Memo to: People we Support, Families, Guardians and Skills Society Employees
Re: Skills Society’s response to Alberta’s phased approach to easing public health restrictions
From: Senior Leadership of Skills Society
June 1, 2021
On May 26th, 2021 the Government of Alberta announced Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan, a 3-stage roadmap outlining how public health restrictions will be eased as vaccination targets are reached and hospitalizations decline. Stage 1 reopening will begin June 1st, 2021, Stage 2 anticipated mid-June (triggered 2 weeks after vaccine threshold is reached – 60% of eligible Albertans with first dose – and hospitalizations under 500), and Stage 3 is anticipated late June or early July. By Stage 3, after 70% of eligible Albertans have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, all current restrictions will be removed, with the exception of isolation requirements for those with COVID-19, and some protective measures for continuing care settings. To date, 97% of the people we support who consented to receive COVID-19 immunization are partially vaccinated, and 15% are fully vaccinated. Health officials continue to tell us that vaccines are the most effective protection against COVID-19.
Below you will find our response to the Government of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan. As outlined in the document, this follows the Alberta Government’s phased approach to easing public health restrictions. This document has been designed to support people served, families, and Guardians in navigating Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan.
We continue to face numerous tensions, uncertainties, and challenges with COVID-19 and the provincial relaunch including:
- Striving to inform and protect the health of people we serve as best we can
- Safeguarding employees
- Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of people we serve, families and employees
- Recognizing the people we serve direct their own lives and make their own decisions
- Acknowledging that most people we serve do not live alone, but with 1-2 roommates whom we also support
- Helping people we support be aware of mandatory health orders from the CMOH in place for all Albertans such as the isolation requirements and legal restrictions on gatherings
This document attempts to strike a balance between trying to keep people as safe as possible while also supporting people’s rights, responsibilities, and decision making power.
Some Important Considerations
- It’s important that people we support and Guardians acknowledge that homes where we support people are not “Skills Homes” or “Our group homes”. Skills Society does not operate licensed facilities. We support people in their own homes and provide support services based on requests from individuals served and approved funding from Government of Alberta PDD services.
- Many people we support have roommates whom they live with. Roommates need to consider each other’s needs and support each other to be as safe as possible.
- Skills Society requires that our employees follow all policies and safety procedures, including COVID-19 safety procedures while at work. Skills Society can ensure our employees follow safety protocols, but we cannot determine how individuals and guardians decide to conduct themselves.
We ask that you consider your roommates’ health, support each other to be as safe as possible, and follow provincial COVID-19 orders and recommendations, while balancing these with mental and physical wellbeing needs.
The Principles that Guide Our Approach
The following four principles continue to guide us as we navigate the relaunch:
- Cautious – Safeguarding people we serve and employees as best we can
- Balanced – Always balancing precautions with safeguarding the mental and physical well being of the people we serve.
- Responsive – Evolving as we learn new information and receive different recommendations from Health Authorities.
- Informed – Incorporating the latest information and evidence from Health Authorities and our ministry, CSS/PDD.
In the coming days Managers will be reaching out to all individuals and Guardians to answer any questions and confirm acknowledgement of receipt of the attached document. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to the Manager associated with your (or your loved one’s) support.
Skills Society’s response to Alberta’s phased approach to easing public health restrictions
Senior Leadership of Skills Society