent approval process, and Moderna is expected to be approved early next year. Both vaccines are reporting approximately 95% efficacy rates, which greatly exceeds the initial expectations of the Provincial Health Officer.
Staying Safe While We Wait
Though vaccination and the immunity it will provide is now on the horizon, we must continue to be cautious, to be vigilant in protecting each other and helping ensure that we all stay safe and healthy as we wait for the vaccine to become available. It is crucial that all of us follow the guidelines set out by the Provincial Health Officer in washing our hands thoroughly and frequently, maintaining physical distance, and wearing a mask whenever we are in any public indoor space.
In the Brightside community, every Brightside resident should follow the Provincial Health Order and wear a mask or adequate face covering in all indoor common areas of your building. These include elevators, corridors, stairwells, lobbies, laundry rooms, and any other enclosed or indoor common space. Masks are mandatory for all Brightside staff and subcontractors.
Ongoing COVID-19 Province-Wide Restrictions
While we wait for the vaccine, it is important that we continue to follow the current public health order and the associated province-wide restrictions, in effect until January 8, 2021:
- No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble.* For example:
- Do not invite friends or extended family to your household
- Do not host gathering outdoors
- Do not gather in your backyard
- Do not have playdates for children
*If you live alone, your “core bubble” can be up to two people outside of your immediate household with whom you may get together in your home. It is important that these two other people are not part of anyone else’s “core bubble” so as to minimized everyone’s risk of exposure.
- Mask requirements in public indoor settings
- As outlined in the mask mandate order, masks are required for everyone in many public indoor settings. A face shield is not a substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth.
- You are subject to a $230 fine if you:
- Do not wear a mask in an indoor public setting, unless you are exempt
- Refuse to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave the space or
- Engage in abusive or belligerent behaviour
- All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example:
- Do not travel for a vacation
- Do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household/core bubble
For more information on the current Province-Wide Restrictions as ordered by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, please visit:https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions
For more information on the COVID-19 Vaccine and the plan for vaccine distribution, visit:http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/bcs-plan-for-vaccine-distribution
As always, we continue to request that residents confirmed to have COVID-19 inform Brightside immediately. Your privacy is of paramount importance to Brightside and this information will be taken in confidence to help ensure protective measures are taken.
We know this will be a very different holiday season. All of us are adjusting to a difficult situation, and we all recognize the importance of keeping our neighbours, our families, our communities safe and healthy. And most importantly, we want you all to know you are not alone in this.
If you are experiencing extraordinary hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we invite you to contact our office by phone or by email as we may be able to provide assistance. You can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leaving a voicemail at 604-684-3515 for more information.
The Brightside office is currently closed to all visitors. Brightside staff are not available at the office to meet with residents at this time. Residents are encouraged to either leave a voicemail at 604-684-3515 or contact us by email at email@example.com for all matters. The team is working hard to ensure we respond to all enquiries as soon as possible.
Reminder: Brightside will be closed for the holidays from Friday, December 25, 2020 through Friday, January 1, 2021 for the annual holiday closure. During this time, staff will not be available to answer emails or voicemail. The after-hours call centre (1-888-622-6250) will be available during this time for emergencies only.
tinue to be able to submit repair requests for regular repairs, as well as emergency repairs. Submitting a signed repair request gives permission for trades and/or Brightside staff to enter your unit.
Residents can also submit a Request for Repairs form on the new Brightside Website. The form is submitted instantly online, and we have added the ability to upload photos of the repair being requested. Visit the website to fill in the form here:
For any in-suite repairs/maintenance, residents will be offered gloves and masks while Brightside staff/tradespeople are in your home for repairs to reduce the spread of the virus. If you are exhibiting any signs of illness and have submitted a repair request, or are concerned that you have been in contact with someone that has COVID-19, please contact Brightside as soon as possible to cancel repairs.
Note that some of our contractors have their own protocols in place that may require residents to leave their suite or to stay in another room while repairs take place. We ask that residents be understanding and follow these additional requests by tradespeople to allow for repairs to take place.
As we are experiencing a higher-than-normal number of repair requests, all non-emergency requests will be completed as received, on a priority basis. If you are comfortable with Brightside staff or tradespeople completing in-suite repairs, please submit your request in writing. If you are not yet comfortable with staff/tradespeople entering your unit at this time, you may deny access to your home.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work within new provincially regulated guidelines. We, too, are learning and practicing the new normal as we go.
Brightside Welcomes Sherri Crane to the Team
We are excited to welcome a new member to the team, Sherri Crane, in the role of Resident Support
Specialist. She joins Susan Moore and Dana Sharon in the department of Community Development & Resident Support.
With over 20 years of experience in the Community Living social service sector, Sherri has developed and managed a supported independent living outreach program for people with intellectual disabilities and concurrent disorders. The program is focused on improving and maintaining quality of life, person-centered supports and community inclusion. Sherri has been trained in the areas of trauma informed services, risk assessment and mitigation, and mental health and addictions. We are pleased to be working with her in this capacity and are truly excited to welcome to her to our team.
From Brightside with Love – Holiday Cookie Jars
As many of you may already know, it has become tradition for the Brightside community to come together over the holidays to celebrate. Sadly, this year we are unable to gather; however, we wanted to do something that would reach all Brightside residents and spread some good ol’ holiday cheer.
Over the holiday season, all Brightside residents can expect to receive a fun holiday treat at their door. Last week, members of the Brightside team were given the opportunity to work out of a commercial kitchen for a day. To make this fun holiday treat happen, we spent a day measuring, weighing, and decorating your holiday treat while safely enjoying each others company. It was truly a labour of love and staff were so happy to be able to give back to our Brightside community.
We hope that you enjoy the treat and know that during this holiday season, we are all wishing you a safe and happy holiday.