Dear St.Amant Families:
As anticipated, the third wave and the more contagious variants of concern mean that we have seen a rise in Covid-19 cases here at St.Amant as well as more staff needing to be away from work for various reasons. This week we saw two cases of Covid-19 in the Community Residential Program, one case in Community Services (Supported Independent Living) and one case in Autism Programs. All of these cases were in staff members. We are very pleased to say that none of these cases resulted in close contacts being identified and that we have not seen any illness or spread as a result. This means that the precautions that we have put in place are working to keep your family members and our safe. We are incredibly grateful to our staff who continue to follow the health and safety protocols, while staying courageous and positive.
You can help too by ensuring that you are following the Public Health guidelines at all times and by getting your vaccine as soon as you are eligible. The eligibility criteria was expanded again this week, based on where you live or work. For the most up to date vaccine eligibility information click here.
Today we received updated information from the Department of Families that all people receiving services through Community Living disability Services (CLdS) are eligible to receive the vaccine. Our teams will be working hard to finalize consents and make appointments.
We also wanted to ensure that everyone knows that the change to the single staffing model at Personal Care Homes doesn’t change anything for Health & Transition Services as we were not included in that directive. And, if your family member is supported residentially, you would have received information from your program about the new Public Health restrictions and any changes to visitation. If you missed it, you can see them here: Health & Transition Services and Community Residences with more than one resident and Community Residences with a single resident.
St.Amant Closing Community Day Services
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected St.Amant’s Community Day Services in many ways. With a few exceptions, services were suspended since last spring. Significant changes were made to how we access and use the space at 440 River Road. We moved and congregated all community programming to permanently separate them from the rest of 440 River Road and the people who live at Health and Transition Services. The separation required the reassignment of spaces, including space formerly used to deliver Community Day Services. This change helps to keep all the people we serve safe, and allows for appropriate physical distancing and cohorts.
The space changes have many benefits and will continue in the future. One important lesson we have learned from Covid-19 is that we will not return to using the space in the main building at 440 River Road in the same ways. Infection prevention and control for the vulnerable people receiving services in a congregate setting through Health & Transition Services will continue to be a top priority. As is ensuring services to people from community programs can continue uninterrupted even with any future illness or outbreaks.
We want the people who rely on quality day service programming to have the best possible support. With the changes in our organization, St.Amant is no longer in a position to resume a day service program. We are no longer able to accommodate popular options such as indoor biking, walking and recreation. The space for group activities, like the gym, pool and the cafeteria, will continue to have limited use by mixed groups.
Effective May 28, we will no longer offer Community Day Services. The Department of Families will work with each person currently enrolled at St.Amant in a person-centred way to choose the best possible community option. Our team at St.Amant will support the transition to the new program as requested by the participant. We have no doubt that there are many high quality day services in Manitoba that will serve our current participants well.
President & CEO