Services to Diverse Abilities throughout
British Columbia





SERVICES

Pivot Point’s “Go Forward” Strategy: Emerging Through COVID-19

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The BC government has recently announced a phased system for opening up the province as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic. They used current data to predict what will happen in the province, and then established measures to continue to flatten the curve and keep transmission rates low.

Phase 1: High level of restriction (March, April, early May). 

The government has:

  • Banned mass gathering of more than 50 people to reduce the risk of outbreaks
  • Closed bars, dine-in service at restaurants, and personal service operators, like barbers and dentists, to reduce the risk of transmission
  • Reduced in-classroom learning and child care
  • Required travelers to develop and stick to a 14-day isolation plan when arriving in B.C. from abroad
  • Restricted visitors to health care and assisted living facilities to protect some of our most vulnerable people
  • Postponed non-urgent and elective surgeries while maintaining urgent and emergency procedures

Pivot Point has: 

  • Provided services to persons with disabilities where possible and safe, as these are deemed an essential service.
  • Given staff the choice of whether to work in person or not. 
  • Moved most client services to online supports, including Community Classroom students.
  • Continued to support many Complex Care clients in person (when deemed safe by following government recommendations for care). 

Phase 2: Enhanced Protocols (mid May onwards)

According to the BC government, the risk of transmission at busy workplaces and other institutions is a direct function of two variables: the number of contacts (the number of people present at the same time) and the contact intensity (the type of contact ie. close or distant and the length of contact ie. brief or prolonged). These factors can be rated as low, medium or high risks. 

The government recommends:

  • Stay at home and keep a safe distance from family when you have cold or flu symptoms, including: 
    • Coughing, Sneezing, Runny nose, Sore throat, Fatigue.
    • If someone in your home is sick or not well it is recommended to stay home
    • No handshaking or hugs outside of your family
  • Practice good hygiene, including:
    • Regular hand washing
    • Avoiding touching your face
    • Covering coughs and sneezes
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Keep physical distancing, as much as possible when in the community and where not possible, consider using a non-medical mask or face covering
  • Carefully manage in person visits with friends and family who don’t live with you:
  • Only get together in small groups of around 2 to 6 people, maintain physical distance, limit sharing/touching the same objects
  • Stay home and away from others if you have cold or flu symptoms

If you are at greater risk (over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions), be informed of your risk, think through your risk tolerance and take extra precautions.

Parks will reopen (May 14) for day use; Some areas and facilities will remain closed, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and visitor centres.

Pivot Point recommends:

  • Continuing to offer online sessions to all clients and students.
  • Continuing with in person sessions with safety measures in place.
  • Staff should look for opportunities to resume in person sessions with their clients.
  • Clients should consider adding in person sessions alongside their online services, as long as these are within each family’s risk/comfort level. Reach out to Pivot Point staff to explore options for gradual return of in person sessions.
  • A reduced number of people allowed in each office space/ center in order to maintain physical distancing.
  • Center based sessions should be staggered so that people are not congregating at the door.
  • Adhering to Pivot Point’s enhanced safety procedures for all of our regional offices, classrooms, and spaces which include the following:
    • Hand sanitizing stations at the front door.
    • Daily office cleaning protocol (wiping all common areas and surfaces and sanitizing all equipment that has been used). 
    • Pivot Point staff will be cleaning and sanitizing all materials used after each session.
    • No use of outside materials during sessions or sharing materials across clients or students. If a client brings in their own electronics (e.g. laptop, IPad and Augmentative device), it will be sanitized upon arrival.
    • Maintain physical distancing whenever possible. No shaking hands, high fives or hugs.
    • Maintain hand washing and sanitizing procedures at the beginning and throughout the session.
    • Masks are highly recommended (must be changed or washed between clients).
    • Installing plexiglass in high traffic areas to protect staff (eg, reception desks).
    • Lock / restrict access to non-essential rooms to shield staff from others (eg. Admin Center door, individual manager offices, etc.)
    • Visitors (outside of our staff) are prohibited or limited. Parents are encouraged to drop at the door. 
    • We will be engaging in routine daily symptom screening for all staff and persons served. As staff and clients arrive at the session they will be asked if they have had any symptoms of illness or if they have been in contact with anyone who has. 
    • Signs will be added at the front doors describing the required protocols.
    • No sharing of tools or equipment (such as toys, pens, etc.).
    • If a staff or client starts to feel ill during a session, that session ends immediately. We will expect all those who feel sick to honor the 10 – 14 day isolation period. 
    • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, painful swallowing) MUST self isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days.
    • Anyone who has arrived from outside of Canada, or who is a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, must self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
    • Time (approximately 15 minutes) will be scheduled between sessions for staff to engage in proper hygiene protocols. 
  • We will establish summer camps and groups, both online and in person (following safety recommendations).
  • Staff and individuals served are encouraged to report any safety concerns to their Regional Manager.
  • The management team will assess risks often and make changes as needed. 
  • We will continue to be mindful of possible mental health issues (anxiety, depression, etc) of both staff and clients and will provide support whenever possible.

Phase 3: If transmission rates remain low or decline, under enhanced protocols (June to September)

Government recommends:

Pivot Point recommends:

  • Continue with safety protocols described in Phase 2.
  • Observing the same blend of online and in person services, as well as the same partial return (via selectively delayed re-entry or staggered class time) for our Community Classroom students. 
  • Continue keeping pace with Provincial Go Forward Plan as above, inviting both staff and clients back to in person and online sessions, cautiously.
  • Continue to follow the recommendations of WHO, BBCDC and Worksafe BC.

Phase 4: Conditional on at least one of the following; wide vaccination, government confirmed “community immunity”, or other broad successful treatments:

Government recommends:

  • Activities requiring large gatherings will open up, such as:
    • Conventions
    • Live audience professional sports
    • Concerts
    • International tourism

Pivot Point recommends:

  • Continue with safety protocols described in Phase 2.
  • Continue to open up our groups and classrooms as data shows that transmission rates are low.
  • Continue to take our lead from government authorities.
  • We will encourage all of our staff and families to get vaccinated and continue to always practice good hygiene.

Summary:

Government recommendations:

Guidelines will be in place for businesses and organizations to ensure everyone’s safety. We’re not through this yet, but there are important things we can do to protect all of us:

  • Stay informed, be prepared and follow public health advice
  • Practice good hygiene 
    • Frequent hand washing
    • Avoid touching face
    • Cough into your sleeve
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Stay at home and away from others if you’re feeling ill or someone in your home is ill
    • Don’t go to school or work sick
  • Maintain physical distancing outside your household 
    • No handshaking or hugging
    • Small numbers of contacts
    • Keep a safe distance
    • Clean your home and workspace more often
    • Consider using non-medical masks when physical distancing isn’t possible
    • On transit
    • Shopping

Pivot Point wants to get back to providing the high quality of service that we have always provided. We also want to acknowledge that for some of our clients, online services have proven to be more effective than in person sessions. The addition of mental health supports has been extremely effective to the overall well being of many of the individuals served and their families. As such we will continue to offer programs that meet the needs of all of our clients. Together, we can take these actions to keep the curve flat, while doing more to improve our well-being and strengthen our relationships.

Stay Safe

Pivot Point Directors