covid-19 updates, community living guelph wellington, disability services

COVID-19 and Community Living Guelph Wellington

Please check here for the latest updates related to COVID-19 and services provided by Community Living Guelph Wellington.

 

Helpful resources

COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities [PDF]

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health COVID-19 [website]

List of Essential services, published by the Government of Ontario  [website]

Coping with Stress during COVID-19 [PDF on WHO website]

 


The Role of the DSP and the Coronavirus: https://youtu.be/ud4Q4e_hcuw

 


Updates will be posted in chronological order, and should be read from the top down.

 

3 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

As shared yesterday, our Re-connecting Families fundraiser is now online.

During any crisis, the most comforting moments are the ones spent with the people who matter most to us. But for the people we support, we have had to make the difficult decision to close our locations and buildings to families and friends. The safety, wellbeing and health of the people we support is paramount.

With tablets and video-enabled devices, we can help the people we support re-connect with their families and friends virtually.

Sharing this fundraiser with family and friends can make a world of difference. They may be able to help, or may also know someone who could help.

For those who use Facebook, the fundraiser is available here and can be easily shared: https://www.facebook.com/donate/520471555302822/?fundraiser_source=external_url

For those who do not use social media, the Re-connecting Families Fundraiser is available here: https://clgw.ca/donate/

Raising a little more than $12,000 will afford us the ability to distribute a tablet to each residence.

Together, we can do it.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Gratefully,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-04-03


 

2 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Last week, we informed you that a person we support was advised by health professionals to be tested for COVID-19. We also informed earlier this week that a third staff member was advised to be tested. Today, we’re grateful that we can share that both tests have come back negative.

We do have a fourth staff member being tested, and we will share news as we receive it. Our staff continue to screen before every shift, and follow preventative measures that are in place to prioritize the health and wellbeing of the people we support.

At present, there are no changes to suspended services and access. All CLGW locations remain closed to the public and day programs remain suspended.

Quite a few families have reached out, either directly to myself or to their Direct Support Professionals and supervisors. We appreciate your notes of thanks and creative ideas to help us stay connected during this time.

In the coming days, you will see a new CLGW fundraiser for the people we support. We will be reaching out to the community to help raise funds to purchase video-enabled tablets for each of our CLGW residences. We will also be seeking donations of refurbished and gently used devices and tablets that can be given directly to those that we support, who do not have a device, to stay in touch with their families and friends. Stay tuned, and if you have any connections who may be interested in supporting, please contact Annie Knight, Marketing and Development Lead, at annieknight@clgw.ca.

We have all been banding together during this time, to come up with ideas and activities to boost morale. For the people we support, it’s difficult right now to establish a routine or maintain some resemblance to normal. While we work on ways to stay engaged, connected, and bring little moments of happiness into our everyday, we continue to thank you for bringing forward ideas. Our Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Karen Calzonetti, has been working with staff to keep these ideas flowing. If you have ideas, please connect with Karen at karencalzonetti@clgw.ca.

Earlier this week, members of the community donated a variety of handmade masks. Thank you for your tremendous generosity, and thinking of us during this time of need. As this pandemic continues, there will be a variety of resources we will use at a greater than normal rate. And it’s thanks to the thoughtfulness and generosity of our community that we will continue to have enough supply as the demand increases.

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health continues to be your most up to date resource for COVID-19. As an organization, we follow the lead of local public health officials, as well as provincial and federal health bodies. Resources and up to date facts are available at: https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-04-02


 

30 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

On Friday, we shared with you that a person we support, as well as two staff members, were being tested for COVID-19. At the time, we shared that one staff member had their test results come back as negative. We are grateful to be able to share today, that the second staff member’s results also came back as negative.

We are still awaiting results for the person we support, and continue to take any directives and preventative measures given by Wellington Dufferin Public Health.

Through the weekend, we learned of another staff member who will be tested for COVID-19.

As new cases and concerns arise, we will continue to notify any staff, people we support, and their families if they are a close contact. WDG Public Health will also notify anyone they deem an immediate risk, or who needs to self-monitor or self-isolate as a result possible exposure.

We will continue to keep you informed each week, if testing is occurring. It’s important that we continue to take preventative measures together.

We do want to thank you for all that you’re doing. We’ve received a lot of feedback from family, appreciating that we are communicating and sharing information as we learn it. Thank you for taking the time to share with us that we’re on the right track. While we know that sometimes these communications can be a bit overwhelming, it’s important that we are all on the same page, aware, and communicating together.

Over the weekend, the Government of Ontario suspended gatherings greater than five people. While this does not affect the work that we are doing, should that change, we will be sure to inform you.

