November 06 2020
Due to the rapidly increasing cases of COVID 19 in the Province of BC, and the onset of flu season, we are reaching out to all of our staff and families with updates and revisions regarding our COVID 19 Safety Plan. As always, Pivot Point is monitoring what is happening in the community and is taking measures for the protection of everyone involved with the organization. We are doing everything we can to take care of our staff and the people we serve, while trying to be community leaders in the fight against COVID 19.
First and foremost, all of our staff are required to wear a (non-medical) mask when present with clients and client families. This demonstrates our awareness of the mutual responsibility we have to protect ourselves and the people we come into contact with. Our staff also practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Pivot Point staff are actively participate in their own routine screening of symptoms, and they are required to stay home when they are sick and/or experiencing other related symptoms. Furthermore, if they develop symptoms part way through a session, they know to leave immediately and inform management and families. There are very few in-person meetings and — no social gatherings of any kind — at or through our organization. Pivot Point staff are doing all of our meetings virtually through the use of teleconferencing. To the benefit of our staff AND clients and client families, Pivot Point continues to increase our offerings of online supports. These include 1-1 sessions, online small group sessions, online social development courses, and more.
Staff are asked to limit the amount of time they spend in cars transporting others. If they must do so, the individual is to sit in the back passenger seat. In addition, staff are asked to avoid using the recirculated air option for the car’s ventilation, and instead use the car’s vents and/or an partially opened windows to bring in fresh air from outside. Vehicles are cleaned and sanitized before and after persons served are transported.
As a reminder, the BCCDC states that children who have one or more of the following symptoms should stay home and be monitored for a minimum of 24 hours: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. If anyone has two or more of the symptoms it is recommended that they seek medical advice (see a doctor, call 811 or get tested).
All of Pivot Point’s in-person sites require daily screening (assessing and reporting illness, symptoms and family contact) and are limiting site capacity to essential people only. Records of visitors are being kept in case that data is needed for contact tracing. Our sites require masks and physical distancing (of 6 feet or more) whenever possible. Our staff are trying to keep our groups as small as possible, and separated whenever possible (with smaller groups working in different rooms). If the numbers continue to rise, we may resort to staggered times and days that sessions or Community Classrooms are available. We are promoting extra hand hygiene (washing and sanitizing), and have limited the use of shared equipment and/or are cleaning and disinfecting between uses. Commonly used areas are also being cleaned and sanitized daily.
When entering families homes, our staff are asking routine screening questions about the health of everyone in the home, as well as any contacts they may have had that would put them (and the other clients they see) at greater risk for COVID 19. If anyone in the household has had contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID 19 the session is cancelled immediately.
We ask families to follow the guidelines from Public Health and isolate as directed (usually 14 days). If anyone in the household has had contact with anyone with symptoms, or anyone deemed “high risk” by Public Health, they are asked to isolate for 14 days from the day of contact as well. Public Health decides the risk level and will dictate the appropriate response given the level of contact and risks. Currently, their guidelines appear to target “high risk exposures” which result from group activities, as well as frequent and/or close encounters with others where mask use and hand hygiene are below recommended levels.
This is why our staff 1) practice social distancing at all times, 2) wear their masks in the presence of others, and 3) practice good hand hygiene before, during and after sessions in families homes.
We ask families to provide a dedicated space in the home for our sessions that is not in a high traffic area for other family members or any visitors. If this is not possible, then rigorous cleaning and sanitizing before and after our staff are in session is required. Another option is to move to having sessions at our community sites (based on availability). We are doing our best to limit the movement of staff between different homes and may ask families for longer sessions, with fewer contact days per week (to limit exposure and spread).
We ask staff and the people we support to consider all of the social interactions they have outside of their households as well. The more people you see, the greater the risk we are to one another.
Once again, in an effort to be proactive and responsive to the needs of everyone involved with Pivot Point, we are “pulling in the same direction” to help slow the transmission of COVID 19. We thank you for doing everything you can to keep yourself and each other safe.
Pivot Point Directors