On behalf of Shirley Labossiere, A/President & CEO:
I again want to stress how grateful we are to all of our staff who are working under difficult circumstances in uncertain times. Thank you for continuing your compassionate work and supporting all of the people participating in our programs through these challenging times.
There were a lot of announcements today that will affect our services:
As you have likely heard, the Manitoba Government announced today that they are suspending services in private, licensed child care centres (home child care may remain open). As such, the River Road Child Care Centre will also be suspending services effective end of day Friday, March 20. The government also announced a plan to support front line staff by offering child care options. We would encourage all of our front line staff (H&TS, CRP, CS) who may be affected to ensure that they identify their needs by calling 204-945-0776 or 1-888-213-4754 (toll-free).
Visitors at Health & Transition Services / 440 River Road
Manitoba Public Health advised Long Term Care Facilities to stop allowing visitors effective immediately. As we support some of the most vulnerable people here at Health & Transition Services, we will be following this advice. Communication will go out to families later today. This means we will also be suspending all volunteer visits, practicum students and any other non-essential visitors. We recognize this will have a significant impact on the people supported at H&TS and are looking at a variety of options to ensure everyone can still have enjoyable experiences despite this period of limited interactions with friends and family.
Autism Programs offers services in a very similar group setting to child care, and we have decided to suspend all services, effective tomorrow for the safety of all children. Efforts will be made to support family programming remotely.
St.Amant’s Day Services are located at 440 River Road and with clear direction to minimize visitors to this building where very vulnerable people live, and to support the health and wellbeing of the people receiving services through the Day Services, we will suspend services as soon as possible, with an official closure on Friday, March 20. Our team will do their best to explore alternative supports to families for whom this will be unmanageable.
The Clinical team will be evaluating which services are essential and which ones can be postponed/rescheduled. We will explore different ways of providing service where possible such as offsite, via telephone or through video conferencing. We will connect with families and staff as needed to determine individualized options.
Employee Travel and Conduct:
It has come to our attention that some employees are inappropriately questioning staff who have returned from travel about their presence at work. It is important to understand how this process works for healthcare employees. Once returned from holiday, employees connect with Occupational Health and/or Health Links. They use a tool developed by Public Health to determine if an employee needs to self-monitor, self-isolate or be tested for COVID-19. Healthcare workers are an essential service and may be deemed essential to return to work if their risk level is very low (as determined by the Public Health screening tool and the need within their work environment). We want to be clear that while we understand that these are stressful times and creating significant anxiety for staff, we expect staff to live the St.Amant values at all times, and especially in times of crisis. To be clear, it is never acceptable to have any staff questioning other staff members about any personal information and/or making unjustified judgements about a staff person’s presence at work. This is between the manager, the employee and as directed by Public Health.
The information coming out is confusing and changes rapidly. Please be kind to your fellow team members, have some trust and confidence in the leadership team – we are monitoring these changes minute by minute, 7 days a week. Your health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of all of the people we support is truly at the heart of our decision-making.
Please remember that even while working, or on breaks, we as employees need to practice social distancing. Be mindful of where you sit in the café, how close you are in meetings, leave as much space as you can – we want to keep everyone healthy!