Menno Place and the Abbotsford State of Emergency – November 17, 2021

November 17, 2021 – Update re: State of Emergency in Abbotsford and Menno Place

Menno Place and our residents are safe with no risk of flooding in our buildings.

We have no break in our supply lines.

Some staff who live in other communities such as Mission or Chilliwack have been stranded. Some are staying at Menno Place in guest suites or with friends.
There is currently a huge fire at Fraserway RV on the north side of the Sumas Prairie. Toxic smoke is blowing west, but not toward Menno Place at this time. All windows to be kept closed.
We will continue you to update you if information changes. At this time, we are grateful that all are safe and that we can continue as normal in our service of the residents.

National Seniors Day – Share your (tiny) story of love, honour & respect – 160 words or less + photo

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Vancouver Sun Article with Karen Biggs, CEO

COVID-19: B.C. care providers fear 10 per cent staff exodus over mandatory vaccinations

The CEO of an Abbotsford seniors care complex fears a loss of staff unless provincial health officials promptly apply the mandatory vaccination to hospital staff and community-based health care workers, too.

Menno Place is bracing for staffing problems on Oct. 12, when all workers at the large seniors community in Abbotsford will need to be vaccinated to be able to work.

Some 675 employees work at the sprawling seniors complex that includes 700 residents in long-term care and independent and assisted living in six buildings. With the province’s mandatory staff vaccination announcement for those who work in seniors care a month ago, CEO Karen Biggs is worried about how much of her staff will be lost.

Staff at hospitals and health care workers who work in the community aren’t required to be immunized against COVID, and she fears she may lose five to 10 per cent of her staff to acute care facilities or to community care, such as in-home care workers.

“We’re all extremely concerned,” said Biggs. “My staff are literally across the street right now from Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, and they can just walk over and get a job. We’re like sitting ducks. I’m losing one of my best (kitchen staffers).”

Click here to read more.

Menno Home Outbreak – September 8, 2021

This past week, Menno Home was declared on COVID outbreak. Menno Home is one of six buildings on the 11 acre Menno Place campus of care.
At this time, all four of the neighborhoods within the Menno Home building are cohorted. This means that staff only work in their one specific unit with separate entrances and break rooms minimizing any transmission between units. Since it was ordered in spring 2020, Menno Home (and all other buildings at Menno Place) have followed the Single-Site Order which means that staff caring for elders are not permitted to work in other care homes.
The COVID positive residents and staff are all from one of the four units (Menno Home E1). At this time, 34 residents and 13 staff are COVID positive. There has been one death of a resident who was palliative prior to the outbreak.
All residents who live in the other 3 units in Menno Home have been swabbed for COVID as well as all the staff who worked in Menno Home in the days prior to the first COVID positive result. There are no COVID positive staff or residents in these other 3 units at this time.
We are encouraged that, due to vaccination, the symptoms of COVID for the residents and staff are significantly milder than they were pre-vaccination.
Social visits continue for residents who live in the five other buildings on our campus of care.
Thank you to all who have expressed their concern for the elderly who are entrusted to our care. We are grateful for the immense community support that has been extended to Menno Place, especially during this COVID pandemic. We remember, with great gratitude the outpouring of masks, supplies, gifts, Christmas decorations and concern from the Abbotsford community for these elders and our staff throughout this pandemic.
As always, we recognize the immense love there is among you for the residents who call Menno Place their home. This has become abundantly clear as we have faced this challenging pandemic together. There is no dispute – our elders are loved and they are loved well. For this, we thank you.
If you are a person of prayer, we invite you to pray that our residents and staff will remain safe during this outbreak in Menno Home.
We welcome your good wishes and encouragement to our staff – who tirelessly provide care and love – the true heart of Menno Place. Send your good wishes and encouragement to

Menno Home declared on Outbreak

COVID UPDATE – September 3, 2021 – Menno Home All Units on Outbreak

We are sad to let you know that all units in Menno Home (E1, E2, W1, W2) have now been declared on outbreak by the Medical Health Officer. 
What does this mean?
  • Safe visits are closed for the duration of the outbreak.
  • All residents and all staff will be swabbed for point-prevalence.
  • Essential visitors connect with nurse of your loved one’s unit for current update about visits. Click here for details.
  • Families and Friends, please follow daily updates – click here

Ministry of Health – Overview of Visitors

Download the PDF from the British Columbia Ministry of Health, Effective July 19, 2021

Ministry of Health – Overview of Visitors in Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living


Social Visits – What changes on Monday July 19th?

