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MOOSE JAW SK – After closing its doors at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Moose Jaw Diversified Services (MJDS) has set Monday, June 29, 2020 as the official date for its phased re-opening. MJDS provides day services to approximately 120 people in the community.
MJDS’s main priority is to ensure that everyone – service recipients, staff, group homes, families, and the community at large – is safe. The organization has been working diligently with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the provincial Ministry of Social Services to ensure that the appropriate safety protocols and procedures are in place for a safe, phased re-opening.
MJDS will personally contact all service recipients, families and group homes in advance of re-opening. Starting Monday, June 29 and for the first two weeks of operation, MJDS will host orientations for 15 people every day of the week. Service recipients will be assigned to a staff person and a specific group with common interests and abilities. These groups will remain in place as long as needed under public health recommendations.
As there have been some significant changes in the way MJDS operates due to current provincial health orders, the team at MJDS wants to make sure service recipients are familiar with these changes and have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns in smaller group settings. After the two weeks of orientations, MJDS will evaluate how things have gone and will look at increasing the number of people allowed in the building to 30.
A complete list of the changes in how MJDS will operate during its phased re-opening is included as an attachment.
In addition to these individualized orientations, the MJDS team will also continue to offer one-on-one, outdoor socially distanced get-togethers with service recipients as they have over the last month. Physical activity and outdoor time in the neighbourhood will also be priorities when the building re-opens.
This has been a difficult and challenging time for service recipients and the MJDS team. MJDS appreciates everyone’s patience as the team works diligently to ensure all provincial guidelines are followed so there is a safe environment for everyone upon re-opening. The team is excited to welcome everyone back to the building at the end of the month and is looking forward to working with everyone again.
1. The building will be open to service recipients’ daily from 10:00AM to 2:30PM. These reduced hours will provide extra time for MJDS to ensure all new infection controls and disinfection protocols are completed daily.
2. All staff will have their temperatures checked upon arrival for work. Anyone with a high temperature or who is displaying signs of COVID-19 will be sent home.
3. When service recipients arrive at the building, a staff member will meet them at a station outside the entrance. Service recipients will have their temperature checked and have an opportunity to clean their hands. Anyone with high temperatures and/or COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home. Should anyone start to display COVID-19 symptoms while they are at MJDS, arrangements will be made to transport them home. Any other service recipients from the same group home will also be sent home as a precautionary measure.
4. If the service recipient does not display any symptoms, staff will escort them to a specific entrance and onto a designated room in the building for their orientation.
5. Service recipients will remain with the same staff person in their designated area while in the building.
6. All social distancing and other safety protocols (hand washing, coughing etiquette, etc.) as outlined in the provincial health order will be in effect. All staff will wear facemasks at all times. Service recipients will be given the option of wearing a facemask.
7. Service recipients are encouraged to bring only what is necessary to the building. There will be no access to lockers at this time.
8. MJDS will work with service recipients and group homes to arrange for any required medication to be dropped off at a pre-scheduled time. Only one person will be allowed in the building for medication drop-off.
9. Service recipients are encouraged to arrive on time to get into the building. They must also be picked up on time. Group homes and families are asked to notify MJDS if the service recipient will be absent.
10. There will be no visitors allowed in the building.
11. There will be no in-person meetings of any kind. MJDS will facilitate meetings via phone or other virtual options.
* These changes in operation have been developed in consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Ministry of Social Services, and follow the guidelines and recommendations set out in the current provincial health order.
MOOSE JAW SK – Moose Jaw Diversified Services (MJDS), which provides day services for approximately 125 people in the community, is developing a plan to safely resume services and establish a realistic re-opening date.
“Our first priority is the health and safety of our people – from our service recipients and their families or group homes to the team at MJDS. We want to be able to provide a safe environment for them to come back to,” MJDS Executive Director Mark Belanger said. “We are working diligently with the Ministry of Social Services, and other community-based organizations to ensure appropriate policies and protocols are in place to re-open safely. We are also training staff on these new procedures, working as a team to re-imagine how we operate under new provincial guidelines, and communicating these changes to the people and community we serve in advance of re-opening.”
