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.

20 November 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

In follow up to Tuesday’s letter, we wanted to provide some clarity around the restrictions involved in Enhanced Precautions.

 

Essential visitors are permitted

Essential visitors are people who visit for the purposes of maintaining the health, wellbeing and safety, or any applicable legal rights, of someone living in our residences. This visitor could be: a social services worker, a health care provider, or even a family member or caregiver visiting for these specific purposes.

Essential visitors may also be service providers that are providing an essential service that supports the ongoing operation of the residence (i.e. a contractor).

 

Non-essential visits are permitted, with limitations:

  • Supervised only
  • Physically distanced only
  • Outdoor visits only
  • Indoor visits are suspended

Non-essential visits are generally social visits, or visitors who provide a non-essential service (such as family or friend social visits).

Non-essential visits may still occur outside. However, indoor visits by non-essential visitors are suspended.

Day programs/supports are permitted, but limited to a max group size (including staff) of 5 people

CLGW residents attending day programs or day supports with any service provider, can attend if the maximum group size is 5 people (including staff), while in MCCSS’s Enhanced Precautions.

 

Recreational activities outside of the residence are suspended (activities like going to a restaurant or for coffee, going bowling or to a movie theatre, going to the bank or getting a haircut)

While in MCCSS’s Enhanced Precautions, people supported living in residences are limited in the activities they may do.

The intent behind limiting recreational activities outside of the residence, is to limit the spread of COVID-19. Taking part in recreational activities that are indoors (such as walking inside a mall), removing the mask (i.e. eating or drinking in close proximity with others), or being in situations where social distancing can’t be maintained (such as shopping), are all factors in why recreational activities are limited.

We understand this is a broad restriction, and it’s quite difficult to put into practice.

However, we understand that mental health is important. Activities like nature walks, van rides, or even just a walk around the neighbourhood, while limiting the number of people you have contact with, are permitted.

At this time, please limit activities to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health area. Other Public Health jurisdictions have differing precautions in place that would need to be reviewed and planned for if leaving WDG Public Health’s area.

If there’s any concern or questions, please get in touch with your supervisor.

Health and well-being activities outside of residence are permitted (activities like a medical appointment, school, work, volunteering or visiting family at their family home)

Medical appointments, school, work, volunteering or visiting family at their family home are all important to maintaining the health and well-being of the people we support.

At this time, please limit activities to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health area. Other Public Health jurisdictions have differing precautions in place that would need to be reviewed and planned for if leaving WDG Public Health’s area.

While visiting the family home, we are requesting that families recognize and follow the same restrictions placed upon our residences by MCCSS, while the person is visiting their home. That means following the current restrictions placed upon us by MCCSS (Enhanced Precautions), the restrictions placed upon our entire communities (Orange-Restrict), as well as the rules and guidelines for visits, created in consultation with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. For example, while visiting the family home, the person supported shouldn’t be visiting with non-household members. They also shouldn’t be going to other people’s homes, or having any indoor visits. They also shouldn’t be going to a restaurant, shopping, or other recreational activities outside of the family home.

If you have any questions or concerns about what a health and well-being activity may be, please get in touch with your supervisor.

 

Essential overnight absences are permitted

Like an essential visitor, essential overnight absences are permitted for the health and well-being of the people we support.

Visiting the family home is permitted. However, we are requesting that families recognize and follow the same restrictions placed upon our residences by MCCSS, while the person is visiting their home. That means following the current restrictions placed upon us by MCCSS (Enhanced Precautions), the restrictions placed upon our entire communities (Orange-Restrict), as well as the rules and guidelines for visits, created in consultation with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. For example, while visiting the family home, the person supported shouldn’t be visiting with non-household members. They also shouldn’t be going to other people’s homes, or having any indoor visits. They also shouldn’t be going to a restaurant, shopping, or other recreational activities outside of the family home.

Please note that Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is encouraging people to only celebrate the holidays with those who are within their household.

 

If at any time, you have questions about what restrictions are in place, please connect with the residence.

We know that this is incredibly difficult. We’re collectively tired from the restrictions, and from the fear of becoming ill. However, while positive COVID-19 cases surge around us, your continued efforts and diligence, and working together with each other, can maintain the good health of your families, the people we support, our staff, and our community.

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

Regards,

Laura Hanley
Executive Director

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-11-20   |  201120 CLGW Lessening Restrictions – Phase 1


17 November 2020

 

Dear people we support and families

As of yesterday, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health moved into the Orange-Restrict level of the Ontario COVID-19 Framework. What that means is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#orange

Late Friday, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services also announced that Wellington Dufferin Guelph developmental services organization will be moving into Enhanced Precautions. That announcement came by way of memo, which can be read here: https://clgw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Memo-2-Enhanced-Precautions-Wellington-ENG.pdf

As of Wednesday, November 18th, the following restrictions will impact our services:

  • Non-essential visits are permitted, with limitations:
    • Supervised only
    • Physically distanced only
    • Outdoor visits only
    • Indoor visits are suspended
  • Recreational activities outside of residence are suspended (activities like going to a restaurant or for coffee, going bowling or to a movie theatre)
  • Day programs/supports are permitted, but limited to a max group size (including staff) of 5 people
  • Essential visitors are permitted
  • Essential overnight absences are permitted
  • Health and well-being activities outside of residence are permitted (activities like a medical appointment, school, work, or visiting with family at the family home)

To learn more about the MCCSS congregate care precaution levels, please go here: https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/CongregateCare.aspx

This week, CLGW’s Lessening Restrictions Committee will be coming together to discuss if further definition is needed around this announcement.

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

Regards,

Laura Hanley
Executive Director

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-11-17


19 October 2020

 

Dear families and friends,

Today, we’re sharing with you an update to Lessening Restrictions – Phase 1.

This update now reflects indoor visits at the residence. These visits are available to family and friends of the person receiving residential support. These visits, along with continuing outdoor visits while the weather permits, can be very helpful towards the mental health of those living at the residence.

Please take a moment to review the rules and guidelines.

Indoor visits will be available starting Friday October 23, 2020.

For some of our residences, maintaining appropriate physical distancing during an indoor visit may not be possible. As such, we have worked to designate additional CLGW locations to host indoor visits.

When you call to schedule your indoor visit (at least 72 hours in advance), you will be informed if your visit is happening at the residence or at a designated CLGW location. Any special instructions will be given to you in advance of the visit.

Screening before and after your visit will still take place regardless of location. Remaining in the designated areas during the visit will still be in effect. Use of other areas of the location (i.e. washrooms) will remain prohibited.

Some Direct Support Professionals will be resuming one-to-one planning meetings with the people we support. Stay tuned if you’re awaiting one of these planning sessions. These will also occur at a designated CLGW location.

