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
September 2nd, 2021
In this memo:
- Updates to Skills Society COVID-19 Procedures
- City of Edmonton temporary face covering bylaw reactivated
- Third doses of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised Albertans and residents of Seniors’ supportive living
Updates to Skills Society COVID-19 Procedures
As you likely are aware the ground is shifting again with an increase in COVID-19 cases in Alberta(the most in the country), and new measures put out by the City of Edmonton. There may also be changes coming from the province this week or next. Thank you all for being flexible with us to adapt. None of this is easy and we continue to take a cautious approach to protect people we serve, employees and community as best we can. As we stated in our public memo to people we support, families, and Guardians on August 16th, 2021, We continue to monitor closely what is happening within our community and the province, as well as updated information from Health Authorities and the Government. As events unfold and we learn new information in the coming weeks and months, we may have to reinstate additional safeguards (e.g., continuous masking of all employees in direct support roles), to keep the people we serve, employees and our community safe.
Vaccination status implications
At present we have not required employees to disclose their vaccination status, but have asked and welcomed if employees would feel comfortable to privately disclose for the purpose of Skills Society strategizing safeguards. Based on current voluntary disclosures, it appears that less than half of our employees have disclosed that they are partially or fully vaccinated. Therefore based on this information, and rising cases effective September 3rd, 2021, we are reinstating continuous masking for all employees who work in direct support environments until further notice. We are hopeful this measure of continuous masking won’t last for a long time, but will continue to monitor. A reality is that not having high vaccination coverage within our organization affects the health and safety of the people we support, employees and the community, as well as staffing due to staff having to isolate or quarantine if symptomatic. Health officials continue to tell us that vaccines are the most effective protection against COVID-19, and we continue to strongly encourage the people we serve and employees who haven’t already, to consult their physician if questions and book an appointment for a vaccine if advised to. The evidence from health authorities, and epidemiologists all around the world is very clear that getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the safest and kindest thing you can do to protect the people we serve, co-workers, families, yourselves and your community.
Visitors to a Person’s Home
Skills Society strongly encourages the people we support and visitors to their home to follow the recommendations by the Public Health Agency of Canada for masking and physical distancing based on vaccination status. These recommendations can be found here and below. For people we support who wish to have visitors to their home please follow these recommendations. Skills will have medical masks available. At present, Skills Society anticipates having medical masks readily available until March 2022.
City of Edmonton Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw Reactivated
“Medical experts have made it clear that we are in the fourth wave of COVID-19 and I applaud City Council for making this decision to help keep Edmontonians safe. I urge Edmontonians to be respectful of one another and remember that as of Friday, it will be required to wear masks in all public indoor spaces.”
– City of Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson
Effective September 3, 2021, “The City of Edmonton has reactivated its Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw requiring masks in all indoor public spaces and on public vehicles, such as the LRT, buses, and vehicles for hire. This applies to the publicly accessible areas of businesses, retail shops and includes City recreation facilities and attractions, transit centres and LRT platforms.” (www.edmonton.ca). Like all Albertans, people we serve and employees are required to abide by all municipal and provincial restrictions and health measures.
Third Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
Third doses are available for immunocompromised Albertans and residents of seniors’ supportive living. A list of eligible immunocompromised conditions are available through the Government of Alberta website here. Managers and Team Leaders are working with people we support, families and Guardians to see if people are eligible and booking appointments.
Skills 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://skillssociety.ca/covid19-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.