Agency Response to COVID-19: August 14, 2020

MEMO: AGENCY RESPONSE TO COVID-19

August 14, 2020

To Employees, Parents, Families, Caregivers and Directors of the Board

NEW: The Government had a term for the pandemic pay, which ended on August 13th. Community Living Ontario, Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS) and the Provincial Executive Director Group have approached the Ministry to continue supporting a pay enhancement during the continued pandemic. To date, we have not received any response to this request.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are posted on ShareVision for easy access. Please ensure that you review all SOPs that apply to the Agency and your program area. You can find them under E3 information>Policy and Standard Operating Procedures. You will find four folders with your program area. Agency wide applies to procedures that cover the entire organization such as effective meetings and sanitization of vehicles.

Tots’n’Tykes is eager for the phased re-opening starting August 24th. The first children will be welcomed back then with enhanced health measures and increased sanitation. Mask and face shields will be worn by all educators. A Reggio-style approach will be used to meet the mandate of “How Does Learning Happen”. The second phase will occur on September 8th. We are still waiting for guidelines from the County of Simcoe.

EarlyON has just received new guidance for safe face to face activities. Virtual activities will continue as part of the offerings as they have allowed families with barriers such as child care and transportation challenges to attend parenting programs. The new measures will take some time to implement and we are looking at phasing over the end of September until October.

Health measures remain in full force: everyone, staff and individuals, should practice physical distancing, frequent handwashing, frequent cleaning and masking.

The pandemic, due to its unknown variables, length of time and unexpected outcome, leads to a continuous state of baseline anxiety. In order to be able to function for the extended period of time, you need to take time for yourself, and ensure that you put your mental wellness first.

MCCSS will be conducting unannounced inspection visits to monitor our approach to Covid-19 and QAM requirements. Please ensure practice standards remain high.

Town halls will be held every two weeks. Next town hall is scheduled for August 18th at 3:15 pm.

We want to thank all employees at all levels- Direct Support Professionals in the home and community, the administrative team organizing logistics, managers who are available and children and family services available to parents and caregivers during this challenging period of history.

Individuals we support
• PLEASE INFORM MANAGEMENT SHOULD SOMEONE NOT BE WELL IN THE HOME. This is the normal practice at any other time as individuals will get sick. We need to ensure that they stay healthy.
• Family visits are suspended until further notice
• Practice physical distancing in the homes. Move furniture around to provide distance and stagger mealtimes to avoid close contact.
• Physical distancing should be practiced in vehicles as well. Few individuals should travel together and all surfaces should be cleaned after the drive
• All utensils, bowls should be individualized. No sharing of snack bowls. The dishwasher should be used for all dishes.
• Please record every individual’s temperatures morning and evening. This should be done in daily notes in Sharevision. If the person’s temperature is above the norm, please contact your manager. Normal temperature is 36.5 to 37.2 Celcius.

Employees
• PLEASE DO NOT GO TO WORK SICK. Call your manager.
• Surgical masks are to be worn at all times in homes and when out with individuals, such as in cars or even walking. Please use only one mask per shift. Mask MUST be put on upon entrance into the home, after hand washing, at the door. Please do not walk through common areas without a mask on. Please review the PPE videos and ensure you record the viewing and understanding.
Donning: https://youtu.be/s2z1uM1fXN8
Doffing: https://youtu.be/crGlUX3_4DA
• Physical distance from each other in the homes. Move furniture around to provide distance and stagger mealtimes to avoid close contact.
• Physical distancing should be practiced in vehicles as well. Few individuals should travel together and all surfaces should be cleaned after the drive
• Cleaning practices:
o Night and day shift employees should clean together at the beginning and end of shift. This will result in a clean setting for the new staffing group. The process should take you approximately 10 minutes. Use Spray 9 for its anti-virus properties
o Ensure indoor and outdoor doorknobs are cleaned, as well as high touch items like remote controls, light switches
o Ensure that offices are also cleaned o Dishes should be cleaned with appropriate practices and following infection control practices.

Children Services
• Virtual activities with EarlyON are on Facebook and through virtual classroom/support! You can also call the Centre in Collingwood or Alliston. Both sites remain open.
• EarlyON virtual calendar is posted. https://e3.ca/wp-content/uploads/Virtual-Calendars-July-2020.pdf
• Follow on FB and visit the E3 website for more information.

Basic information
• Please wash hand with soap and water, 20 seconds, using a proven hand washing technique.
• Surfaces should be cleaned twice daily according to protocol.
• Public Health distancing measures will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Our sources
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/2019_guidance.aspx
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Promos/Novel-Coronavirus
https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-0

Practice Good Respiratory Etiquette
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available;
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap;
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand;
• If you or a member of your family are sick, stay home. And please, do not visit our programs or residences to limit the chance those in our care from becoming ill.

Your Steering Committee:

Christine Vallis-Page Scott Kelly Peter Doner
Tracy Nancekivell Patricia Green Lori McKean
Heather Grasman Deborah Sauvé (JH&SC) Irene Currie(JH&SC)
Salvina Lutz (JH&SC) Kim Saunders Nancy MacDonald
Cindy Boyce Robin Galati Melanie Cathcart
Shannon Mathieson Rachel Leferink

Visit our website for all the memos under about us > news.

Keep in mind that directions will change rapidly and will require fluidity. These are unusual times and we are thankful for your continued support.

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We thank you for your dedicated work and support to some of our most vulnerable Ontarians.

Best regards,

Christine Vallis-Page