COVID-19 has landed us in unprecedented times.
The Integra leadership team is monitoring the situation on a daily basis. We are working with regular updates that we receive from our government, Island Health, the BC Centre for Disease Control, our funders, and the World Health Organization.
We hope that everyone is staying safe during this challenging time. Our main priority is doing everything we can to respond to the pandemic in ways that keep the individuals we serve, personal support networks, team members, and communities, safe and supported.
Due to the necessary requirements of social distancing, we may be adapting the way we deliver some of our services. Team members will be contacting individuals, families, caregivers and other community members by telephone, email or other technologies, to discuss alternatives to in person support, where necessary.
We are limiting the number of people coming together and putting protocols in place to support social distancing and monitoring for symptoms. In situations where people continue to require direct services, we are asking the following questions:
- Are you or is anyone in your household sick?
- Are you or is anyone in your household self-isolating?
- Have you or is anyone in your household recently travelled outside of Canada and self-isolating?
Team members are working on ongoing support plans for individuals who receive essentials services. Some of our resources and team members have been allocated to provide service and support in our residential homes. We continue to have increased infection control measures, as well as extra cleaning and disinfecting in place. Please be assured that all of our residential homes are being kept extremely clean and stocked with food and activities to help everyone stay emotionally and physically healthy.
We would like to take a moment to appreciate the many stakeholders from both our day programs, individualized services and residential homes who have decided to keep individuals at home during this time. This greatly reduces staff support and helps to contain the spread of COVID-19. Our day programs remain temporarily suspended. We are redeploying team members to provide modified services, where appropriate, to reduce the risk of exposure.
We continue to ask everyone to report any symptoms immediately, and ensure the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, including upon entry to any Integra sites,
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow,
- Avoid others who are unwell,
- Stay home when you are sick,
- Report flu-like symptoms to your doctor and,
- Do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with unwashed hands.
Sites will be restricted to only essential visitors at this time.
Anyone who has travelled is required to self-isolate for 14 days and be symptom free for another 24 hours, at a minimum, before they can return to a site.
In the best interests of everyone, we have postponed large gatherings including social advocacy events, team meetings and training events. We are practicing social distancing at all sites and services provided by Integra. It is imperative that planned outings stay within the parameters of acceptable outings. We ask that all stakeholders practice social distancing to ensure members of the Integra Family remain safe. It is VERY important that we are limiting our contact with others. We ask that you do your very best to limit who you come into contact with. Who you are exposed to, becomes who our individuals we support may become exposed to.
We are committed to keeping you informed and will continue to provide you with updates and changes to information as it unfolds. Please be assured that the health and safety of the individuals we serve and team members is our top priority. We are reviewing each of our services on a daily basis and making adjustments as needed in response to health authorities and in consultation with our funders.
We will continue issuing updates to keep you informed. Updates will also be posted to our social media channels.
If there is anything you need from us or additional ways we can support you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by contacting your Program Coordinator or Director, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 250-721-5584.
We have worked on virtual programming efforts including starting a YouTube channel with creative and active videos, and sharing ideas for arts and crafts and other home projects while social distancing. You can check out the links on our website and our social media platforms. If you have any ideas for virtual connections, please let us know as we are looking for more way to engage with each other. We love hearing the stories and seeing the exciting pictures you have shared with us about how time is being filled with creativity and fun for you all.
We are deeply grateful for each of you and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time. We are all in this together and we will get through it together by reducing the spread and risks to one another. We wish good health for you, your loved ones, and your communities.
Kam Judge, Acting CEO