While we are introducing Indoor Visits this week, we are closely monitoring COVID-19 impact in our community, and our surrounding communities. The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has released a helpful tool, explaining the varying levels of precautions a service provider may experience.

It’s available here: https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/CongregateCare.aspx

As of right now, service providers in Wellington County are in the Additional Precautions level. However, should our community’s COVID-19 risk increase, we may be moved into Enhanced Precautions or Outbreak/Comprehensive Precautions. In both of these levels, a number of restrictions will be re-instated on the people we support and our services, which could include suspension of recreational outings, non-essential indoor visits, and more.

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

Regards,

Laura Hanley
Executive Director

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-10-19


14 September 2020

 

Good afternoon everyone,

We’re sharing with you a survey sent to us by the University of British Columbia’s Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship.

The survey will be used to measure the international impact of COVID-19 on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their caregivers. The survey data will be shared with the UCD Centre for Disability Studies in Ireland, as part of a comprehensive international study undertaken by 26 researchers across 19 countries.

Please click here to take the survey

This survey is for anyone 18 years of age or older. The survey is best completed by: a family member of a person (any age) with an intellectual or developmental disability; or a paid staff member supporting a person (any age) with an intellectual or developmental disability.

The survey may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

The survey will close on September 20, 2020.

All data shared as part of your responses to the survey, will not be seen by Community Living Guelph Wellington.

Thanks in advance for your consideration! Your responses will help provide a picture of what people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are experiencing right now, during a pandemic.

 

Links included in this email: https://ucdpsychology.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_80RDSUjDPF6hgnH?Q_Language=EN-CA


10 September 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

In our last letter, we shared that the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services lifted a number of restrictions. These restrictions centred on visiting with friends and family, attending school, shopping, errands, appointments, and essential overnight absences.

A few updates have been added to the initial release from MCCSS, which is available in its entirety here.

With these changes, we consulted Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, as well as our Lessening Restrictions Committee, and our leadership team to understand how we can move each of these areas forward.

Today, we would like to introduce to you Lessening Restrictions – Phase 4.

This phase focuses on Short-Stay Absences and Essential Overnight Absences. It outlines the safety guidelines we have put into place for the people we support and anyone involved in the absences. These safety guidelines are progressive, and rely on our region remaining in Stage 3 of Re-Opening Ontario. They are also meant to protect the good health of the person enjoying the absence, as well as everyone living and working at the residence they will return to.

So what’s a Short-Stay Absence?

It could be attending a volunteer opportunity or a private day program. It could be visiting with friends or family during the day. It could be meeting a friend at a restaurant for dinner or running an errand. A Short-Stay Absence is going out with purpose, and an opportunity to promote emotional-wellbeing for the person supported.

These absences are flexible, but we want to be thoughtful about impact. Each time someone joins a community activity, they increase their contact with others and potentially increase the risk of being exposed to COVID-19. For now, we are encouraging activities, but asking that some thoughtfulness be given to just doing one or two activities per day for right now.

For the time being, transportation to and from a Short-Stay Absence will be by CLGW staff. Families may also want to be involved in the transportation and will be expected to follow our Lessening Restrictions – Phase 2 guidelines. Public transportation and other communal vehicles are not recommended at this time, as there is a possible increased risk of COVID-19 exposure. Taxis may be used in the event that no other private transportation can be arranged.

If the person needs support while participating in their Short-Stay Absence (i.e. employment support, support while volunteering), this will be reviewed on a case by case basis with the residence’s supervisor to ensure we have enough staffing to support the needs of everyone.

Direct Support Professionals will help the person supported learn about, and understand the safety guidelines they need to follow while participating in a Short-Stay Absence.

Essential Overnight Absences and Enhanced Precautions

Spending a night at the family home, or enjoying a weekend away from the residence can be help promote good mental health.

Upon returning from an Essential Overnight Absence, a 14-day Enhanced Precautions is now required. Please take a moment to read through Lessening Restrictions – Phase 4, to understand what all is involved expected in Enhanced Precautions.

When essential overnight absences are scheduled, families will be asked the questions included in SA38 Visitor Guidelines. These questions include how many people may be frequenting your family home, and how many people the person supported might come into contact with. We cannot limit the number of people the person supported sees while home, but if we work together to keep the cohort small and manageable, it will help in the event someone does become ill.

For someone participating in an essential overnight absence, they may also participate in Short-Stay Absences during their 14-day Enhanced Precautions. Again, thoughtfulness around the number of activities someone is participating in will be our most effective measure to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone living in a residence.

 

In the MCCSS release, you will notice a new ‘visitor type’, called Designated Visitor. At this time, we’re doing a little more research and planning around who exactly would be a designated visitor, and how best to roll this out.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this next phase of Lessening Restrictions. While this is a progressive change, we will be consulting with WDG Public Health frequently to see if we need to make adjustments to our preventative measures. This may mean tightening up on some restrictions again, or progressing a little quicker than you might expect. We’re always here, and open to feedback, questions and concerns. Together, we hope that we can safely see our community thrive again.

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

Regards,

Laura Hanley
Executive Director

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-09-10  |  200910 CLGW Lessening Restrictions – Phase 4  |  SA38 Visitor Guidelines v.200910


1 September 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

On Friday, we learned from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that a number of restrictions were being lifted immediately. These restrictions centred on visiting with friends and family, attending school, shopping, errands, appointments, and essential overnight absences.

Thankfully, we have some guidelines in place to support appointments, errands, and having friends or family visit at the residence. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be developing more guidelines to support these lessened restrictions, promoting the safety and health of everyone involved.

We appreciate your understanding through this process. If you have any feedback, ideas, or concerns, please connect with your residence’s supervisor.

Read the full release from MCCSS here.

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

Regards,

Laura Hanley
Executive Director

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-09-01


13 August 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

We have been looking at a variety of solutions that can address the rigidness of our schedules, while still keeping us in line with the current emergency orders, MCCSS’ Guidance documents and Public Health Requirements.

For the past several months, there have been a number of mandates in place that effect our Direct Support Professional teams. While these restrictions have been helpful towards limiting the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in our residences, they have also created a variety of pressure points for staff.

Today, we’re sharing a number of changes to these mandates.

As we work towards our new normal, our staff will continue to be diligent with the preventative measures we do have in place. From the COVID-19 self-screening, to excellent hand hygiene and sanitation, each preventative measure plays a vital role in ensuring that the people we support are healthy and safe.

One Employer Mandate

Early on into the pandemic, the Ontario Government set forward a one-employer mandate for congregate care staff. This mandate limited employees to working for just one congregate care employer (including Long Term Care and Retirement Homes). CLGW broadened the scope of that mandate, so that DSPs were limited to just one employer, regardless of environment, unless working remotely.

