As the province begins to relaunch, government will be investing in long-term care, designated supportive living facilities and seniors’ lodges to ensure strong protection for the most vulnerable and their staff. A provincial investment of more than $170 million will be used for enhanced staffing, extra cleaning supplies and will address lost accommodation revenue.

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said, “We know from our experience over the past few months that seniors are most at risk from COVID-19. If our province is to carefully and gradually lift public health restrictions, we must first make sure our most vulnerable will remain safe. This funding is another step in that direction and complements ongoing efforts.”

Funding will be retroactive to March 15 with a total of $14.2 million being allocated per month. Facilities will be required to report on the use of these funds and will need to return money not spent on COVID-related purposes.

Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon said, “Our government is strengthening our ring of defence around Alberta’s seniors. The funding we are putting into place for seniors’ lodges to assist with costs arising from COVID-19 protective measures, will help protect seniors housing providers from financial pressures and will help our seniors to remain safe at home.”

Funding will continue until the orders from Alberta's chief medical officer of health are lifted. It will be distributed in coordination with Alberta Health Services and Seniors and Housing. This funding is one element of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy that must be in place before Alberta can safely remove public health restrictions.

Board chair with Alberta Continuing Care Association Jennifer McCue added, “We know from our many conversations with continuing care operators that they are struggling to meet the challenges of this unprecedented pandemic. Operators are facing rising costs to maintain operations, comply with provincial health orders and keep Albertans safe. In places where outbreaks have occurred, added precautions to respond to COVID-19 have increased operators’ incremental costs and they have no way to raise revenues to cover them.”