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**UPDATE** April 14, 2020: To the Families, Volunteers and Friends of Community Living Kingston and District

 

Update on COVID-19

We continue to make our way through very anxious and unsettling times in our community, province and well beyond.  The decisions we have made as an organization undoubtedly inconvenience many and put others in even more stressful and challenging situations.  We understand that and are working to limit the disruption as much as we can.  The core objective in every decision we make is to keep individuals, families, employees, volunteers and others healthy and safe.  We are taking the advice of public health experts and implementing measures that will position us to achieve our goal – that no person or family served, employee or volunteer gets sick.  Some say that this goal is unrealistic given the contagious nature of this virus, yet that will remain our primary objective.  I’m pleased to report that, as of today, we have no known cases of coronavirus for persons served or employees.

Below is information related to the changes that have been made in response to the threat of the coronavirus.  I hope you find this helpful.  Further updates will be provided on our website as this situation unfolds.  Currently, we are assuming that we will be able to begin returning to normal operations in the middle of June.  This timeframe will obviously be adjusted as conditions dictate.  Please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the management team if you have questions or require further clarification.

  1. Supports and Services

Day Supports:  Our Options program at 1292 Bath Road, CO2 Program at 1440 Princess Street, and Milestones Program at 400 Elliott Avenue have been suspended until further notice.

Respite Services:  All respite services, including trip respite and weekend respite from our home on Arbour Crescent have been suspended until further notice.

Kwik Shred and Employment Supports:  Our Kwik Shred operation on Fortune Crescent is maintaining operations although Employment Supports have been suspended until further notice.

Volunteer Services:  All volunteer services have been discontinued until further notice.

Child Care Resource Consultant Services:  CCRCS has suspended all activity apart from maintaining contact with families and providing resources to assist with children who are now staying at home.

Family Support:  Family Support services have been scaled back and now include only remote check-ins with families and individuals to provide support, information and resources as needed.

Supported Independent Living:  SIL has been scaled back as well and is providing only the most basic service to those who are able to function with a high degree of independence while maintaining intensive service to those who require it for their own health and safety.

Family Home and In-Home Supports:  Some individualized supports to families have been maintained while others have been suspended.  A determination, in consultation with families, was made based on circumstances, health and safety factors, and availability of natural supports in order to reduce services and ensure that those considered essential were uninterrupted.

Residential Services:  All 24 hour group living arrangements are continuing as usual with the exception of strict rules on visitation and screening and with staff teams that are now “siloed” to prevent employees from working in more than one program.

  1. Staffing

Staff members who are able to work from home are doing that.  For those who work in programs, we have redeployed more than 100 employees.  There have been no layoffs and none are anticipated, although there will be a temporary dip in the number of scheduled hours that part time employees are accustomed to.  Redeployments were executed individually and were based on existing relationships, familiarity with programs, and suitability of skills to program needs.  Most staff members were reassigned to residential services, providing a built-in buffer (extra staffing) in case staffing resources become depleted as this pandemic continues.  At the same time, we have been careful not to introduce too many new people to any one home in order to avoid disruption and unnecessary traffic.  Despite the challenging logistics in implementing this strategy, staff members have been generally pleased that their jobs are safe and that their reassignment was done thoughtfully, not arbitrarily.  Other staff members continue to work in programs with adjusted hours and activities as described above.  Staff members in the scheduling department worked (and continue to work) exceptionally long hours without complaint in order to complete this monumental task.  They are true champions.

  1. Offices

Our offices at 541 Days Road, 645 Gardiners Road, and 26 Mill Street in Gananoque are closed to all visitors.  Any deliveries to those locations must be arranged in advance.

  1. Screening

Anyone entering any CLKD program location or office must complete a screening checklist prior to entry.  This screening includes temperature taking with a forehead scan type thermometer that is provided.

  1. Preventative Measures Taken

As described above, locations have been closed to all visitors including families, strict screening procedures are in place at all sites, and staff members have be “siloed” to eliminate crossover traffic between homes.  Additionally, CLKD has been very successful at securing personal protective equipment (PPE) during a time when this is extremely difficult.  We are now well stocked with thermometers, gowns, gloves, masks, goggles, hand sanitizer and other disinfectants.  Procedures for additional cleaning of all locations have been implemented, particularly related to high touch surfaces.  The use of drive thru and take out options at all restaurants is now prohibited within any CLKD service.  This also include home delivery, with the exception of groceries.