For staff who have alternate employment that is not in the congregate care setting (including Long Term Care and Retirement Homes), this mandate is being lifted.

For those who have alternate employment in congregate care (including Long Term and Retirement Homes), we will be revisiting this restriction in September, with advice from the IPAC assessments and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

One-Residence Mandate

To help mitigate internal spread of COVID-19, CLGW proactively implemented a one-residence, or one-location mandate. This preventative measure limited DSPs to just one location, creating a static team to fill the supports needs of that residence.

We will be progressively relaxing this restriction. Staff who are not currently working the maximum hours for their classification, and who have indicated their ability to pick up more shifts, will be assigned up to one other residence to receive or pick-up shifts. An additional residence may be added at a later date based on need and demand. However, if a residence is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, staff will be limited to just one location.

 

With these changes in mind, the number of DSPs who can support a residence or service will increase. That being said, COVID-19 has also presented a variety of challenges for the people we support, which may shift the number of support hours a residence requires. Supervisors and Managers, alongside their teams, will be re-assessing the support levels needed at each residence and service.

While our teams work through the changes, we will continue to hold on recruiting new staff until September. This will offer our current teams, as well as those who have been on leave, the opportunity to rejoin the schedule and establish their hours of work.

As we continue to lessen restrictions, sharing feedback, questions, and concerns with your residential supervisor is very helpful. Conversation and dialogue helps to identify concerns we may not have been aware of (or to what extent), and helps us brainstorm and navigate change as it happens. Working together is more important than ever. We appreciate your support and thoughtfulness as we take these next steps.

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

Regards,

Laura Hanley
Executive Director

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-08-13


30 July 2020

 

In June, we shared with you Lessening Restrictions – Phase 1. This was our first step towards offering family visits at our residences for the people we support.

Today, we are sharing with you an update to these visitor rules and guidelines. This letter contains a summary of the changes you will see.

  • Visitors no longer have to attest to a negative COVID-19 test result in the 14 days leading up to their visit. We announced this when the Government of Ontario relaxed this expectation. However, if you have been or are presently feeling unwell, please stay home and reschedule your visit. We want you to visit, but it needs to be safe to do so. Your health is important, as well as the health of the people we support and our staff.
  • Previously, visits were specific to family members. These visits may now include friends. Friends may include people living in other CLGW residences. The same visitor rules and guidelines will apply to all visitors, including the people we support.
  • However, we aren’t quite ready to have someone living in a CLGW residence, visit a friend living in a non-CLGW residence. This may include a family home, their own apartment, or even at a public place.
  • For now, we are focusing on outdoor visits only. Many of our residences experience unique challenges when hosting an indoor physically distant visit, for up to four people (two visitors, one person we support, one staff member as needed). We are still working on finding creative solutions that work for each residence.
  • Visits may now occur two times per week. Visits are still limited to a maximum of one hour per visit, and a maximum of two visitors.
  • To schedule your visit, please contact the residence. Previously, visits were to be scheduled through the residence’s supervisor. This is no longer the case.
  • If you need an accommodation to successfully visit someone we support, please do not hesitate to contact your residence’s supervisor. Accommodations will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and the supervisor may be able to approve extenuating circumstances.
  • All visitors are expected to review the IPAC Package for visitors in Congregate Living Settings before visiting.

If you have questions about what’s expected of you as a visitor, please reach out to your residence’s supervisor before scheduling your visit.

The complete updated Lessening Restrictions – Phase 1 is available here.

As a helpful reminder, if visiting in person isn’t the best option for you, you can always arrange for a video call with the residence. Each residence has a tablet for this purpose, thanks to the generosity of our community at the beginning of this pandemic.

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-2020-07-30   |   200730 CLGW Lessening Restrictions – Phase 1   |  IPAC Package for visitors in Congregate Living Settings


29 July 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

We are really excited to see that other community organizations are starting to re-open because of Phase 3. These organizations have always been a vital part of the network of developmental services that are available in Guelph and Wellington County.

As you know, we have been taking a little more time. Your patience and understanding has afforded us the opportunity to have meaningful and realistic conversations about what restrictions we could lessen because of Phase 3. Our conversations are continuing, and they revolve around health and safety, as well as what great support looks like in the time of COVID-19 and beyond. We are discussing all of our services, whether open or closed.

We have heard a variety of concerns about lessening the restrictions for any of our closed services right now. We’ve also heard a variety of concerns about recent relaxations by the government around indoor visits. When we’re hearing similar conversations from our service leaders, our Direct Support Professionals, our Lessening Restrictions committee, and our key stakeholders, we must listen. Their message has been clear: we need to be cautious, and we need to be sure.

As an organization that provides services in all aspects of a person’s everyday life, we want to be providing the best support we possibly can.

It’s challenging to see the limitations that are in place.

We have discussed what it would look like to lessen restrictions to a service we provide, and then close it again. We tried to suss out what we thought the mental health impact would be to open and close again. We have also tried to measure the risk of re-opening community-driven services.

Our staffing teams were a critical piece that stood out in our conversations. To provide the best support we possibly can, our staff need support too.

During the first few weeks of COVID-19, our Direct Support Professionals from our closed services were re-deployed to residences. Shortly after, our staff were mandated to work at just one employer to help prevent spread of COVID-19. Many DSPs across our sector work more than one job to make ends meet. They give tirelessly of themselves. So of course, this mandate caused a dip in our residential staffing team, but our re-deployed DSPs helped bridge that gap. To further stop the spread of COVID-19, staff were limited to just one residence within CLGW. Through both of these changes, each residential team rose to the occasion of providing the best support they could.

Our staff have been phenomenal throughout this pandemic. We’re hearing time and again about how much their diligence and thoughtfulness has been the difference maker in keeping the people we support healthy and safe.  For those staff who have been with us throughout the pandemic, they need a break. They need time to take care of themselves.

We’re looking at a variety of solutions that could address the rigidness of our schedules, while still keep us in line with the current emergency orders, MCCSS’ Guidance documents and Public Health requirements. This includes reviewing both the one employer limitation, and the one residence limitation. Our staff need to take time to re-energize, and come back to the work that they love.

Lessening restrictions on our closed services would mean depleting some of those residential staffing teams. For us, it would mean not providing the best support we possibly can in a time of COVID-19.

We have also reallocated some of our resources when we built our COVID-19 Pandemic Response Plan. When there’s a COVID-19 related illness at one of our residences, Public Health mandates that each person living at the residence must self-isolate. This is to help prevent further spread of the virus. For those who can’t tolerate self-isolating, we had to determine a variety of places across our organization where someone we support could temporarily re-locate. Our day sites are some of those temporary residential spaces. Right now, one day site is already hosting people we support, to help lower the number of people living in one residence. This too is a preventative measure, to ensure that if someone were to get ill, we’re minimizing the spread the best we can.