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has the most up to date information, as well as helpful resources to point to through all of this. As an organization, we follow the lead of local public health officials, as well as provincial and federal health bodies. Resources and up to date facts are available at: https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-30


 

27 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Last night, the City of Guelph declared a state of emergency. Earlier, the County of Wellington and its seven municipalities also declared a state of emergency. Right now, these declarations appear to have no impact on the support we are providing but we will keep you informed if that changes.

To read more about the County of Wellington’s declaration: https://www.wellington.ca/en/covid-19.aspx#

To read more about the City of Guelph’s declaration: https://guelph.ca/2020/03/mayor-guthrie-declares-state-of-emergency-for-guelph-in-response-to-covid-19/

Staff were tracking a newly developed cough by a person we support. They continued to monitor symptoms, and yesterday, escalated their concern with medical professionals. It was advised that the person be tested by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health. We have done so, while also notifying all affected staff, people we support, and their families involved. The person supported is in self-isolation, as advised by WDG Public Health, and we are taking every preventative measure we can to ensure the health and wellbeing of all, while we wait for results.

One of our staff members notified us that they thought they may have come into contact with a potential COVID-19 case. They diligently began self-isolating after contact, and did not have any contact with people supported by CLGW, their families, or staff. This staff member has since been tested, and their results returned negative.

Another staff member has alerted us to their symptoms and concerns. They are also self-isolating, and have been tested.

These instances are not related. The staff members and the person supported have not had any contact with each other.

As we wait for results, we felt it necessary to inform you and your families. Even if the results come back negative, it’s necessary for all of us to be aware of how real this virus is, and how close it is to the people who matter most to us.

While we know this is difficult news to receive, we have been, and will continue to do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All of our staff have been, and will continue to take a daily self-assessment prior to coming to work. They have also been using this assessment with the people we support to help identify any possible changes in health.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been communicating with staff to self-monitor and self-isolate if they have any concerns. As an organization, we have taken additional steps to ensure that they are informed of updated legislation, as well as internal options, should they need to be off work.

We have also been working with local grocery retailers, to ensure that our CLGW residences have the ability to either pickup or have groceries delivered, to mitigate any unnecessary contact.

As new cases and concerns arise, we will continue to notify any staff, people we support, and their families if they are a close contact. WDG Public Health will also notify anyone they deem an immediate risk, or who needs to self-monitor or self-isolate as a result possible exposure. We will also continue to take any advice and directives given by WDG Public Health.

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has the most up to date information, as well as helpful resources to point to through all of this. As an organization, we follow the lead of local public health officials, as well as provincial and federal health bodies. Resources and up to date facts are available at: https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-27


 

25 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

This week has been a week of participation. Our leadership team has been, and will continue working alongside local, provincial and federal leaders, in an effort to prepare for what might come next. Whether that’s good news or difficult news, we wanted you to know that we are being planful and responsive to these uncertain times.

To make sure we are sharing the most up to date and relevant information for you, we are taking a short pause on our communications. As we noted earlier, if you feel you may have missed a communication from us, clgw.ca/covid19 has all up-to-date communications to people we support and their families.

At this time, day programs and public access to all CLGW locations remain suspended.

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has the most up to date information, as well as helpful resources to point to through all of this. As an organization, we follow the lead of local public health officials, as well as provincial and federal health bodies. Resources and up to date facts are available at: https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-25


 

24 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

We heard yesterday that the province of Ontario is going into lockdown, with all non-essential services being mandated to close as of 11:59pm tonight. Understandably, this may have raised questions for you if the service you and your family member are receiving will be affected.

With the release of the essential services list, residential, Supported Independent Living and Passport services are all included as essential services. Given that day services were already suspended, yesterday’s announcement will have no additional impact on services at this time.

The Ontario government also announced a $200 million in social services relief funding. While we wait for details on how this is going to be distributed, the media release is available here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-protecting-the-most-vulnerable-during-covid-19-crisis.html

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health confirmed over the weekend, the first regional case of COVID-19 in Wellington County. That case is recovering in hospital, in Mount Forest. This morning we learned of the first confirmed case in Guelph, at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. We understand that these cases being closer to home, you may be feeling anxious and concerned. CLGW will continue to take as many preventative measures as possible to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people we support and their families, our staff, and our community. We are also in consistent communication with Public Health, as well as community partners, so that plans and procedures are in place should someone we support become ill with COVID-19.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-24


 

23 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Our goal through this pandemic is to maintain good, useful, and timely communication.

In the days to come, there may not be much to update you on, as we wait for decisions and new developments that might impact the services we provide. As such, our communications may become a little less frequent, as we wait for information, and to ensure we are valuing your time and attention. If you’re concerned you may have missed a communication, clgw.ca/covid19 will have all of the latest communications for people we support and their families.