Our Options day program on Bath Road is being converted to an alternative residential location where up to three individuals can be quarantined if the need arises.  This can be done with modest changes to the space, the most significant being the installation of a temporary shower.  Of course, this will only be used in circumstances where an individual cannot, for whatever reason, self-isolate in their own room in a home or for someone in another program or with a family where exercising this option is prudent.  We are also looking at equipping the lower level of one of our homes into a self-isolation location.

  1. Management and Communications

The management team meets every afternoon at 3:00, typically for 90 minutes or two hours to discuss emerging issues, preventative measures, and scenarios that may present themselves in the days and weeks ahead.  I distribute an update to all employees daily to keep everyone informed of the steps that we are taking as an employer and service provider, to issue directives and instructions, to share helpful resources such as videos and articles, and to offer support, encouragement and thanks for everyone’s patience and dedication during such trying times.

I attend Provincial Network meetings twice per week that also serves to link CLKD with developments provincially, all of which have some level of impact on our organization and community.  As well, we now hold weekly meetings of the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Focus Group (service providers) to establish frequent lines of communication and support collaboration locally as we navigate through this crisis.  Lastly, I am part of the Mayor’s Task Force that meets twice weekly, is chaired by Mayor Bryan Paterson and involves community and civic leaders in health, education, social services, municipal services, Queen’s, St. Lawrence College, hospitals, public health, businesses and tourism in an attempt to coordinate activity and resources in support of our community.

Of course, all meetings described above are by either video or teleconference.  Our skills in using technology to connect have improved dramatically!

  1. Morale Task Force

We have created a Morale Task Force that is now split into three teams, each with a focus on ideas to support persons served, employees, or families.  The purpose of the group is to implement creative strategies to address the stress, emotional toll, and compromised mental health that can accompany prolonged isolation.  The groups have hatched a number of ideas that they are initiating including the use of technology to link people together.

  1. Summary

As I’ve expressed repeatedly to all agency stakeholders, the health and safety of persons served, staff members, families and other stakeholders is paramount and drives all of our decisions.  The resulting inconvenience and disruption, while considered carefully and addressed accordingly, is quite frankly secondary.  My singular objective, as it is for the entire management team, is to protect everyone from getting sick.  We will implement all necessary precautions and utilize any and all of the resources at our disposal in an attempt to achieve this goal.  And yet, if someone contracts COVID-19 which may very well happen, we feel adequately prepared to respond as needed.  Members of the management and administrative team have all done exceptional, selfless, hard work in preparing for, and responding to the threat of this pandemic.  I’m proud to be part of this team and work alongside each and every one of them.

 

Peter Sproul
Executive Director

 

**UPDATE** March 17, 2020: Letter to Stakeholders re Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Letter to Stakeholders from Peter Sproul, Executive Director of Community Living Kingston and District

Read more here

**UPDATE** March 14, 2020: Letter to Stakeholders re Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Letter to Stakeholders from Peter Sproul, Executive Director of Community Living Kingston and District

Read more here

**UPDATE** March 13, 2020: CIP Closure Letter re Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Letter re Community Inclusion Program (CIP) closure from Sheri Scott, Director of Operations for Community Living Kingston and District.

Read more here

**CANCELLED** March 24, 2020: Respite Care Information Session

Update as of Mar 13, 2020 – CANCELLED: Information session for people who manage respite (finding a worker, financial requirements, etc.). RSVP by March 20th.

Read more here

Community Living Newsletter - Spring 2019

Updates from the Spring 2019 Community Living and District Newsletter.

Read it here.

Community Living Newsletter - Fall 2019

Updates from the Fall 2019 Community Living and District Newsletter.

Read it here.

Community Living Newsletter - Spring 2018

Updates from the Spring 2018 Community Living and District Newsletter.

Read it here.

Community Living Newsletter - Fall 2018

Updates from the Fall 2018 Community Living and District Newsletter.

Read it here.

Special Notice: LIMITED OPERATIONS DUE TO COVID-19. – Learn More