For right now, we will continue to pause on our closed services.

Thank you for your understanding and support throughout this pandemic.

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-2020-07-29


 

21 July 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Last week, we shared with you the government’s announcement around non-essential visitors.

In that letter, we shared that July 22 was the expected start date for indoor visits. To prepare us for this next phase, we have requested feedback and support from our staff to build clear guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone involved. At this time, we are still working on those guidelines. We will also involve our Lessening Restrictions Committee in this process.

We look forward to getting these guidelines in place as soon as we can, and we thank you for your patience with this process.

The government announcement also included the introduction of essential overnight absences (e.g. to a family home), considered necessary to maintain the health, wellness and safety, or any applicable legal rights, of a resident. We are also working on guidelines that will support moving this forward in the very near future.

We expect that these guidelines will continue to evolve over time. We appreciate your flexibility and attention as new information and new criteria is shared.

In our Lessening Restrictions – Phase I and guidelines we included the following:

 

All visitors must attest to having a negative COVID-19 test result, within the previous two weeks and subsequently not tested positive. CLGW is not responsible for providing the test.

 

As a reminder, this attestation is no longer required.

You can read more about MCCSS guidelines for visits here.

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-2020-07-21


16 July 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Thank you for your patience, feedback, and understanding these past few weeks. We appreciate you’re understanding as we adapt and make changes to our Lessening Restrictions guidelines.

Yesterday afternoon, the Government of Ontario announced their updated guidelines for outdoor visits in Long Term Care facilities. These updates were effective immediately. They also announced their progressive plan to include indoor visits, beginning July 22, 2020. Shortly after, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services released their updated visiting guidelines.

The MCCSS release is available here.

We are really excited to see this positive step forward for the people we support and their families. The people we support experience social isolation in a variety of ways and this pandemic has really put an exclamation mark on that. Having progressive steps that help reconnect the people we support, with those who matter most to them, is essential.

Effective immediately for CLGW, families no longer have to attest to having a negative COVID-19 test within the two weeks prior to the visit.

Supervisors, Managers and the Lessening Restrictions Committee will be discussing how best to implement indoor visits. We recognize that each of our residences has unique features and circumstances that need to be considered to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone at the residence. This includes considering where in the residence visits can occur, how to best bring visitors into the residence, and so much more.

Once we have this information sorted out, we will share it with you.

Earlier this week, we released to staff an update to Lessening Restrictions – Phase 2.

For some of the people we support, their primary hair dresser or bank is not within their immediate neighbourhood or community. For some communities there is only one drive thru, which can be very limiting.

We are requiring that drives remain in Guelph and Wellington County for now. This helps to ensure we continue to follow all Public Health directives, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people we support and staff.

There are also some circumstances, where it is necessary to go for a drive that is longer than two hours. As an example – perhaps someone gets their haircut by a hairdresser in another town. This drive and appointment may take more than two hours.

Staff will be working alongside the people we support to arrange for these drives, appointments, and coordinating with Supervisors around extenuating circumstances.

The Government of Ontario has also extended most emergency orders, through to July 29, 2020.

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-2020-07-16


9 July 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Today, we’re ready to introduce Lessening Restrictions – Phase 3.

Our Lessening Restrictions Committee has been hard at work, discussing the different ways our services can move forward, while still ensuring the safety and good health of the people we support, their families, and our staff.

In Phase 3, you will find that our focus is on banking, haircuts and foot care.

As of today, July 9th, the people we support can begin booking appointments again, for haircuts, foot care, and banking in person (an appointment is not always necessary).

This adds to our Lessening Restrictions – Phase 2, which focused on re-introducing going for drives in CLGW vehicles, for the people we support.

We think this is just one of many important phases to come, that addresses personal care, choice, and autonomy for the people we support.

If you have any questions or concerns, please connect with your residence’s supervisor.

A few weeks back, we reported to you that two Direct Support Professionals, and two people we support had tested positive for COVID-19. Today, we’re happy to report that all of these positive cases have been resolved, and that the residence is no longer required to self-isolate. Both Direct Support Professionals are returning to work this week. This team has been very resilient through this time. They worked collaboratively and thoughtfully to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.

Also, a family member shared with us a resource that we think might be helpful to have! CAMH has created a Self-help Booklet Series for people with developmental disabilities, that can be used with the support family members, friends, staff and health care professionals. Each booklet comes with a how-to guide, and the booklets are intended to encourage conversations about feelings and making plans for staying well during COVID-19. Some of the booklets address an introduction to COVID-19, feeling anxious, feeling down, getting active, and having a good night’s sleep, amongst others.

We hope that you will these helpful:  https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19/faq-and-resources/self-help-booklet-series

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-2020-07-09   |    200708 CLGW Lessening Restrictions – Phase 3


2 July 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

This week, we have finalized Lessening Restrictions – Phase 2. Please give it a read.

In Phase 1, we worked diligently to setup safe outside family visits for the people we support. Our next phase is focused on going for drives in a Community Living Guelph Wellington vehicle.

In an effort to promote mental health and well-being, drives are a helpful way to reconnect the people we support with things they enjoy outside of their immediate neighbourhood.

As of July 3rd, 2020, people we support can go for a drive up to two times per week, up to 2 hours per drive in a CLGW vehicle with a Direct Support Professional.

This phase also offers greater flexibility, so that the people we support can drive-by a family member or friend’s house and visit, while staying within the vehicle and having good physical distancing practices.

If you have any questions or concerns, please connect with your residence’s supervisor.

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-2020-07-02    |    200630 CLGW Lessening Restrictions – Phase II


23 June 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Last week, we shared with you that a person we support and a staff member, located at the same residence, had tested positive for COVID-19.

In our next steps with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, all staff working at the residence, as well as those living there, received COVID-19 testing.

From those results, another person we support and a staff member have tested positive.

As advised by WDG Public Health, those who were in close contact of the four positive cases are required to isolate to limit any potential spread, as follows:

  • Staff for this residence will be participating in a work-home isolation, until advised otherwise.
  • People supported in this residence will be self-isolating to a specific area of this residence.

We will continue our work alongside the local health authority, as well as within the team at the residence to ensure that staff and the people we support are safe and have the support they need.

This is a challenging virus, and it affects everyone differently. We continue to hope for a speedy recovery and good health for the people we support, as well as our Direct Support Professionals. We’re looking forward to everyone returning to the residence, when they are healthy and ready to do so.

Tomorrow, June 24th, is a Developmental Service Worker Appreciation Day, an initiative by CUPE. If you have a moment, please visit our social media channels after 8am tomorrow morning. We will have posted a letter, and invite you to leave a note of appreciation for a Direct Support Professional who has had a positive impact on your, or your family’s life.

