COVID-19 Holiday Update
December 11, 2020
Season’s greetings, and some safety reminders, to all Pivot Point staff and client families.
We hope this memo finds you healthy and safe during this strange and trying time. As we are sure you know, in November 2020 Dr Henry, the provincial health officer, issued a number of orders for the province. Most recently she has extended these orders to at least January 8 2021. These orders include:
- Mandatory use of masks in indoor public settings. On November 24, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General issued an order requiring everyone to wear masks in most indoor settings. Pivot Point immediately instituted this policy, provided masks to all regions, and posted this expectation at all physical settings. We expect all staff and adults who attend our centres to be wearing a mask at all times. There are exemptions for: people with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one, people who cannot remove a mask on their own, children under the age of 12. Children are asked to wear a mask if they can.
- Daily health check before entering our sites. At Pivot Point we use a signed written health check (COVID waiver) completed by staff and individuals served stating that they have a clear health check, and will inform us if at any time, their health status changes. As staff and clients arrive at the session (home or office/centre) they are asked if they have had any symptoms of illness or if they have been in contact with anyone who has. If the answer is yes, then the session is cancelled and the 10 day isolation period will be adhered to. Online sessions are offered in the interim. We refer all staff and persons served to the health check questions at https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
- No non-essential travel. At this time all non-essential travel should be avoided, unless for medical appointments or hospital visits. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province.
- No large gatherings or events. In-person events and community-based gatherings as defined in the Public Health Order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended, with the exception of drive in or drop off events. No person who is not an occupant may be present at a private residence or vacation accommodation. All December celebrations will look different this year as people are asked to celebrate with their immediate household or core bubble only.
- No high intensity group fitness activities, or adult team sports.
- No attending restaurants with anyone outside of your family.
The goal today is the same as the goal we have had since the onset of COVID 19, to continue to do our part to flatten the curve, lower transmission rates in BC, and keep our staff and clients safe. “Pivot Point’s services are deemed essential services in the Province of BC”. So while our work continues, we leave it up to individuals’ served (and their families) and to our staff to make the best decisions for themselves with respect to the level of contact intensity they feel comfortable with. We ask that everyone respect each other’s personal choices and level of comfort with respect to tolerating risks. Please know that we are also asking Pivot Point staff to double their efforts to institute all of our COVID 19 Safety Plan measures.
Pivot Point management continues to insist upon the following:
- Call 8-1-1 or your doctor and stay at home for at least 10 days when you have cold or flu symptoms, including:
– Fever, chills, new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue or any new muscle aches or headaches, headaches, loss of appetite, runny nose or nasal congestion, loss of sense of smell or taste, diarrhea.
– If someone in your home is sick or not well, stay home and away from others. If the individual served (or anyone else in the household) is sick, do not attend the session and contact Pivot Point as soon as possible. This is necessary for safety as well as contact tracing.
– If a staff or clients start to feel ill during a session, that session ends immediately. Any symptoms are reported to a Pivot Point Manager and the 10 day isolation period must be honored and started immediately. It is recommended that the person contact 811 or their doctor. Online sessions can be scheduled in the interim.
- If you are directed by your doctor or Public Health to self isolate you must do so.
- Anyone who has arrived from outside of Canada must self isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
- No handshaking or hugs outside of your family/ household.
- Practice good hygiene, including:
– Regular hand washing / hand sanitizing- hand sanitizing stations are provided at the front door of our offices and centers and MUST be used by all who enter. Staff who provide in-home sessions MUST sanitize their hands upon arrival. Maintain hand washing and sanitizing procedures at the beginning, throughout and at the end of the session whether in community, offices, centers or in families homes.
– Avoid touching your face
– Cover coughs and sneezes
– Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
– Keep materials sanitized and limit the use of shared items during sessions. If a client brings their own electronics (e.g. laptop, IPad and Augmentative device) to a session, it is sanitized upon arrival and again when leaving. Staff do not bring any of their own materials to sessions in families homes or communities.
– Daily cleaning protocols are in place and include wiping all common areas and surfaces and sanitizing all equipment that has been used in client homes, offices and communities. Approximately 15 minutes is scheduled between sessions for staff to engage in proper hygiene protocols.
- Keep physical distancing (6 feet), as much as possible. If we cannot maintain physical distancing, we have installed plexiglass to separate people. We also have portable plexiglass which can be used for meetings or 1 to 1 sessions as needed.
– Pivot Point has established rules and guidelines for our shared spaces (both in our offices and centers, and in client and family homes). These can be found at every site and in our Go Forward Plan.
- Center based sessions are staggered so that people are not congregating, and clients/students are welcomed at the door or at their vehicle whenever possible.
- Limit the number of clients that staff support and the number of environments they are exposed to. If staff are moving from one place to another seeing different clients, it is recommended that they change their outer ware (eg sweater, jacket, etc), in addition to adhering to the other safety protocols mentioned here.
- Contact tracing is conducted as required, however Pivot Point will maintain confidentiality as much as possible. Our goal is to limit the exposure.
- Staff are discouraged from having persons served in their vehicles. However, if this is absolutely necessary, all surfaces in the vehicle must be sanitized before, during and after it is in use. When in a vehicle the client is to sit in the back passenger side seat to allow for greater distancing.
Pivot Point is offering options when the regularly scheduled sessions or classes cannot be conducted:
- If staff are sick and unable to work, Pivot Point will attempt to fill the sessions with another staff while also keeping the number of people in each individual’s “bubble” (staff and client) as low as possible. Otherwise online sessions are offered in the interim.
- We will continue to be mindful of possible mental health issues (anxiety, depression, etc). Pivot Point’s highly experienced Mental Health team is available for online sessions. Please go to our website to request a session through the “Explore Counselling” button in the footer.
- We have implemented policies and procedures for working online. Please see our TeleHealth Policy as well as our Guide for Getting Started Online..
We are especially concerned about this holiday season and we ask our staff and families to please follow the provincial recommendations so that we can come back together in the new year healthy and safe.
We wish you and your families Happy Holidays!
Steve and Crystal
Pivot Point Directors