Agency Response to COVID-19: May 15, 2020


May 15th, 2020

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

NEW: 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 place sanitizer, masks and garbage at the employee entrance to allow for donning of mask.

Pandemic Pay: the final guidelines are not available at this time. Please review the following website: Details are expected by end of day. The first payment will be made in a lump sum to align with the first 2 weeks April 24-May 8th. The pandemic pay will appear on your pay stub in its own category. A separate payment run will be done for the $250 for the 4 weeks of work over 100 hours. There will be a possibility of 4 payments for a total of $1000.

Please remember to 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.

The Emergency Order is extended until June 2nd. For this sector, it may remain in place for months to come.

Please practice caution when out in public areas and ensure hand washing and physical distancing. The pandemic is not yet over and the risk of increased contagion over the next weeks is quite possible.

Cleaning practices:
• 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
• Ensure indoor and outdoor doorknobs are cleaned, as well as high touch areas in the office

Donation received from our benefits broker to assist in the purchase of PPE. $1, 000.

EarlyON virtual calendar is up for May!
Follow on FB (@EarlyONCollingwoodAlliston) and visit the E3 website for more information.

Please practice physical distancing and no new contacts when you are dealing with your personal life. Avoid new meetings, dates or play dates. It is very challenging but will help protect countless vulnerable individuals.

Remember to also practice physical distancing in the home with all STAFF and INDIVIDUALS. Reorganize furniture to distance between people, reschedule meals so that physical distancing is maintained- remember this is the one time of the day where droplets can contaminate areas.

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

Please review the PPE videos and ensure you record the viewing and understanding.

The After hours clinic has a new phone number 705-444-5885 where you can speak to a receptionist during office hours re. health concerns. They direct you to go onto website and click on ” Get on Waitlist”. A nurse then calls to get details of concerns and a Dr calls you back later.

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.

Continue to clean all boxes, products, packaging that enters in to the home following the specific outlined process. We know it is a time consuming process but the virus has been known to stay on some surfaces for 3 days.

Should you decide to go for a drive or a walk, in order to manage behavior, please carry your letter and ID card in case you are questioned. Outline your role and the reason that you are out walking or driving (to ensure behavior safety for individual and fellow group home residents). One to one only.

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.

Remember to avoid touching your face. Frequently touching one’s face results in the spread of cold and flu germs.

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.

• PLEASE DO NOT GO TO WORK SICK. Call your manager.
• PPE: We are following best practices from the government of Ontario and guidelines for health community services and long term care facilities. Hand washing frequently, enhanced cleaning of surfaces and self-screening of self and residents is best. The use of PPE during regular care should not be used. Routine practices during personal hygiene is advised. We do have processes we will put in place should isolation be required in a home. Remember that it is contact and NOT airborne.
• Please see Sharevision for a listing of special store hours for seniors and people with disabilities.
• Find resources online specifically for direct support professionals working during COVID-19 at

Children Services
• Virtual activities with EarlyON are on Facebook and through virtual classroom! You can also call the Centre.

Basic information
• Please wash hand with soap and water, 20 seconds, using a proven hand washing technique.
• Surfaces should be cleaned regularly according to protocol.
• Borders are closed. Do not travel.
• This guidance is also from our Health Unit as outlined below

    • All international should report to your local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada (in Simcoe Muskoka contact SMDHU at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520);
    • stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in your home, for a total of 14 days from the date that you left Canada; and
    • monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing and contact Telehealth 1866-797-0000, 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.
    • If you need further advice, please call Telehealth 1-866-797-0000, your health care provider, or your local public health unit (in Simcoe Muskoka call SMDHU at 705-7217520 or 1-877-721-7520)
    • If you are ill and must visit a hospital or health care professional, call ahead and tell them that you have a respiratory illness.

Our sources

• Non-essential visits are suspended
• If you are or someone you live with are exhibiting any flu like systems such as cough, fever, or difficulty breathing; Please report to your physician’s office or the screening centre at Collingwood General & Marine Hospital

Practice Good Hygiene
• 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

We will continue to update you daily through memo, email and social media. Please send your questions or comments to the Steering Committee. We are raising awareness and plan to stay ahead of potential spread. 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