Agency Response to COVID-19: September 23, 2020


September 23, 2020

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

NEW: Covid 19 cases are seeing a surge in Ontario, Canada and many other countries. Over the past 2 weeks, cases have tripled across Canada. Worldwide, 30 million cases have been diagnosed since the beginning of the pandemic. We may be seeing the beginning of wave 2.

Emergency orders have been extended to October 22nd.

Because of the growing number, the government of Ontario has reimposed limits on indoor and outdoor non-monitored gathering, lowering them to 25 for outdoor event and 10 for indoor event. The fines will be significant for organizers and participants.

As part of its fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, the Ontario government is partnering with pharmacies to expand access to COVID-19 testing to track, trace and isolate cases. Starting Friday, September 25, 2020, pharmacies in Toronto, Ottawa and Hunstville will be offering free testing by appointment only to individuals with no symptoms of COVID-19. More pharmacy locations will make testing available in the coming weeks. Individuals must follow all public health measures when going for a test, including wearing a mask, practising physical distancing, and frequent handwashing.

Please ensure to be vigilant with enhanced health measures:
• Frequent rigorous handwashing
• Cleaning of all surfaces including when before and after taking groceries out
• Physical distancing as much as possible in the homes
• Masking in all public areas, masking at all times when supporting individuals, indoors or outdoors
• Limiting your close contacts to your social circle of 10

Tots’n’Tykes has reopened in a phased in approach, with half of the usual numbers. Enhanced health measures are in line with public health guidance, masking and face shields are worn at all times. A new parent handbook is available and other resources are posted here

EarlyON has developed new guidance for safe face to face activities, based on a schedule and cohorting. 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. Face to face programming reopens September 28th on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday with booking only. Please visit

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

Indoor visits and overnight visits are currently on hold. Outdoor visits, with masking and physical distancing can occur on the patio or at 250 Peel. Visitors are limited to 2 people and must be masked and maintain physical distancing of 2 meters.

Thanksgiving is coming up and is one of the most beloved holidays. Consider celebrating in a way that allows for your safety and the safety of all around you. It may look different this year but it can still be very special!

After more than 6 months of health measures to prevent the spread of the virus, everyone is fatigued. We urge you to keep speaking and sharing your concerns.

Town halls will be held every two weeks. Next town hall is scheduled for October 1 at 7:15 am.

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.

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