I am so happy to be able to say that we have good news to share. This week has brought more positive changes as the Province continues to see low numbers of Covid-19 in Manitoba and restrictions continue to ease.
For people supported in our community programs, family and friends can now visit inside and outside the home (still a limit on the number of visitors at a time, and respecting social distancing). You are also now able to take pick your family member up for visits to other locations. Staff will continue to ask screening questions and will ensure that everyone understands the public health recommendations.
Public Health has also advised a reduced requirement for personal protective equipment (PPE) for community staff. Staff will not need to wear PPE while outside or on outings, and will no longer wear eye protection indoors.
The Premier announced that although there is unfortunately still no change to visitation for Long Term Care at this time, they are considering changes for the next phase of reopening which is expected within the next month. We are all hoping this will mean more opportunities for families to reconnect.
We are working hard to develop plans to safely open all services, but the reality is our services may look a bit different now and even into the future. We are getting creative in how we can safely use some of our main building for community programs without compromising anyone’s safety and while respecting all the Public Health recommendations for Long Term Care facilities. We are currently revising numbers of people within groups, entrances, and exits to buildings and space setups that facilitate physical distancing and cleaning protocols. We are also working to train staff on new cleaning protocols and safety procedures.
There is a lot of work happening to make the reopening of our services as smooth as possible, considering the circumstances, while still working to develop a plan for what the new normal will look like in the next few months and year as we move forward. I truly appreciate the flexibility, creative spirit, can-do attitude, and dedication of all staff to resuming services while also staying focused on the safety of everyone we support. Let’s hope the good news continues and we keep inching closer to more in-person interactions.
We are always striving to improve our communication with families, and we are looking for feedback in the form of a survey for all families. We want to hear from you, to learn from this pandemic – how services were rolled out and information was shared – and we want to continue to improve in the future, especially in the event of a second wave. In the meantime, please reach out to us with any questions you may have.
Thank you for all of your patience, support, and kind feedback.
A/President & CEO