Agency Response to COVID-19: August 7, 2020


August 7, 2020

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

NEW: A few tips on wearing masks: all masks should be removed form the ear loops, not by the center. Wash hands before and after. Cloth masks should be washed daily at minimum. If using for a short period of time, remove from ear loops, fold the inside against each other and place on a clean surface, paper bag or cloth bag that is washed daily. Surgical mask can be reused a few days if still clean and stored properly. Masks will be mandatory for many months so find yourself a new wardrobe!

Our EarlyON team members were interviewed for Collingwood Today. They explain how they kept connected to families. See the article here:

Would you like to know a bit more about Coronavirus. Check out “Coronavirus Explained” on Netflix. A short docuseries based on evidence. Makes a complex topic a bit more approachable.

As we are in phase 3, we are lessening the restrictions on one employer. You may have another employer but you cannot be working in another congregate setting such as a long term care home or another disability services agency. Please contact HRS if you need further clarification.

As other provinces are treating their public health response differently, we at E3 want to remain vigilant in the support of our vulnerable population. To that effect, should you travel to another province, you will be required to self isolate for 14 days prior to returning to work. Any out of country travel will require an isolation period, as per Canadian government requirements. We are keeping the vacation time at one week to ensure that should we need staff due to outbreak, we are ready. This applies to everyone within the organization.

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.

Some emergency orders that were previously in place under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, will continue under the new act, “The Re-Opening Ontario (A Flexible Approach to Covid-19) Act 2020. This includes orders related to labour redeployment in long-term care and retirement homes, stages of reopening, compliance with public health advice and gatherings.

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

Tots’n’Tykes Child Care Centre is reopening August 24th on a phased in approach. Regular communication is taking place with parents and new guidelines are being developed. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is an approach to teaching, learning and advocacy for children. Much needed painting and cleaning has been taking place, led by the redevelopment team.

EarlyON continues to deliver program virtually. Plans to return to some limited face to face activities will be put in place for September.

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.

• 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.
• 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.
• 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

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.


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

Best regards,

Christine Vallis-Page