Agency Response to COVID-19: March 12, 2020

To Employees and Directors of the Board:

The purpose of this memo is to inform you of E3’s approach in response to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). No doubt many of you are following the news regarding COVID-19, originally known as the Novel Coronavirus.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also declared this as a pandemic. With the confirmed arrival of COVID-19 in Ontario, and WHO declaring a pandemic, you will no doubt hear more reports on the news, radio and on social media.

E3’s Senior Management Team is monitoring 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.

Although this can seem distressing, as much information contradicts and/or heightens the situation, we are responding and are taking all recommended steps to ensure our approach is in line with best practices, with a focus on keeping those in our care well. E3 is prepared to adapt to all recommendations from our authorities.

With the March Break only a few days away and for those of you planning to travel, please note that the Government of Canada continues to update travel advisories and a list of countries affected by COVID19. We urge you to review it before departing on any trips abroad. Please self-monitor and review as needed. You can also contact your manager or senior team upon your return.

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.

Please monitor Canada’s travel advisories:

To reduce the spread of germs among your loved ones, including the flu and COVID-19, as per recommendations from our health authorities, we are asking all our staff, as well as any visitors, to:

  • 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.

At this stage, we do not have declared cases in South Georgian Bay. E3 has implemented a Pandemic Planning Steering Committee that will meet weekly to review our sources of information and decide on next steps, if needed, as well as answer any questions from employees or families. We will readjust weekly, or more, as needed.

Your Steering Committee:

  • Christine Vallis-Page
  • Scott Kelly
  • Peter Doner
  • Tracy Nancekivell
  • Patricia Green
  • Lori McKeen
  • Heather Grasman
  • Deborah Sauvé (JH&SC)
  • Irene Currie(JH&SC)
  • Salvina Lutz (JH&SC)
  • Kim Saunders
  • Nancy MacDonald

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

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

Best regards,

Christine Vallis-Page