You can find us on:

 

Last week, you would have received a memo regarding Guelph Transit re-instating their bus fares. While our required restrictions have not changed, we do support a variety of people living outside of our residential settings. CLGW acts as a hub for bus passes for many of the people we support. We are mindful that public transportation information might also be important for anyone receiving services in the Guelph area, as well as staff who may take the bus to work. We apologize for any confusion this memo might have created – however, previous restrictions do remain in place.

As you may know, the Government of Ontario continues to extend emergency orders. The latest extension is through to June 30th, 2020.

Also, Ontario.ca has some helpful mental health resources for staff and families.

You will find Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy available to you, to help cope with stress, isolation, pressure caring for family members or community members, information overload and more. To learn more, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-support-people#icbt

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-2020-06-23


17 June 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

This morning, we learned that a person we support and a staff member, located at the same residence, have tested positive for COVID-19.

The person we support is receiving appropriate medical care, and they are doing well.

The staff member who tested positive has not reported to work since June 14th. They are currently self-isolating at home for the required period of time.

We are working closely with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to ensure the safety and health of the people we support and our staff. For those in close contact, they have been notified by Public Health, and were informed about what measures they need to take. This will include immediate and necessary measures for the residence affected, as well as required guidelines to limit risk and spread.

We have informed families of the people we support living at this residence, as well as all staff who work there.

Prior to these two positive test results, this residence had received its universal surveillance testing. All of those who were tested, received a negative COVID-19 test result at the time.

As advised by WDG Public Health, those who were receiving support or in close contact of the two positive cases, are required to self-isolate to limit any potential spread. Staff for this residence will be participating in a work-home isolation, for 14 days or until advised otherwise. People supported will be self-isolating to a specific area of this residence.

A second universal surveillance test will be performed as soon as possible.

To also help keep people safe, staff and those living in the residence are wearing additional Personal Protective Equipment.

Our staff continue to complete an Active Screening Checklist, to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Should a staff member fail this screening, they are instructed to not report to their shift. A failed screening instructs the staff member to seek out medical advice regarding whether or not they should be tested.

We will increase our twice-daily health checks for the people we support living at this residence. This includes monitoring for symptoms, as well as temperature checks. We have also sanitized the residence, and will continue to use an increased disinfecting and hygiene procedure.

We hope for a speedy recovery and good health for the person we support, as well as our staff member. As an organization, we have been very fortunate in our good health throughout this pandemic. Our Direct Support Professionals have been tremendous in following procedures and processes that help to keep people safe and healthy. We are grateful, truly, for all that they are doing.

We will continue our work alongside the local health authority, and take every preventative measure available to us, to protect the health and wellbeing of the people we support and our staff.

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-2020-06-17


 

12 June 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Earlier this week, we were finalizing our rules and guidelines for outdoor family visits. As you may have heard, the Government of Ontario announced their criteria for these visits, yesterday. Of note from this announcement, the government is requiring visitors to attest that they have received a negative COVID-19 test result in the previous two weeks, and subsequently not tested positive. The residence is not responsible for providing the testing for visitors.

Attached, you will find Lessening Restrictions – Phase 1. In Phase 1, we focused on family visits for the people we support, and the rules and guidelines needed to do that safely.

These rules and guidelines capture the Government of Ontario’s requirements, as well as some unique requirements for our organization. The rules and guidelines have also been reviewed and vetted by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Please take a minute to read through all of the rules and guidelines. If you have any questions, please connect with the supervisor for your family member’s residence.

These last few months have been a very stressful and challenging time for everyone. As we lessen restrictions, we ask for your patience and understanding. We have been doing our best to keep the people we support and our staff safe and healthy through all of this.

As a visitor, you have a variety of responsibilities that will help keep everyone safe who live and work at the residence.

  • We ask that you respect the rules and guidelines that have been put into place, and to ask questions if you do not understand them.
  • Please answer the screening questions honestly.
  • Your visit is limited to your family member, and at this time will not include other people supported.
  • We also ask for your patience and understanding. We want you to visit with your family member and we need to ensure everyone’s safety when doing so.

When you visit, you can expect the following:

  • You will have been asked, at the time of scheduling your visit, if you have received a negative COVID-19 test result in the previous two weeks.
  • Outside of the entrance to the residence, you will be asked a variety of screening questions and will have your temperature taken before visiting with your family member.
  • You will also be screened again when you leave.
  • You are expected to bring your own chair, snacks and refreshments, as well as a mask to your visit.
  • You are expected to wear a mask at all times, and maintain six (6) feet of physical distance.
  • You won’t be able to share your snacks with the person you are visiting.
  • Your visit may be supervised.

With your help, we can continue to keep the people we support and our staff safe and healthy through these visits.

Earlier this week, the Chief Medical Officer for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced that face coverings are mandatory in all commercial establishments, as of 12:01 am, today.

The order allows commercial establishments the right to refuse people entry if they are not wearing a face covering. It also mandates that businesses have to have alcohol-based rub available at entrances.

In an effort to ensure safety while in the community, we are distributing two cloth masks to every Direct Support Professional, as well as to the people we support.

The people we support will also have to wear a mask while visiting commercial establishments in our community. Some of the people we support may want to begin wearing a mask for their own comfort and peace of mind.

The cloth masks that the people we support and our DSPs will be receiving, were donations from a long list of generous community members. These donors took a keen interest in ensuring the health and safety of the people we support. These masks were often hand sewn, made with care, or purchased from a skilled maker.

These cloth masks will be shared with Direct Support Professionals and the people we support living in our residences, first. This is to help minimize what risks we can to our congregate care settings.

To help understand the role a non-medical mask can have in your safety and health, Public Health of Ontario has provided a Non-medical Masks and Face Coverings Guide. We are also sharing a plain language graphic that explains the use of a cloth mask.

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-2020-06-12

Download the Outdoor Family Visits Rules and Guidelines: Lessening Restrictions – Phase 1 for CLGW


 

9 June 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

We hope you and your family are well and healthy.

Yesterday, we learned more about Stage 2 of re-opening the Ontario economy. As our team has been discussing next steps for our organization, and lessening restrictions, this news offers a pivot for what our organization can do. We are also seeing other organizations in our community share what their plans are as well.

To help us in this transition, we have assembled a Lessening Restrictions Committee. Their goal is to research, discuss, and plan more steps for our organization. This committee includes people we support, family members and varying levels of staff (both unionized and not). Our hope is to have a good cross-section of our organization present to discuss how we can lessen restrictions in a meaningful and safe way. We are looking forward to what they recommend in the coming weeks.

