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COVID-19: Questions and Answers

December 21, 2020

Dear families and friends of Communitas,

We wish you a very blessed Christmas season and we pray that 2021 will bring with it renewed hope and peace.

Through the current restrictions, we remain committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe and healthy. As an organization, we continue to carefully follow the orders and advice of our provincial health authority.

With the current restrictions, all people, communities, places of work and businesses have been asked to reduce their social contact. To see the order, please refer to the BC Government website.

The provincial order is in effect until midnight on January 8, 2021.

In order to adhere to these orders, Communitas is adjusting our services and policies to support the reduction of COVID-19 transmission.

Communitas has prevention and exposure plans in place and they are consistent with public health and WorkSafe BC guidelines. As such, we have reduced social interactions, limited travel, suspended group activities and enhanced workplace safety (both in our physical locations and in community-based supports).

Over the period identified in the provincial order, our services look as follows:

Group homes: visitor guidelines have been modified to meet public health orders and all non-essential travel, activities and outings will be paused. Necessary travel has been restricted to the local community.

Contracted services: providers will adhere to provincial orders, including limiting social interactions to immediate households, eliminating non-essential travel and curtailing community activities and external respite.

Day Services and Vocational Supports: have suspended social gatherings and in-person meetings. Day services staff will provide virtual and/or telephone supports during the time that in-home supports are suspended.

At Communitas we are committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy –mentally, emotionally and physically. We are assessing each person’s needs for support on a one-to-one basis.

Our staff members continue to look for creative ways to engage with people and families while encouraging people to remain in their household settings. While this may create some temporary challenges and decreases in access to the supports you receive, this is time-limited. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your primary contact at Communitas for assistance and clarification.

If you are looking for specific information on the coronavirus, please see the following sites: ü The BC Centre for Disease Control provides the most current information on COVID19 ü Community Living BC updates and information can be found here

We ask that all persons and family members continue to follow the advice of our provincial health officer by:

  • Avoiding unnecessary travel outside of your community
  • Reducing social interactions by socializing only with your core household or core bubble
  • Completing personal health checks before and after any services are provided
  • Practicing physical distancing of at least two meters
  • Using respiratory etiquette and wearing masks
  • Washing hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Staying home if you are sick with cold, flu or COVID symptoms

We are grateful for your part in keeping each person safe and healthy.

The staff of Communitas are here for you, for your loved ones and for the communities in which we serve.

On behalf of our leadership team,
Karyn Santiago
CEO


Questions and Answers for our Families and Caregivers

Last Updated on November 7, 2020

 

1.. If I am concerned about my family or loved one, who do I contact at Communitas?

Please contact the manager of your program or service or your coordinator for direction. They will know how best to help you. If you can not reach this person, please call 604-850-6608.

  1. If I suspect that a loved one has COVID-19, what do I do?

Start by completing the online assessment at https://covid19.thrive.health/ then follow the resulting instructions.

Call 8-1-1 for symptom/testing advice and follow the instructions provided by the health authority provider.

Call the medical hotline at 1-888-COVID19 for advice on travel, social distancing, and the support and assistance that is available from the provincial and federal government.

  1. What steps is Communitas taking to protect people?

We have developed guidelines and protocols for supporting people safely and carefully. We have adopted the guidance laid out by the provincial health officer, WorkSafe BC and our government funders for ensuring safe community, office and residential spaces.

We continue to follow advised health practices, including safe distancing of 2 meters, hand and respiratory hygiene, travel advice and limitations on gatherings and room occupancy. We continue to work with families and caregivers as our services pivot to ensure that people feel comfortable and safe with the services going forward.

  1. Which services are still being supported?

Residential Services: All 24/7 residential services continue to support the residents who live there. These homes are restricted with regards to visitors and access to community is carefully planned. Staff continue to provide continuity of care for your loved ones.

Day Services and Vocational Services:

  • Group Activities: Group activities have been modified in accordance with provincial guidance and phased recovery plans. Smaller groups, shorter durations, appropriate physical distancing and practicing good hygiene are all components of any group activities.

 

  • One-to-One: Supports are being carefully planned and are following public health guidance and phased recovery plans. Health checks are conducted prior to contact, indoor occupancy limits are being followed and guidance for maintaining physical distances, using masks and gloves, and maintaining respiratory hygiene are in place.

Contracted Services: Coordinators and managers are in contact with contractors on a regular basis.  Coordinators and contractors are encouraged to dialogue about opportunities and concerns and, at all times, adhere to provincial guidance at all times.

Administrative Buildings: Worksafe BC guidelines are in place to ensure occupancy limits are observed, health checks are completed, visitors are tracked and monitored, and all additional COVID19 guidelines are maintained.

Please note that all visitors are required to report to reception prior to entering the building.

We encourage people to make appointments ahead of visiting the administrative offices.

We are still here for you!!

Our staff members and leadership team are committed to your safety and wellbeing through this challenging time. We are also praying that everyone will find peace in the storm and an abundance of grace. Together, we will continue to create places of belonging, growth and contribution…for people of ALL abilities.