Empower Simcoe continues to actively manage our operations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As Ontario has entered Phase 3 of reopening, Empower Simcoe is actively planning for the next phase of reopening. This will include transitioning employees to the office who are working remotely, reopening our administrative sites, and expanding our service delivery models.
In the coming weeks, we will provide further details regarding our transition plan and the next steps for reopening. Management will be in touch with all employees, families, and people we support, and stakeholders to provide further details.
Recently Empower Simcoe received guidelines from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the County of Simcoe to assist us as we proceed with our reopening strategies within our Community Support Services and EarlyON Child and Family Centres. Within the next couple of weeks, communication will be going out to individuals and families who access these services.
There is updated information from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services; Resuming Visits in Congregate Care Settings, allowing prearranged indoor and outdoor personal visits. For more information regarding preparation for and arranging of visits with loved ones, please contact the Program Supervisor.
As we begin to transition into the next phase, and before any return to work onsite or resumption of face to face services, all employees will be provided with COVID-19 Health and Safety Orientation. Empower Simcoe will continue to ensure the appropriate Infection Prevention and Control measures are in place at all times by completing risk assessments and developing safety protocols for our employees. Empower Simcoe continues to work in collaboration with Public Health Professionals, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Labour.
As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves across the province, and in our community, the direction regarding service delivery will be revised as appropriate, keeping the safety, health, and emotional well-being of people we support and staff as the priority.
The latest update from Empower Simcoe on our supports and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you are aware, Empower Simcoe continues to actively manage our operations in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Empower Simcoe continues to plan, looking at options for ongoing service delivery. During transition and planning phases, wherever possible, employees will continue to work remotely to support physical distancing and reduce the risk of spreading infection.
Community Supports Services (CSS) and EarlyOn Child and Family Centre sites remain closed; however, employees of CSS continue to be redeployed to support the staffing levels within our Accommodations program. Both programs continue to provide virtual supports and services. Please check our website at empowersimcoe.ca for information and updates.
Our buildings at 39 and 40 Fraser Court, and 129 Ferris Lane (Barrie), 35 West Street, and 4 King Street (Orillia), and 118 Bradford Street (Bradford) will continue to remain locked and only accessible for essential employees and contractors when needed. Empower Simcoe will continue to suspend all home and family visits to and from our group living locations at this time. There is updated information from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services; Resuming Visits in Congregate Care Settings, allowing outdoor personal visits at a pre-designated area. For more information regarding preparation for and arranging of visits with loved ones, please contact the Program Supervisor.
As we begin to transition into future phases and before any return to work onsite or resumption of face to face services, all employees will be provided a Covid-19 Health and Safety Orientation. Empower Simcoe will continue to ensure the appropriate Infection Prevention and Control measures are in place at all times by completing risk assessments and developing safety protocols for our employees. Empower Simcoe continues to work in collaboration with Public Health Professionals, Ministry of Children Community and Social Services, Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Labour.
As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves across the province, and in our community, the direction regarding service delivery will be revised as appropriate, keeping the safety, health, and emotional wellbeing of people we support and staff as the priority.
We thank you for your understanding and we will continue to provide updates as we move forward.
Over the past month, Empower Simcoe has taken rapid and necessary steps to address the COVID-19 Pandemic. Effective, April 1, 2020, Empower Simcoe transitioned to Essential Services only. Essential Services are those that must remain in place to ensure the health and safety of the people we support and our Empower Simcoe employees to preserve the continuity of our organization.
On Monday April 20, the government released new modelling projections regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This information illustrated that Ontario is now trending positively and the province has likely avoided a significant surge in cases. Additional information provided by Public Health Ontario shows a recent decrease in the province-wide reproduction rate of virus transmission, which means that Ontarians’ collective efforts to implement the public health measures recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health have helped reduce the spread of the virus.
While the community rate of transmission is dropping at the provincial level, outbreaks in long-term care and congregate settings continue to be a significant concern. Tremendous efforts are being taken across the health system to protect vulnerable people in these settings. As the provincial government has extended the state of emergency until May 12, Empower Simcoe will continue with our active Pandemic Plan under essential services only until such time.
We continue to monitor updates from all levels of government and public health to guide our decision making. Empower Simcoe is committed to ongoing communication with you as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic together.
Non-essential Empower Simcoe programs and services are maintaining core functions utilizing a key contact approach. All parents and caregivers have been provided with a contact person to address their support needs. As well, regular
weekly communication is sent to all parents and caregivers with updated information and resources. An online resource library has been created for easy access to resources and information for children, youth, parents and caregivers. You
can access this resource at any time here. We thank-you for your understanding during this unprecedented time and we will continue to provide updates as we move forward.
On April 24, 2020, the Ontario government amended the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act –under subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act -Congregate Care Settings as part of the government’s measures to protect the health, safety, and well-being of Ontario workers from COVID-19. This order is specific to frontline workers in Ontario only working in one service agency in the same sector.
This Order applies to any staff member of a congregate care setting service agency who performs work in a residence operated by one agency shall not also perform work as a staff member of a different congregate care setting service agency in the same sector in a residence operated by the different agency. A “staff member” of a congregate care setting service agency includes a person who performs work for the agency as an employee or as temporary staff, including a person hired through an employment agency or other third party to perform work directly at a residence operated by the agency.
The requirements of this Order do not apply with respect to a staff member who can perform all of their work for congregate care setting service agencies by working or providing services remotely. Any person to whom this applies shall inform each agency of whom they are a staff member they are subject to this Order. A copy of this Order will be posted in all work locations.
The Order supports Empower Simcoe’s decision to institute a one employer restriction as communicated in the memo dated April 22, 2020. Empower Simcoe’s single employer restriction will come into effect on Tuesday April 28, 2020.
We will continue to monitor all developments related to this Order and all previously issued orders under the EMCPA and communicate any changes to our clients. Thank you to our Empower Simcoe employees for their hard work and dedication. We will continue to provide updates as we move forward.
Please See the newest update from Empower Simcoe CEO Claudine Cousins in regards to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.