Agency Response to COVID-19: July 10, 2020


July 10, 2020

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

NEW: The Ontario State of Emergency has been extended to July 22nd. Currently, the province of Ontario legislature is looking at passing a new Bill “The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19) Act 2020.” This new bill would allow for the Provincial State of emergency to be lifted while being able to maintain certain health measures in place by allowing certain emergency orders to stay in place to protect the public and the most vulnerable. It would allow the extension of current orders, no new orders could be created and it would also allow for rescinding of orders when safe to do so. This would be in place for 1 year.

As of July 13th, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has made the wearing of facial coverings mandatory in public indoor spaces such as stores and public transit. This follow Toronto’s direction from last week. Grey and Bruce, as well as Huron Perth Counties are implementing the same approach in the coming week.

In consultation with SMDHU, and following congregate settings guidelines for Covid-19, it is now possible for staff to wear a cloth mask, if it is more comfortable, instead of a surgical mask. The cloth mask MUST be worn at all times, cover nose, mouth and chin. The mask is to be worn inside and outside the home, as well as in the vehicles. Surgical masks will be available for those who prefer that style. Should someone be under investigation for Covid-19, then surgical mask will be worn. If there is an outbreak, full PPE will be worn.

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The province has reported less than 120 new cases per day over the last week, indicating a downward trend. Keeping up physical distancing, frequent handwashing and frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces has yielded good results. Affected people in the last few weeks were seasonal workers in the Windsor Essex area.

Family visits must be approved by the manager and scheduled as per SOP. The manager or team lead will be present for family screening while the house employee will support the individuals. Masking is mandatory and no touching can occur at this stage. This may change in the future but currently these are the guidelines.

The ReUse Centre is now open with a new look. Safety measures are in place. Hours are 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday. Come by for a visit! Check out the new website

Oasis by the Bay received its first guests but we are only honoring current reservations. We maintain OBTB for our contingency plan in the event of an outbreak.

Tots’n’Tykes Child Care Centre will be redeveloped to meet the strict guidelines, as per the MOH and SMDHU. A working group is developed and will start working next week.

Please wash cloth masks daily or even after 4 hours of use. Regular washing machine will remove traces of virus. To prevent bacteria growth, you can also boil your non-medical facial covering for 10 minutes, then hang to dry. Do not go in and out of the homes with masks that have been used elsewhere and not washed.

Town halls will continue to occur every Thursday. We will alternate between 3:15 PM and 7:15 AM.

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

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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