Dear Families, Caregivers, Staff and the People We Serve,
As many of you have heard the Coronavirus is in the news. Here at CVS we have taken some early precautions such as ensuring that everyone washes their hands when they come into the building and that handwashing is repeated often. Further, we are disinfecting touch surfaces at CVS several times a day.
We have been monitoring the news and it seems probable that in Canada the virus will spread faster (community spread) once efforts at containment at the airports have failed. Some reports suggest that community spread has already occurred. Accordingly, in response to what seems to be an escalating situation our senior leadership met earlier today to do some emergency planning.
Some of the actions we have identified are as follows:
- People who have travelled and are returning from affected areas in the world should self-isolate to not spread the virus.
- Reinforcing with the people you care about the importance of handwashing several times a day and not touching their face.
- Continuing to sanitize touch surfaces several times a day.
- Asking the people we serve to stay home if they are sick. Leadership Staff are reaching out to families and caregivers to talk about the people we support who have pre-existing conditions or are at risk with a view to start to do some planning.
- We are asking staff to stay home if they are sick and to take precautions.
- Change social greetings to the “foot tap” or “smiles” instead of shaking hands.
- Contrary to our mission of inclusion we are asking staff to start to practice Social Distancing in Community.
- We are starting to think about reducing large gatherings such as large staff meetings, coffee houses, pub nights, public transportation, and bowling. For now, we think small groups such as our music night, Men’s night, and Women’s night are ok because we can identify if someone is sick and we can reinforce good hygiene.
- Finally, our leaders at CVS will meet often to discuss our response to this burgeoning crisis. Please know that we are trying to strike the right balance of taking precautions, undertaking prudent advance planning and at the same time not overreacting or invoking fear and panic.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to give myself or Linda King a call so that we can address any concerns or hear your advice as we work together to keep everyone safe.