We are also nearly ready to share with you about outdoor family visits. These visits can begin as early as June 18, 2020, just in time for Father’s Day. For these visits, a strict rules and regulations list will be shared, that families, the people we support, and staff need to follow. For example, all visitors will be required to wear a mask at all times during their visit.

The rules and regulations have been guided, and vetted, by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, and are required to ensure the health and wellbeing of all involved. Your support of these rules and regulations helps ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone that lives and works at the residence you are visiting. We truly appreciate your help.  Stay tuned for more details coming this week.

The Government of Ontario has extended Emergency Orders through to June 19, 2020.

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-2020-06-09


 

29 May 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Collectively, we have all worked very hard to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people we support and our staff. We’re grateful that families have taken our visitor restrictions and preventative measures seriously. However, we also understand that it’s been a long eleven weeks and that there have been points throughout this pandemic where you have wanted to physically visit with your loved one. To help ensure that additional COVID-19 testing does not need to be done or that we do not need to implement 14-day isolation periods as directed by health officials when uncontrolled contact occurs, please continue to respect CLGW’s visitor limitation. All nonessential visitors are not allowed at any of our locations for the time being. We are actively working with local health officials, as well as staff groups, to build a plan for families to visit with their loved ones. We want visits to happen, but they need to be in a safe, respectful and controlled way to ensure the wellbeing of everyone in the residence. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

On Wednesday, the Government of Ontario announced that they are extending all emergency orders through to June 9th, 2020. This extension goes beyond the Declaration of Emergency, which was extended by the Ontario Legislature through to June 2nd.

Earlier this week, Universal Surveillance Testing began at our residences. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health will be taking a staggered approach to testing. This means that a few residences will be tested at a time, with the goal that all residences will be tested by the middle of June. Staff, as well as the people we support, will be tested at each residence. As per last week’s communication to you, it is important to CLGW that the people we support understand and give consent before receiving their test.

Temporary pandemic pay has been top of mind for our staff for quite a while now. While CLGW hasn’t received all of the required information from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services yet, we are moving forward. Our staff learned yesterday that Direct Support Professionals will be receiving a retroactive payment for the $4/hour pandemic premium, as well as the first lump sum amount for those working more than 100 hours in a month. Both of these payments are based on hours worked. We’re excited to roll out these retroactive payments.

Nothing about COVID-19 has been ordinary, routine, or expected. But as an entire staff group, our DSPs have risen to the challenge of keeping themselves and the people we support safe and healthy. Their work is making a difference. And in some small way, this financial compensation from our government is an acknowledgement of the tremendous work that they are doing every single day.

We know that you may be wondering just how long this pandemic will last. It’s top of mind for us too. The challenge that our organization is facing as a service provider, as a collective team who provides support to people, is complex. Along our COVID-19 journey, we have had to consider the early effects, what was then an imminent threat of illness for the people we support and our staff. CLGW had to make a variety of difficult decisions and put into place preventative measures, both pre-emptive and in response to measures directed by the government. We collaboratively took steps to do our best to nurture safety and wellbeing for the people we support and our staff.

As more businesses and community organizations begin to open, the preventative measures we have in place will be very important. Unfortunately, we are not through the COVID-19 pandemic just yet. While recent testing numbers from the government indicate that there are lessening positive results in many areas of our province, there are still hotspots and the potential for community spread. There is also a very real possibility that additional waves of this virus may happen. So, as we continue to discuss the lessening of restrictions for our organization, such as outside visits with families at residences, van rides, community activities and more, we will be mindful in our decisions that a second wave of this virus may come. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to plan the next phase, both internally and with community partners like Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health. We’re also open to feedback and suggestions through this. If you have ideas and suggestions, please contact and share with your loved one’s site supervisor. They will bring those ideas forward in our planning meetings.

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-2020-05-29


 

21 May 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

On Tuesday, we received news from the Government of Ontario that all emergency orders have been extended through to May 29th.

This week, we also learned that Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health will be moving forward with universal surveillance testing in congregate care settings. This meets a provincial directive to intensify efforts that could help stop and contain the spread of COVID-19. WDG Public Health will be partnering with local health care organizations to implement testing. They will be testing all residents and staff. Those who are asymptomatic are being tested for surveillance purposes.

For Community Living Guelph Wellington, this means a staggered approach to testing. We are working with WDG Public Health to schedule a few residences a time. Each of these residences will be notified and given more information closer to their testing date.

It’s important to us that the people we support give appropriate consent prior to having a test administered. Under no circumstances can a CLGW employee give consent, written or verbal. Many of the people we support can make an informed decision and give consent. However, some cannot, and a substitute decision maker will need to be notified. As a family member for someone that we support, please know that you may receive this call.

WDG Public Health has informed us that once testing is complete, it may take between 3 and 10 days to receive results. CLGW will receive the results for the people we support. Staff members will receive their own results directly. We are requiring staff to report their results to CLGW.

We understand that universal testing may increase the number of staff or people we support who test positive even though they are asymptomatic. Through this period, we will continue to employ all preventative measures that are available to us, and will scale those measures based on positive results. We will also follow directives given by Public Health to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people we support and our staff.

As we move into the next phases of this pandemic, we are revisiting our one-employer and our single work-site initiatives.  At this time, we are extending both preventative measures through to August 31st, 2020. This helps our scheduling team effectively prepare for the coming months, including creating flexibility for time off requests for staff. Our teams have been working tirelessly through all of this, and being able to take time off is essential for the mental health of our staff. However, we recognize that new information, the state of emergency or emergency orders may be lifted before the end of August. Should circumstances change, we will revisit this extension.

At this time, all previously suspended services and access will remain suspended until further notice.

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-2020-05-21


 

14 May 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

As the Government of Ontario prepares for the next phases in this pandemic, we wanted to take a moment and update you.

We heard earlier this week that the government has extended the state of emergency through to June 2nd. This extension helps inform organizations like CLGW. It lets us know that we can stay the course, right now, with the decisions and plans we have in place. Many of those plans and decisions were impacted in some way by emergency orders enacted during this state of emergency. What we do know is that some of the decisions that were made to protect vulnerable populations, should remain in effect through all three phases of re-opening our province, as announced by the government.

So, at this time, all previously suspended services and access will remain suspended until further notice.

However, our team is looking at ways for families, friends and the people we support to visit with each other in a responsible and healthy way. While these conversations are early on and in consultation with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, we’re discussing what that might look like. That includes practices around good physical distancing, should visits be indoors or outdoors, and variety of other criteria. We’ll have more details in the coming weeks.

This pandemic has been isolating in so many ways for the people we support, their families, and our communities. Our routines have changed. The ways we connect with each other has changed. As we imagine what our new normal might look like, it’s important that we continue to work together in an effort to keep everyone healthy and safe.

