Our Stories

Covid-19 and Service Continuity

May 17, 2021

Dear Autism Programs Families,
As we are well into the third wave of COVID-19 here in Manitoba and the case numbers remain high, we are seeing an increase in the number of staff having to take time off due to illness, to self-isolate, or to care for their family members. Last fall, we were able to recruit for a casual pool of staff in anticipation of a high number of absences due to COVID-19 and have been pleased with the overall coverage and continuity it has provided over the past 6 months. Unfortunately within the past few weeks, our staff absences have been high enough to affect our ability to provide consistent services. As a result, many families have received calls from us to cancel their child’s session. We anticipate there will be further cancellations while the numbers remain high. 
We recognize that the last minute cancellation of services can create challenges for families and we want to assure you that we work very hard to fill staff vacancies so that we do not have to resort to cancellations. However, we also need to ensure that staff are not coming to work while symptomatic or when they are directed to self-isolate by Public Health or the St.Amant Occupational Health Services department. These precautions are all in place to ensure the safety of your children and your families and to further safeguard our workforce.
We apologize for the inconvenience of last minute program cancellations and are doing everything we can to maintain services while keeping everyone safe.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind families to pre-screen before your sessions each day using the Shared Health Screening Tool (click here for the link). If you screen out, we ask that you please contact us as early as possible to allow us to communicate cancellations with our staff. Please note, if your family is calling to cancel sessions in any of our service locations please direct your calls to the Autism Scheduling Office at 204-258-7084. As the volume of calls may be high during this time, please leave a message and we will follow-up with you as soon as we can.
Thank you for all of your support and flexibility as we navigate this pandemic together. We are hopeful with the continued vaccine announcements that we will see some relief within the next few months.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Tiffany Pang, Family Information and Resource Manager at tpang@stamant.ca.
Kerri Walters, PhD, C.Psych, BCBA-D

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