We continue to encourage families to build a routine with their respective CLGW residence. Whether it’s a call or facetiming with your family member or doing a general check-in with staff, staying connected is very important while practicing good physical distancing.

Our government officials have changed the conversation, so that we all can be clear on what’s needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Previously, social distancing was used to describe some of the measures we needed to take ensure our safety during these times. This past weekend that was changed to physical distancing. The emphasis is on maintaining physical distance, and protecting those who are most vulnerable in our communities, while continuing excellent hygiene practices.

Thank you for doing your part, and staying connected through these difficult times.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-23


 

20 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Right now, we are diligently working with staff to ensure that our self-assessment practices are up to date, and guided by the science provided by our provincial and federal health leaders. This self-assessment is a great tool for staff to check themselves prior to coming to work, as well as the people we support, to ensure that we are all doing our part to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has also taken a few steps, effective immediately, to limit in-person contact. The following measures are now in effect for those accessing Employment Support Services (ODSP):

  • People supported do not need to submit their income statements at this time (unless they submit electronically)
  • Special Diet Allowances, already in pay, will continue even if they are set to expire – people supported need not to worry about getting their signed forms in for now (unless they submit electronically)
  • MCCSS will not require forms and verification for Mandatory Special Necessities, as they will issue these benefits and obtain what is needed later on (unless they submit electronically)

We are continuing to monitor best practices and any additional measures needed during this time. Our management team are working with other community partners, both in Guelph and Wellington County, as well as across the province, to determine additional preventative measures in the event of more escalation. As new information becomes available, we will be sharing that with you.

For families who have not done so yet, we encourage you to be in contact with your respective CLGW residence. Setting up a routine of calls and/or facetiming, where technology permits, is a great way to be in touch, during this time of social distancing. Even if your call is with a DSP, it’s a small step to help keep us all connected.

Thank you again, for supporting us through this difficult time.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-20


 

19 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Thank you.

Thank you for your resilience. Thank you for your persistence. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Someone once said that the strength of your character comes from the moments when you face adversity.

We think that the strength of our community comes from the moments when we band together to combat any challenge we face.

With changes happening daily, moments of escalation, difficulty, and inherently hard times ahead, you have been diligent, understanding, helpful, thankful, and kind. You have taken in stride every preventative measure our organization has taken to ensure your and your family’s health and wellbeing during this time. You understand that with every preventative measure we have taken, it has been with consultation and not without understanding of the impact it would have on you.

We know that these are hard times, and you are standing with us, standing with your families, and banding together as a community to minimize the entry and transmission of COVID-19 to the people we support.

Thank you. While there will be more to come, for right now, thank you for all that you’re doing to support the health and wellbeing of the people we support, your families, our staff, and the community.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

With gratitude,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-MEMO-2020-03-19


 

18 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Thank you for your patience, diligence, and understanding during this time. We are in uncertain times, and our communities are taking needed precautionary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As an organization who works for and with people in everything we do, preventative measures are changing daily. Our first priority will continue to be the health and wellbeing of the people we support, their families, our staff, and our collective communities.

We will be taking the following preventative measures around social distancing, in addition to what has been announced in recent days, to help prevent possible entry or transmission of COVID-19:

  • All CLGW locations are closed to any visitors, including families, until further notice
  • If families choose to take their family member out of a CLGW residence, for any duration of time, they will be required to stay there until further notice
  • Guelph Administrative Building is closed to the public

We encourage families to be in contact with the residence, and where possible, we encourage families to begin a routine of calling and/or face-timing their family member, where technology permits.

Families who have expressed their interest in self-isolating their family member at home during this pandemic, are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. People we support who self-isolate at their family home will not lose their spot in our residential program. They will be asked to remain at home until further notice, and we will reassess this weekly.

The City of Guelph announced that they will be offering free bus fare until April 15th, but with reduced service. We are in contact with Guelph Transit, and waiting on more information about reloading bus passes beyond April 15th, as well as any considerations to those who have paid for their bus pass up until March 31st. We will share details once they are available.

We received good news from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that residential service funding will be boosted during this time. With some of our other services being greatly reduced during this time, we will be redeploying these trained professionals to bolster residential services to ensure that all residential support needs are met. We have already redeployed all day program staff to support this transition. We will also be doing the best we can to limit staff to one support location.

For people accessing Supported Independent Living services, we will be making extended efforts to ensure our Grocery Assistance Program is available, stocked, and able to help combat food insecurity during this time.

These are difficult and stressful times. As we monitor provincial and federal escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of our preventative measures come from consultation with community and provincial partners. While we understand this has significant impact on you and your family, we will continue to prioritize health, wellbeing and safety during this time.