Late last week, the government announced an emergency order that allowed for school board employees to voluntarily support congregate care settings. This is great news for CLGW. In the event that one of our residential teams has to be on leave for an extended period of time, this is an added backup and assurance that we will be able to continue to provide appropriate levels of support.

We’re also in conversations with WDG Public Health to build a plan for those who want to return to their CLGW residence. This conversation is also very early on. It will be essential to have good preventative measures in place to ensure everyone’s health and wellbeing during these transitions. We will update as soon as we have more details.

Previously, we had shared about the changes to eligible expenses under the Passport program. Should you have any questions, the Passport Community Developer for Wellington/Dufferin is available and you can find more information online here.

In our last communication, we shared a couple of online trainings you could participate in. This time around, we wanted to share two mental health resources that we think might be great to have on hand.

First, from our friends in Waterloo Region, Carizon Family and Community Services has launched an online, self-serve mental health resource. Equipped with videos, practical ideas and articles, as well as useful tips and activities for a variety of ages, this website is a great tool. Check it out at: https://www.carizonforthecommunity.ca/

The folks at Shoppers Drug Mart also have a great online resource for taking care of your mental health. With tools and tips for stress management, maintaining a health mindset, meditation and stretching, as well as mindfulness, you’ll find a little bit of everything to help your state of mind. You can learn more here: https://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/health-and-pharmacy/covid-19-mental-health

At present, we have one Direct Support Professional who is awaiting test results. To date, 34 Direct Support Professionals and 10 people who we support have been tested for COVID-19. Aside from two staff testing positive early on into the pandemic, we have been tremendously fortunate with good health across our organization. Our Direct Support Professionals are playing such an important role though all of this, adapting to changes and taking action quickly. We’re hopeful that the preventative measures we have in place will continue to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all 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-2020-05-14


 

1 May 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Thank you for your patience, care, and resilience through this pandemic. We know that many in our communities are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. To help, we are sharing a resource sent to us by the folks at Community Living Windsor that we think may be helpful.

Linked with this letter is a free training opportunity from the folks at Community Living Windsor and Peter Marks, CEO of the Centre for Conscious Care. The second stream is geared specifically towards family members and Direct Support Professionals who are providing support to someone who may be experiencing heightened anxiety through this pandemic. The training is six sessions, held over zoom, beginning May 12. Registration details are available in the attached package.

We want to reassure you that we are taking as many preventative measures as we can, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people we support and our staff. Late last week, the Ontario Government released an additional Emergency Order impacting congregate care settings. In response, we have further enhanced our screening checklists. Our staff are also wearing masks while working in CLGW residences. We’re also working with Public Health officials around universal testing and other preventative measures we can be taking to go even further in ensuring health and wellbeing through all of this.

We also heard from the government about frontline workers receiving a temporary Pandemic Pay premium. This is a well-deserved announcement, and we’re excited that our staff are being recognized for their tremendous dedication.

Again, thank you for your kindness, feedback, and help through these difficult and uncertain 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-2020-05-01


 

24 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Yesterday, the Government of Ontario announced parts of their COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People. This plan is geared towards protecting vulnerable populations during this outbreak, and builds on previously announced measures by the government.

Right now, we’re waiting on some of the details from this plan, in an effort to ensure the health and safety of the people we support and our staff. We will continue to look to the government, as well as local health professionals, to guide preventative measures during this time.

To read more: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-delivers-action-plan-to-increase-protection-for-vulnerable-people-and-those-who-care-for-the.html

Yesterday evening, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services released changes to eligible expenses under the Passport program. This temporary shift expands the list of eligible expenses and recognizes that many community-based activities are closed. For more details: https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/developmental/serviceSupport/passport.aspx

Should we receive more details around this update to Passport, we will share those as they become available.

In previous communications, we shared that two of our staff had tested positive for COVID-19. As of yesterday, one of those staff members has recovered, which was confirmed by two negative test results from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health. Good news indeed!

At present, we have three Direct Support Professionals and one person that we support who are awaiting test results. We continue to take measures available to us to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all involved.

Earlier this week, we received notice that we will be receiving Personal Protective Equipment from the government. We continue to source gloves, masks, gowns, and face shields in the event that we need to increase our PPE use. Some community members have generously donated handmade cloth masks, as a temporary alternative. We’re tremendously grateful for their generosity and thoughtfulness 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-2020-04-24


 

22 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

In the past few days, you may have read in the news that the COVID-19 outbreak has likely peaked in Ontario. This is good news for Ontarians, and positive feedback that the precautions we are taking in our communities are working. However, congregate settings and long-term care facilities are still of increased concern.

Last week, we received some good news for our staff. We know that many of our Direct Support Professionals who have families, have been working hard to juggle work and child care. The Government of Ontario updated their list of frontline workers who qualified for Emergency Child Care to include staff working in developmental services.

We continue to work with our staff to take every preventative measure available to us. As of yesterday, we had finalized our one-employer initiative. CLGW staff who were working for more than one employer were asked to choose one employer for the duration of the pandemic. This initiative significantly helped our efforts to limit staff to cross over.  By the end of this week, our staff team will be limited to one location. We have been working diligently with our scheduling, adjusting teams to ensure that we have the appropriate support levels in place for each location. This was a significant undertaking, and necessary to limit the risk of spread.

And lastly, thank you for all of your support with our Re-connecting Families fundraiser. We’re happy to share that we have ordered the necessary tablets for each of our residences. Some of those tablets have already been received and are being prepped for distribution as you read this. We couldn’t have achieved this feat without your support.

At present, all previous suspensions to service and access remain in effect.

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-2020-04-22


 

16 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Thank you! We are just $1,813.50 away from our Re-connecting Families fundraiser goal.

Thanks to your support and sharing, we’re so close to our goal of providing each and every one of our residences with a tablet. This tablet is a great resource for the people we support to reconnect with their families and friends, virtually. We have also received a few used tablets, which are currently being prepped for distribution to some of the people we support. Thank you so much for all that you’re doing to help re-connect the people we support with the people who matter most to them.

As you know, we have two staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. These two staff members were working at the same location. We are grateful to report, that six additional staff members from this location have received negative test results. We are awaiting on one more result from this location.

To date, 21 staff members and 7 people we support have been tested for COVID-19. Some of those 21 staff members have been working in Long Term Care facilities, or at other employers that have required testing regardless of symptoms. We are currently aware of 7 staff members with outstanding results, as well as two people we support who were tested over the weekend.

Yesterday, the Government of Ontario announced that Long Term Care workers are being limited to one location. In the coming days, we will be taking similar actions with our staff in an effort to limit risk of exposure to the people we support. This includes asking staff to limit themselves to one employer. These steps will help us assess our scheduling for staff, and plan for appropriate support levels at every one of our residences. We will also be able to better develop a backup team, should staff become ill or need prolonged time off.

