March 24, 2020
It is our goal at Community Living Ajax Pickering and Whitby (CLAPW) to always keep the lines of communication open with the people we support, their loved ones, and our community partners. We hope this letter will help alleviate some of the anxiety or fear you must be feeling as a result of the recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and globally.
As of this letter, we have zero reported cases of COVID-19 at any of our program locations and in any of our staff members. We are taking every precaution necessary to ensure the continued health and safety of the people we support and our staff. This is our number one priority.
The CLAPW leadership team is continuously monitoring developments closely and are following guidance and recommendations from our government and public health officials, including Health Canada, Province of Ontario and The Durham Region Health Department.
As a precautionary and preventive step, we began following our Pandemic Policy and Procedure which we distributed to all staff on March 02.
• We have been educating staff and supported people on COVID-19.
• We have been auditing our PPE (personal protective equipment) and environmental cleaning supplies to ensure we are prepared.
• Staff teams have stepped up their processes and are cleaning more frequently, paying attention to high touch areas
• Staff have been provided with information regarding recognizing potential early symptoms of respiratory infections and fever, and the appropriate precautions to take
• To prevent the spread of infection, visitors to all residential locations and our administrative office have been stopped and all contractors, students, volunteers have been halted.
• All day programs have stopped, and we are beginning to re-deploy the staff from those programs to our residential sites.
• Employees are self monitoring for signs and symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and fever and are being advised to stay home if unwell.
• Staff with a history of travel have been asked to self isolate for 14 days.
• We have halted visits home for supported people currently unless the family is willing to keep the person home for the duration of this crisis.
• All non-essential services and large group gatherings are canceled until further notice.
• All non-essential medical and dental appointments have been cancelled.
• The only permitted activities for people supported in our homes include walks in the neighbourhood and van rides with no more than 2 passengers and the driver.
• Our Supported Independent Living staff have been reassuring people by phone, face to face and have been grocery shopping for all people involved in this program.
• We are striving to have all supported people maintain at least 6 feet between themselves for safety.
We will continue to follow all recommendations from Health Canada, The Province of Ontario and Durham Health Department daily.
We are proud of our Direct Support Professional Staff who have done a tremendous job of supporting people under challenging circumstances. They are keeping people happy, healthy active and engaged. They always have the care of your loved one front and centre and this is no different now. We are proud of the way they have continued to be available even when they themselves are dealing with challenges and uncertainty.
Our homes are well stocked at this time. And, we are proud of your loved ones, who are dealing with these uncertain times well and are doing their best to follow the recommendations being provided to them.
If you have any questions, concerns, or requests, please do not hesitate to bring them to our attention by contacting the house/program manager that oversees your loved ones support location.
Thank you for your trust and understanding during this challenging time. Stay healthy, wash your hands, and please practice social distancing.
Wishing you health and peace of mind,
Lisa McNee Baker