April 15, 2020
Aurora has implemented a comprehensive coronavirus management plan to minimize exposure to members and staff.
Gimli, Manitoba – Aurora Recovery Centre, a private addiction treatment facility 45 minutes north of Winnipeg, is staying open to provide help to those who need it most during these times of uncertainty and self-isolation from COVID-19. Since people with addictions are more prone to have amplified emotions, including anxiety and depression, Aurora is continuing to service those suffering from addiction. To keep members and staff safe, Aurora has implemented a comprehensive COVID-19 management plan.
Aurora is working directly with the provincial government and health officials, using the province’s health and safety guidelines to form the base of Aurora’s coronavirus management plan, while the centre has taken additional action to ensure the safety of its members and staff.
Steve Low, Chief Operating Officer at Aurora Recovery Centre, explains, “As a healthcare facility we are taking the strictest approach we can. We provide daily updates to our members, their families, our staff and to the general public on our website on the infection prevention measures that we are taking, as the Coronavirus risk changes day to day. We are bringing as many of our services online as possible as well as increasing physical distancing measures in our group meetings by using the largest rooms possible.”
Measures to ensure the safety of members and staff include (but not limited to):
- A three-part screening and admittance process, which includes taking a member’s temperature.
- Staff mandated PPE requirements, as well as mandatory hand washing audits. Screening process at the beginning of every shift.
- Physical distancing in group settings, including counselling sessions and in the dining area. Limiting access to high traffic areas of the centre.
- Increased frequency in cleaning cycles, with an emphasis on deep cleaning.
- Cancellation of all visitors to the facility and the transition to online or virtual visitations.
- Designated isolation rooms.
The province recently determined that addiction services are an essential service. With Manitoba’s only 24/7 medical detox, Aurora is well-positioned to receive Manitobans to safely exit the substances from their bodies. With the media reporting that alcohol sales are spiking, addiction more than ever is now a matter of life or death for those who are deep in their addiction.
“We are a healthcare facility above all, and it is our duty to provide the best care for our members who have mental health and substance use disorders. We offer life saving treatment for members and getting treatment quickly, like for any other lethal disease, is a matter of life and death. Addiction treatment is an essential service,” says Steve Low.
For people recently recovered from addiction, not having access to support connections can lead to a higher risk of relapse. With in-person meetings transitioned to online, and self-isolation the new norm, Aurora has offered free access to online or virtual addiction counselling.
“If someone is self-quarantined with a family member who has a substance use or mental health disorder, there can be unintended negative consequences. Someone with an addiction may also be forced to detox if their drug or alcohol supply sources become scarce, which is a potentially dangerous event if not managed properly by medical professionals,” states Steve Low.