MJDS is putting the following new protocols in place to ensure a safe space for all upon re-opening:
New infection control protocols and cleaning standards;
Health screening (temperature checks and self-assessments);
Social distancing protocols;
Introduction and use of personal protective equipment;
Bringing people back gradually on different days of the week in smaller groups;
Reduced hours of operation to accommodate new infection control and cleaning protocols;
Designation of specific spaces for small groups;
Designation of specific entrances for coming and going;
Restriction of movement through the building; and,
Restriction on visitors to the building.
“We are following all the recommendations to ensure people are safe, and maybe even going above and beyond those recommendations. It’s a slow process, but it allows us to ensure we are making the right decisions and being thoughtful about the re-opening,” Belanger said.
MJDS staff also are contacting service recipients, families and group homes by phone to find out how they have been coping. In some instances, service recipients are having one-on-one socially distanced visits with staff. Belanger says staff are also taking the time to evaluate every service recipient’s needs and interests in an effort to develop new programming.
“Many of our service recipients have been coming here for years – we’re like a big, extended family. They are used to a specific routine – a routine that will be dramatically different when they return as a result of new guidelines provided by the province to protect against the spread of COVID-19,” Belanger said. “We want to make sure they are prepared for that change when they come back, that we communicate clearly how things will be different, and let them know that they have a choice about when they will come back.”
We want to reassure the community that we will be back. It will look different, at the outset, but we remain focused on our goals of eventually getting back into the community we love."
Dear Family Members, Caregivers, and Service Providers:
Moose Jaw Diversified Services is writing today to inform you that effective Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 4:00pm Moose Jaw Diversified Services will suspend service delivery until further notice in response to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Our objective is to support our recipients, staff and families and keep everyone healthy and safe. Recipients may remain attending until Thursday, March 19, 2020; however, it is advised that if you are able to make immediate arrangements to keep people home, please do so.
Moose Jaw Diversified Services asks that if an individual is sick, they remain home immediately. We also ask that after March 19, 2020 if an individual is diagnosed with COVID-19 that you inform us by phone or email.
Moose Jaw Diversified Services recognizes that the provincial response to the COVID-19 outbreak will affect our recipients, staff, families and community in different ways. Moose Jaw Diversified Services is committed to keeping informed on the current status of the COVID-19 outbreak.
We realize this is a rapidly changing situation in the community. When we are able to re-establish services; group homes, caregivers, recipients and service providers will be given as much notice as possible by phone, email and our website.
All updates regarding the status of our operations will be announced through the media, as well as posted on www.diversifiedmj.ca . For information about COVID-19, please visit www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.
If you have any questions in regards to this matter, please free to contact us a (306) 692-4954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support over the past week and in the coming days.
Moose Jaw Diversified Services
Dear parents, guardians, and families,
This week Moose Jaw Diversified Services will be reviewing and developing an operational plan that details preventing the spread of the Coronavirus and planning for a wide range of scenarios that impact Agency operations.
The Agency is in the planning process, which may include certain community outings being postponed and up to suspension of services. Depending on the circumstances, short notice may be given.
There are two important ways to prevent and control respiratory viruses.
The first is for recipients and staff who are ill with respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, and/or muscle aches) to stay home from work. If they are not feeling well, we ask that you keep them home so that they can rest and recover. As always, remember to inform Moose Jaw Diversified Services of the absence. If an individual becomes ill at work, all Service Recipients living in the same home will be sent home for the duration of the illness. Individuals cannot return to Moose Jaw Diversified Services until all symptoms have disappeared.
The second way to prevent and control respiratory viruses is the consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Good respiratory etiquette includes covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues in a plastic-lined waste container, followed by hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is the washing of hands with plain soap and water, which is effective at removing visible soil as well as viruses.
Individuals should clean their hands:
* before leaving home and on arrival at work
* after using the toilet
* after breaks and sporting activities
* before food preparation
* before eating any food, including snacks
* before leaving work
If you have a person who needs assistance, help them with hand hygiene. At Moose Jaw Diversified Services, this supervision will be provided by instructors.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Regular cleaning and disinfecting of objects and high-touch surfaces (e.g. door handles, water fountain push buttons) helps prevent the transmission of viruses.
The Agency ensures daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
Note: Although water fountain knobs and push buttons will be cleaned daily, consider providing a filled water bottle so that they do not have to drink directly from the mouthpiece of the fountain.
At this point, full services are continuing as usual. If you have further questions, please contact Lauri Weatherall, Assistant Manager/Program Director, Moose Jaw Diversified Services (306) 692-4954 Ext 6 or email email@example.com.