At present, all previous suspensions to service and access remain in effect.

We can’t thank the people we support and our families enough, for all of your generosity, understanding and support through these uncertain 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-2020-04-16


 

14 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Last week, we shared with you about our first positive test result for COVID-19. Over the weekend, we learned that another staff person at the same location has tested positive.

Working with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, we’ve identified staff and people supported who have come into contact with both positive cases. They are being tested, and we are taking every precautionary measure recommended by WDG Public Health.

Many of you have reached out with questions, sharing your concerns about staffing.

Over the past several weeks, our Service Managers, Supervisors and Scheduling Team have been working diligently to reduce the number of staff working at multiple sites. This is a challenging process. Support needs are different at each residential location, and the staff complement that goes with it is as individualized as the people we support. With all of that, our goal remains to limit staff members to working at just one location.  We will provide a further update to this by the end of this week.

We have also taken additional measures to limit risk.

An auxiliary team of Direct Support Professionals has been created. This team will be responsible for grocery runs (where on-line ordering is not available or practical), picking up essential supplies including Personal Protective Equipment and running a variety of errands. Their role will help limit additional contact points with the public that our staff might traditionally experience.  These staff members will not work directly with people supported as part of this auxiliary role.

We will continue to look to local, provincial and federal organizations, as well as health officials for guidance on how to best prevent COVID-19.

Our staff continue to do their pre-screening checklist, with guidance from the Ministry of Health, prior to every shift. Should a staff member fail this screening, they do not report for their shift.

We are also continuing our increased health checks for the people we support. In addition to monitoring for symptoms, we are taking temperatures twice a day. We continue to rigorously disinfect and employ increased hygiene protocols with all residential locations.

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-2020-04-14


 

8 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

This afternoon, we learned that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff member who tested positive has not reported to work since March 31st. They are currently self-isolating for the required period of time.

We are working closely with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to ensure the safety and health of the people we support and our staff. For those in close contact, they have been notified by Public Health, and were informed about what measures they need to take. This will include immediate and necessary measures for the residence affected, as well as required guidelines to limit risk and spread.

As advised by WDG Public Health, those who received support from this staff member are also required to self-isolate to limit any potential spread. We will continue to closely monitor for symptoms.

These are concerning and uncertain times. We look to local, provincial and federal organizations, as well as health officials for guidance on how to best prevent COVID-19.

One of our preventative measures, as guided by the Ministry of Health, is a pre-screening checklist that staff go through before every shift. Should a staff member fail this screening, they do not report for their shift.

We have also implemented increased health checks for the people we support. On top of monitoring for symptoms, we now take temperatures twice a day. We have also increased our disinfecting and hygiene protocols with all residential locations.

We will continue our work alongside the local health authority, and take every preventative measure available to us, to protect the health and wellbeing of the people we support and our staff.

We hope for a speedy recovery and good health for our staff member. Our Direct Support Professionals have been tremendous through these uncertain times, and we are grateful for all that they are doing.

Regards,

Laura Hanley and Gerry Walsh
Executive Director and Board President

Download or review the official communication: covid-19-comm-2020-04-08


 

7 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Throughout this pandemic, information has changed rapidly. Each day brings new reasons for concern, new preventative measures, and a need to be flexible to ensure our health and wellbeing. We have all been active participants in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your resilience, patience and resolve in the face of the unknown.

Last week, we received from the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Group Homes and Co-Living Settings. Those guidelines are helping to bring clarity and new direction to how we ensure the health and safety of the people we support and our staff. For example, those guidelines gave us greater clarity on pre-screening for staff. So, we have enhanced our pre-shift Screening Checklist to include additional measures to assess the health and wellbeing of staff before coming on shift. More will come for staff, but we wanted you to know that we are consulting as many resources as we can, and will continue to adapt and be agile as new information becomes available.

We shared yesterday about an order enacted by the Government of Ontario. This order offers more decision making authority for service agencies like CLGW, and is available here for you to read.

Also available for you to read, is the communication sent to us in follow-up to the emergency order enacted by the Government of Ontario. It outlines that while the order gives service agencies more authority, we are all encouraged to continue to work collaboratively. Keeping lines of communication open, asking questions, and working together to ensure the people we support are our first priority is essential during these times.

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-2020-04-07


 

6 April 2020

 

Dear people we support and families,

Last week, we were still awaiting results for a staff member being tested for COVID-19. We’re grateful to report that those tests have returned negative. At present, four staff and one person we support have been tested, with all results returning negative for COVID-19.

As of this morning, another person we support and a staff member have been advised by medical professionals to be tested for COVID-19. These new tests are not connected with each other, nor with any of those previously tested. We will inform once we receive results. Also, we will continue to directly inform those who may be impacted.

We also received some good news from the Government of Ontario.

Over the weekend, they announced a $40 million COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund. This fund allows organizations like ours to apply for funding to help offset costs related to additional staff and compensation (e.g. overtime), personal protective equipment, additional cleaning costs and more.

They also announced an Order affecting service agencies. This order offered the reasonable ability for organizations like CLGW to make important decisions without negatively affecting their Collective Bargaining Agreement with their union (should they have one). CLGW has a great working relationship with our union, CUPE. While many of these new privileges were already agreed upon with the union, we’re grateful that this Order offers more flexibility in these times of need.

At the heart of both announcements, is the assurance that the people we support will receive the support they need during this pandemic.

To ensure the health and wellbeing of the people we support, we have suspended van and car rides. While there are exceptions (i.e. a necessary medical appointment), this preventative measure will help limit potential COVID-19 contact points.

You also may have seen our Re-connecting Families fundraiser.

As of this morning, we had raised $5,137 of our $12,147 goal, through our website and on Facebook. That’s a fantastic start! These funds will go directly to purchasing 35 tablets, to be distributed to our residential locations. We have also had a few generous folks offer gently used tablets and devices – thank you!

If you’d like to help us get to our goal, here’s what you can do:

  1. Share the Re-connecting Families fundraiser on your social media:
    1. Like our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CLGuelphWell/
    2. Share the Pinned Post on your social media channels and with family and friends
      1. If you choose to share why this is important to the work you do, please do not include any confidential information about the people you support

 

  1. Share via email, text, or in conversation with others:
    1. Direct people you know who might want to help to https://clgw.ca/donate
      1. All details related to the Re-Connecting Families fundraiser are available there
    2. If you have the means, please consider giving through one of the two donation channels

Thank you so much to all who have already supported. We have generously received donations from 29 different people – some of which are families and staff, and some from new friends to CLGW!

 

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-2020-04-06


 

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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