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COVID-19: Questions and Answers

JUNE 29, 2021



Dear families and friends of Communitas,

Today, we are grateful for the many positive announcements shared by our provincial government and our provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. We look forward to moving into Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan.

Dr. Henry said that this next phase will be a “careful, gradual approach to bringing us back together” and that is exactly the approach that Communitas will be taking over the next days and weeks as we adjust to the various new guidelines provided by the provincial health office, by WorkSafe BC, our funders and our regional health authorities.

We are excited to be able to move away from the COVID-19 Safety Plans we have had in place for more than a year and move towards longer-term communicable disease prevention strategies. We will be taking the “measured and cautious approach” that has been encouraged by Dr. Henry.

As of now, we are waiting on more specific health recommendations for our services and we do expect to implement additional changes over the next days and weeks, with several incremental steps towards being fully re-opened. We have spent these last 16 months in a state of emergency and we will take a careful, thoughtful approach to how we prepare for Phase 4 in September.

Effective July 1, 2021, the Communitas guidelines are as follows:

  • Mask wearing will continue in common indoor spaces and when a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained. This will be in place while the province moves towards community immunity and the completion of second dose vaccinations. We remain committed to protecting people who have been deemed clinically extremely vulnerable.
  • Staff will continue to complete the daily health check when they arrive at their worksite.
  • Staff will continue to stay home if they are sick.
  • Guests and the people we support will be asked to complete a health check when they arrive at any worksite other than their own homes.
  • Guests and people we support will be asked to stay home if they are sick.
  • Cleaning and hygiene protocols will continue in all locations.
  • Indoor occupancy limits will increase as per the provincial guidelines and we will slowly restore indoor organized group activities.
  • Protective barriers will remain in place during Phase 3; however, our front doors will now be re-opened to the public. People dropping off or picking up items will not be required to complete a health check.
  • Occupancy limits in Little Sprout Café will be increased as per the guidelines outlined by the province.
  • Customers to Little Sprout Café will be asked to wear masks until second dose vaccinations are substantially completed and community immunity is present.

Each Communitas service will implement program-specific guidelines and the managers of each program will be working closely with the leadership team to determine how these programs can gently and carefully transition group and face-to-face services.

Both the provincial health office and our funders have encouraged organizations to work at their own pace and to do so with kindness and respect for one another. That is exactly what we aim to do.

We stand firmly on the belief that kindness towards one another and towards ourselves will carry us forward, and to that end we have drafted a Kindness Charter. We invite you to join our pledge to “be kind to one another” as we begin the journey back into the social, emotional, physical and mental wellness spaces we are each anticipating in this next season.

We encourage all persons and family members to follow the Golden Rules for Everyone that Dr. Henry presented today, including:

  • Get Vaccinated. (Vaccinations are the Game Changer!)
  • Follow the guidelines being provided.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Check before you travel.
  • Respect personal space.
  • Remember that it is safer outdoors.
  • Consider other people.
  • Clean your hands.

If you have questions or concerns, we are here to listen, to work with you and to support your wellbeing. I encourage you to check in with your primary contact at Communitas if you need assistance and clarification.

If you are seeking specific information you can visit one of these sites:

  • The BC Centre for Disease Control provides the most current information on COVID19 and vaccines
  • Community Living BC updates and information can be found here, including key information and news for families and caregivers.
  • Provincial government Restart Plans are found on the BC Government Website

We remain deeply grateful for you and your partnership with us.

On behalf of our leadership team,

Karyn Santiago