Dear visitors of residents at Menno Home, Menno Hospital and Terrace East: EFFECTIVE MONDAY JULY 19, 2021

July 8th, 2021, marked an important and exciting change for residents and visitors of long-term Care and Seniors Assisted Living homes with the announcement of changes in visiting programs for British Columbia.

As of July 19, 2021, Social Visits will follow these guidelines:

  • Visits no longer need to be pre-booked (except for evening visits in order to arrange screening)
  • Indoor social visits will no longer be limited to two adults and one child
  • Visitors will be asked to show proof of vaccination status. Menno Place will retain this information to provide to public health if needed
  • Visitors will continue to be screened for signs of illness, including a temperature check on arrival
  • Visitors will still need to provide contact tracing information
  • No Social visits will be allowed if the care home is on “outbreak” or “enhanced monitoring”
  • Visits will still take place primarily in the resident room or apartment suite
  • Visitors will continue to socially distance (6ft from others) and use effective hand hygiene
  • “Outings” (where the resident leaves the enclosed unit/building) must be arranged with the nurse and use the sign-out/sign-in protocol
  • Assisted Living outings – use the sign-out/sign-in book when going on an outing
  • Outdoor group gatherings (7 days per week) can be booked for Home and Hospital by calling Reception.
  • Visitors will wear a medical grade mask (supplied by Menno Place) while moving through the building and common areas
    • Fully vaccinated visitors may remove their masks once in direct contact with the resident they are visiting or when outdoors
    • A visitor will be considered fully vaccinated when at least 14 days passed since receiving their 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
    • Non-fully vaccinated visitors, or those unable to provide vaccination status, are required to wear a mask throughout their visit, both indoors and outdoors

What are the best hours for visiting?

  • If you would like to book prior to 10am, please call the nurse.

We are pleased to let you know that the Menno Place Team has facilitated:

  • 2,560 Messages of Love (March 2020 – July 2021)
  • 4,575 Zoom Calls (March 2020 – July 14, 2021)
  • 2,369 Safe Visits (August 1, 2020 – April 1, 2021)
  • 6,356 Booked Social Visits (April 1 – July 14, 2021)

15,860 TOTAL facilitated connections during COVID pandemic

We are committed to continuing to provide meaningful and safe visiting opportunities for each resident; however, each resident will have different needs for length of visits or number of visitors at one time. Please be mindful of resident’s preferences when planning your visit and length of stay.

As we adjust to the new processes, and the anticipated influx of visitors, we ask for your patience. In particular, our Visitation Hosts will need extra time to screen visitors and to confirm vaccination status. During peak visiting times, line-ups may be expected. Thank you for your understanding.

For questions or comments, please contact Garry Janzen, Life Enrichment Coordinator – 604.851.1332 during regular office hours, Monday-Friday 8:30am – 4:00pm.

Please note: The Visitation Policy is subject to change in conjunction with the Fraser Health Authority and Ministry of Health Guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can I visit with all of the members of my congregation / clients? No. You may visit with one resident only per screening. You cannot go from unit to unit or from apartment suite to apartment suite.
  2. What precautions should I take if I’m visiting someone who has not been vaccinated? Consider visiting via Zoom. You should wear a mask to keep them as safe as possible. Practice social distancing and hand hygiene.
  3. Can I visit my loved one in their room and then take them out for a walk? In order to leave the unit / apartment building, you need to speak with the nurse and follow all sign-out/sign-in protocol.
  4. What about the variant? There may be additional infection prevention protocols needed as Public Health assesses the risks for the most vulnerable population, the elderly.
  5. What if I don’t want to report or provide evidence of my vaccination status to you? You will follow the same guidelines as visitors who are not fully vaccinated.
  6. What kind of evidence do you need of my vaccination status? Bring your vaccination card or your online BC Mobile Card – CLICK HERE
  7. Will the staff be wearing masks? The staff continue with the infection control protocols that have been in place throughout the COVID pandemic, including wearing masks and goggles in resident spaces.
  8. What changes for essential visitors? There is no change to the essential visitor program.

Phone Numbers:

Menno Home Reception: 604.853.2411

Menno Hospital Reception: 604.859.7631

Terrace East Reception: 604.851.4004

Garry Janzen, Life Enrichment Coordinator: 604.851.1332