Memo to: People we Support, Families, Guardians and Skills Society Employees
Re: Prevention and Preparedness Regarding the Novel-Corona Virus (COVID-19)
From: Executive Director and Senior Leadership of Skills Society
June 12th, 2020 Update
We continue to follow direction and information provided by Provincial and Federal Governments and Public Health Authorities. As you know, the situation with COVID-19 is constantly evolving and we are always working diligently to be as responsive to new information as possible and do everything in our power to protect the citizens with disabilities we serve, our employees and community. As of today we continue to have NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst anyone we support, nor any of our employees.
Message from Executive Director, Ben Weinlick
Navigating the Provincial Relaunch Plan
This will be a brief update today to share that we are still working on our Skills Society relaunch plan. We still have information to take in and consider for how Skills Society will navigate Stage 2 of the Provincial relaunch that comes into effect today (June 12th, 2020). We still need a bit of time to ensure our relaunch plans safeguard people as best we can and takes into consideration the preferences and risk tolerances of individuals we support and guardians. As we have said in our last update, now with the provincial relaunch plan we are facing new tensions and pressures. We have many complexities to balance with striving to protect the people we serve, safeguard employees, support the mental health and wellbeing of people we serve, families and employees, and try to ensure we have enough staffing to safely serve people.
Skills Society’s Relaunch Plan In The Works
The leadership and board of Skills Society continue to work diligently on the relaunch plan and strategy specific to Skills Society that will be released hopefully next week. Many organizations are choosing to have at least a two week delay between the provincial relaunch stages and organizational relaunch plan implementation. This delay period allows time to see if public relaunch stages will create increased community transmission of COVID-19. We know that many people are eager to loosen restrictions right now, but we are cautious in our approach and appreciate your patience.
Our upcoming Skills Society relaunch plan will share what health authorities and CSS/PDD recommends to individuals, guardians and families, and what we recommend. New individual and roommate plans will then need to be created before being able to launch into the Skills Society stage 2 relaunch.
See the following for what our Ministry CSS/PDD released this week around recommendations to PDD serving organizations: COVID19 Guidance for disability services providers_June 08 2020
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.
As we do not run any licensed health facilities, but support people with disabilities in their own homes in community, the wishes and preferences of citizens we serve are also a key part of the relaunch strategy. Part of our relaunch plan will include templates to help capture individual preferences during stage 2 of relaunch and roommate agreements to safeguard each other. Our employees will continue to be expected to follow all policies and procedures, including COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols which safeguard our staff and people we serve.
Complexities We Have to Consider with the Relaunch
Please see our previous memo with details on the complexities we’re balancing with a cautious approach. https://www.skillssociety.ca/news/covid-19-update-june-5th-2020/
To be clear – currently and until further notice
People we support are still recommended in orders from the CMOH to continue to stay home as much as possible and limit visits with essential visitors only.
Actions Being Taken by Skills Society Since Our Last Update
Below is an overview of measures we have taken since our last update. For an overview of preventative measures previously implemented please see our previous memos linked at the bottom of this message.
- Skills Society relaunch plan in the works with leadership and the board
- Skills Society individual COVID-19 plans in the works
- Skills Society Roommate agreement COVID-19 plans in the works
- For all employees currently on a Personal Leave of Absence (LOA) unrelated to the CMOH Orders in Alberta, a memo inviting their return to work will be coming out today (June 12th, 2020). These employees will be able to return to work as of July 15, 2020.
We greatly appreciate your patience and support as we continue to navigate these times. Please know that we are working our hardest to keep the people we serve and our staff as safe as possible.
Ben Weinlick, Executive Director and the Senior Leadership Team
For More Information
- If you are a family or guardian and require additional information please be in touch with the manager associated with your loved one’s support.
- If you are a Skills Employee and require additional information you can be in touch with your supervisor or pandemic coordinators, Linda or Ed at 780-496-9686.
- Keep up to date on our COVID-19 Resources section on our website: https://www.skillssociety.ca/covid-19-resources/.
Previous Public Memos
Public Memos are available on our website under the ‘news’ tab.
Note: What’s happening with COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We become aware of new information from the provincial and federal governments and health authorities on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. We are working hard to be responsive to this new information as it becomes available. As such, information in this memo may change and quickly become outdated. We are doing our best to communicate new information to the people we support, families, guardians, and staff in a timely manner.