April 9, 2020
Good afternoon parents, family members and advocates,
I want to provide an update on the status of operations of our group homes. As I mentioned before, I am in weekly contact with our Ministry Program Supervisor as well as local Executive Directors from our sister agencies regarding best practices, sharing resources and receiving provincial and federal updates.
As you are aware, the restrictions on visitors to the group homes remains in place to minimize risk to all staff and those supported. We know this is a difficult time for families and those we support, and we are doing our best to engage families through phone calls and video messaging. We will continue to follow the mandate and advice of our local health and government officials in this regard. This visitor restriction is likely to stay in place until the state of emergency is lifted.
All employees continue to self-assess for any symptoms before entry into each of our homes. To date we have had 8 employees tested for COVID-19, six of which returned negative and we are awaiting results on two others who remain isolated at their own homes until results have been returned. Two people we support have also been tested at two different homes with negative test results for COVID-19. This is GREAT news and due in large part to our restrictions on visitors, vigilance of our teams in self-assessing and remaining home if unwell. We are telling all of our staff to follow the public health and government guidelines regarding staying at home when they are not at work.
If we have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in any of our homes, we are following strict guidelines as suggested by Public Health to isolate that individual for the safety of both staff and other individuals in the homes. We are following strict guidelines around disinfecting kitchens, bathrooms and frequently used items which are being sanitized, at minimum, twice per day. Outings are restricted unless they are deemed to be essential. We have had an amazing team of volunteers in the community who are making 400 hospital grade gowns and 600 masks for our employees to use. We have some other supplies of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) but we are making sure we can remain self-sufficient to supply ourselves given the widespread PPE shortage.
This continues to be a challenging time for all of us. We need your understanding, support and patience during this very difficult time. Please bear with us and feel free to reach out to our Directors of Residential Services, Community Supports or myself if you have any questions or concerns. Our contact information is listed below.
Katherine Loveys Executive Director Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 519-742-5849 Ext. 101
Diana Darcey Director of Residential Services Tel: 519-742-5849 Ext. 107
Mary Anne Linka, Director of Community Supports Tel: 519-742-5849 Ext. 103