News & Updates
Get the latest news and updates.
Get the latest news and updates.
We continue to navigate through very challenging times, although we in the Kingston and Gananoque areas have been relatively fortunate in that the number of reported positive cases of the coronavirus has remained low. Our staff members, families, persons served and other stakeholders have been healthy and safe, due in large part to everyone’s collective efforts to adhere to the precautions recommended by Public Health to limit the spread of infection. I know that this has resulted in many individuals and families going without service, and for those essential services that have been maintained, staff redeployments, screening measures, and lack of community participation have been disruptive. However, we will always follow the advice of the public health experts and comply with the provincial guidelines to ensure that health and safety remains our top priority.
Supports and Services
In mid-March when the pandemic hit, CLKD suspended activity in most non-essential programs and implemented strict screening measures in our essential services such as residential. Further restrictions were employed that limited visitation of non-essential visitors and personal protective equipment was secured in preparation for an outbreak. Thankfully, unlike other areas of the province, we did not experience any outbreaks. Still, we remain vigilant with respect to social distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing. We continue to require masks to be worn at all times at all program and office locations, again as a precautionary measure and in the interest of health and safety.
We have started the process of opening up non-essential services such as day supports and respite, although this will occur in a measured and cautious way and in compliance with provincial guidelines. Program Managers, in collaboration with Coordinators, other staff members, and families, will strategically begin delivering services on an individualized basis although small group activity in some programs may be considered as it is now within the parameters of the province’s “phase three” reopening. Correspondence related to the expanded delivery of non-essential programs will be shared by Managers and Coordinators.
Family Home, Family Support and Child Care Resource Consultant Services (CCRCS) that were never completely suspended will ramp up in conjunction with the province’s phased reopening. For CCRCS, much of the support offered through that program will depend upon the operations at child care centres. Planning, communication, and consultation with families will be maintained as we monitor activities in the community that will, in large part, dictate the level and type of service we can offer in these programs.
Kwik Shred and Employment supports also continue to operate, although volume has been adjusted due to the pandemic. We anticipate these programs operating at higher levels going forward, again depending upon the conditions we face in our community and the subsequent demand for service.
Residential Services and much of Supported Independent Living Services, Essential Services (Bayswater and Compass), and Lyons Street have been maintained throughout. Guidelines restricting family visits in residential services have been adjusted and now make it easier for families to see their loved ones and I sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during times of tight restrictions. Strict adherence to public health and provincial guidelines will remain in place, particularly for our 24 hour support homes in the hopes that we will soon be able to slowly shift back to normal operations in the coming months.
Our offices on Days Road, Gardiners Road and in Gananoque were closed to the public early on in the pandemic. Steps to protect health and safety such as sanitizing, universal masking, social distancing, and frequent hand washing were implemented and have been successful in preventing infection. Staff members who could work from home, particularly those in administration, were instructed to do so. As a result, we have utilized technology to stay connected and complete all tasks and responsibilities in a safe manner. We anticipate opening our offices again in October, albeit in a limited way and with precautions in place that will reflect the conditions at the time and with the best advice of Public Health.
As we have been, we will continue to work in close partnership with government, Public Health and other local officials to maneuver through these unprecedented times in ways that protect the health and safety of all stakeholders to the greatest extent possible. My thanks to all of you – persons served, families, employees, volunteers, community partners – for your strength, determination and perseverance. We have taken care of ourselves and each other in very selfless and admirable ways. As a result, we are in a good position to expand our services and address the needs and interests of those we support. I will provide further updates as the situation evolves, and in the meantime please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any member of the management team if you have questions or require further information. Take care.
First, I would like to personally thank everyone for your patience and understanding as we have proceeded through these uncertain and unsettling times. The threat of COVID-19 necessitated implementing decisions such as program closures and restrictions on family visits that are entirely inconsistent with our values and goals but were necessary to keep everyone healthy and safe. As we look ahead, I can provide the following updates:
We fully understand and appreciate the imposition and disruption that our organization’s adjustments have had on persons served, families, employees, volunteers and other stakeholders of CLKD and will work to limit those going forward. Please do not hesitate to connect directly with me or any member of the management team if you have any questions or concerns. I will continue providing updates as things evolve. Thank you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Letter re Community Inclusion Program (CIP) closure from Sheri Scott, Director of Operations for Community Living Kingston and District.
Update as of Mar 13, 2020 – CANCELLED: Information session for people who manage respite (finding a worker, financial requirements, etc.). RSVP by March 20th.
Updates from the Spring 2019 Community Living and District Newsletter.
Updates from the Fall 2019 Community Living and District Newsletter.
Updates from the Spring 2018 Community Living and District Newsletter.
Updates from the Fall 2018 Community Living and District Newsletter.