March 24, 2020
Dear OCL Families,
The purpose of this letter is to inform you about the latest change in OCL’s approach to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
Further to my letter of March 16, 2020 to OCL Families (March 17, 2020 for Home Share families), we are no longer allowing any visitors to our programs. This is in alignment with Ottawa Public Health’s announcement on March 22nd confirming the community transmission of COVID-19.
To further reduce the risk to the individuals we serve and our employees, we have implemented a “No Visitors” policy effective immediately. What this means is that we will no longer allow families to visit our locations. However, we continue to encourage you to reach out to your loved one via phone and/or video.
If you feel you must see your family member, then you will be required to take them home, where they will remain with you until the COVID-19 pandemic is declared “over” by Ottawa Public Health.
We know this decision will cause anxiety amongst our OCL families but rest assured your loved ones will continue to receive the high standard of care from OCL Direct Support Professionals who are in turn being supported by the management and the senior management teams.
As I’ve said in my previous correspondence, OCL has been proactive in the planning and implementation of its response to COVID-19. OCL’S senior management team continues to monitor reliable sources of information such as Ottawa Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health and Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada.
To stay on top of this ever changing situation, the senior management team conducts a teleconference call every morning. And our managers participate in a daily conference call with the Director of Operations to continual assess the operation of our homes/programs.
OCL’s Response to COVID-19
OCL started implementing its response to COVID-19 prior to the federal government’s Pandemic Declaration.
- On March 11th, we addressed all employees on our way forward in response to COVID-19.
- We created a Frequently Asked Questions document for staff which is updated as new information becomes available.
- We’ve issued directions on the proper use and time for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) i.e. masks, gowns etc.
- We’ve taken inventory of our PPE and have assigned one manager to coordinate the distribution and resupply of all PPE.
- We’ve confirmed with our suppliers their continued ability to provide the products we require in our programs.
- To help reduce the curve of the virus, we’ve closed our Community Participation Support Program (CPS or Day Program) and limited visits to “essential visitors.”
OCL management and CUPE are working together to ensure the best care for our individuals and the best supports for our employees. I am very active representing the agency in Ottawa and to the Ontario Government. We are sharing with and learning from other agencies in the city and across the province.
This situation is fluid. We will continue to pass along information as we receive it. We will continue to update you on our response to COVID-19 as information becomes available.
All this to say, OCL is committed to providing the best care and support for your loved ones and taking the appropriate measures to ensure their safety and wellbeing. This year OCL will be celebrating its 35th Anniversary. While we’ll have to wait and see when we can come together to celebrate, we look forward to celebrating with our individuals, staff and families.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Thank-you for your support and understanding.