Agency Response to COVID-19: March 13, 2020

 MEMO: AGENCY RESPONSE TO COVID-19 

March 13, 2020 

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

The situation is changing several times daily and I am keeping you up to date on the activities E3 has in place to stay on top of this situation. We expect to report daily until the situation stabilizes. 

E3’s Senior Management Team is continuing to monitor credible sources of information such WHO, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC), as well as the Government of Ontario websites. 

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 

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories 

Individuals we support 

• Several activities involving large groups of people were already cancelled by the organizers. We are offering alternate outings within our community, maximizing on fresh air and open areas as opposed to enclosed spaces. 

• All travel to Toronto is currently on hold. Several physicians are now offering online visits which we can accommodate easily. 

• We have a contingency plan in case of isolation- segregation from group homes with other locations such as respite or Oasis By The Bay 

• If grocery shopping, please be mindful of busy times and individuals exposed to germs 

• A short PowerPoint is available to explain what the COVID-19 virus is, in simple terms and pictures. 

Children Services 

• We are following the directions from the County of Simcoe for our Day Centre Tots ‘n’ Tykes. As of this afternoon, it remains open. 

• EarlyON centres also remain open. Reminders of handwashing and avoiding the centre if anyone has been in contact with someone sick. 

Employees 

• Pandemic kits (gown, goggles, N95 masks) will be distributed personally to each employee. The kit is individualized to the person. If need be it will be replenished by our main office. The employee will have it in case it is required immediately. 

• A separate communication has been sent regarding travelling outside the country. As of noon today, the Chief Officer of Health for Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam, is urging all Canadians to avoid unnecessary out of country travel. Should employees travel, They will be required to contact their manager or leadership team prior to returning to work to ensure all guidelines are followed, as they change quickly. 

• If you are travelling, please monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing and contact Telehealth 1-866-797-0000, your health care provider, or your local public health department by phone (in Simcoe Muskoka contact SMDHU at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520), if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. (fever, cough and difficulty breathing). Please note that affected regions are mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Currently, Canada is advising against cruise travel. 

• Team meetings will be reduced to a minimum and will utilize online technology such as BlueJeans videoconferencing to avoid close contact. 

• The Government of Canada is waiving the wait time for EI to ensure that people diagnosed with COVID-19 receive financial assistance quicker. 

• Should an employee require time off due to family needs, some flexibility in our vacation policy, legislated leave of absence, will be required. Discussion will take place with the manager and Pandemic Steering Committee 

• Non-essential meetings will be cancelled, postpone or done via videoconference 

Other 

• Assessing if the ReUse Centre should close. Cleaning processes revised 

• Oasis By The Bay Vacation Suites remains open with enhanced cleaning procedures 

• We have products available that will allow us to clean surfaces in all areas for at least one month. 

Do not visit any of our sites if:

• If you have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days; 

• If you live with anyone that has travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days; 

• If you are or someone you live with are exhibiting any flu like systems such as cough, fever, or difficulty breathing; 

• We are asking that you do not visit for a full 14 days following your return to Canada and with confirmation that you are not exhibiting symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19. 

Practice Good Hygiene 

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, 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