Thank you for your continued support. We will reassess service impacts weekly.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-18 [pdf]

Media release for Guelph Transit: https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/guelph-transit-to-be-free-until-april-15-but-reduced-service-2174293

 


 

17 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

We wanted to thank you for being diligent and taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during this time. We know that these are hard times, and that many of the things that matter most to you will be effected. Our first priority will continue to be the health and wellbeing of the people we support, their families, our staff, and our collective communities.

Given provincial and federal measures have escalated again, we have to take additional precautions as well.

Adding on to yesterday’s measures, we will be doing the following to help prevent possible entry or transmission of COVID-19:

  • Campus Friends and Best Buddies are cancelled until further notice
  • Passport services will continue in a limited way, and will be assessed on a case by case basis
  • Supported Independent Living services will continue, primarily by telephone and online contact
  • EmployMEnt Options services will be assessed on a case by case basis, with guidance by the employer
  • All CLGW sites, including administrative buildings, group homes, and day sites are closed to the public
  • All volunteers and non-staff roles are suspended until further notice
  • Pre-authorized visitors, including immediate family, service providers and contractors, will be screened before entering any CLGW location
  • All group access to buildings will be cancelled until further notice (i.e. Special Olympics, sports groups, line dancing, etc.)
  • Anyone requiring a bus pass reload for April 1 must contact Administration by Thursday March 19, with their request

Some families have expressed their interest in bringing their family member home. Those family members will not lose their spot in our residential program. More details about self-isolating your family member at home, will be coming in the next few days.

As we have limited face-to-face meetings, whenever possible we will be communicating by phone or electronic means. This includes in-the-community support.

With yesterday’s announcement regarding the closure of day programs, we are re-deploying trained staff to residential programs. This will ensure that the people we support are receiving the support they need, while having the flexibility and capacity for staff to feel confident should they need to self-isolate.

Right now, our staff are in constant contact with managers and supervisors about self-monitoring. We’re employing every means available to us to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people we support, our staff, as well as friends and families and our community.

At this time, we will reassess all changes to service on a weekly basis.

Thank you for your continued support through this time. We are able to provide the services we do because of your diligence, and support with ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-17 [pdf]

Helpful Public Health Documents [pdf]

COVID-19 Plain Language by and for People with Disabilities [pdf]

 


 

16 March 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

In the past few days, we have seen a variety of developments related to COVID-19.

As an organization who works with people in everything we do, we will continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of the people we support and our staff, and the families, friends and community members involved in the services we provide.

As a response to the escalating need for more precautions, we will be doing the following to stop possible entry or transmission of COVID-19:

  • Closing all CLGW Day Programs across Guelph and Wellington County until further notice
  • Postponing all mass gatherings and events, including the 40th Annual Spring Fashion Gala
  • We will continue to follow our Communicable/Infection Disease procedure

If you or your family member are currently attending a CLGW Day Program, you will not lose your spot as a result of this closure.

Some families have also expressed their interest in bringing their family member home. Those family members will also not lose their spot in our residential program.

If you presently have a ticket for the Fashion Gala, we will not be processing refunds just yet. We are working with all organizers involved to determine a future date.

Information is changing rapidly, and we will continue to reassess weekly.

We want to thank you for your continued support through this time. We are able to provide the services we do because of your support.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: https://clgw.ca/covid19

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-16 [pdf]

 


 

March 13, 2020

 

Dear families and friends,

We recognize that COVID-19 is creating a sense of uneasiness amongst our communities. In the past few days, many nationally and internationally serving organizations have taken precautionary steps to limit the spread of any communicable infections. This has included cancelling large gatherings and travel to more-infected countries.

As an organization who works with people in everything we do, we believe it is our role and responsibility to prioritize the wellbeing of the people we support, our staff, and the families, friends, and community members involved in the services we provide.

Through that lens, we will be making decisions about additional steps we may need to take as an organization, guided by our mission and latest science-based information.

Right now, Community Living Guelph Wellington has a thorough Communicable/Infection Disease procedure that is followed by all of our staff. It requires our organization to be in consistent contact with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, monitoring risk while also informing of any confirmed cases of a communicable disease.

We also routinely check-in with staff around hand hygiene, and taking precaution when coming into contact with droplet transmission – including wearing Personal Protective Equipment as necessary.

Should the reported risk of infection become greater, with guidance from Public Health, we will be taking additional steps to protect the welfare of our community. This may include increased social distancing, cancelling of events, self-quarantine for staff who have been travelling, limiting points of contact between different locations within our organization and more.

As a friend of Community Living Guelph Wellington, we wanted to thank you for supporting us through this time. We are able to provide the services we do because of your support.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and you can read the latest at: https://clgw.ca/covid19

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-03-13 [pdf]

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