Dear Ongwanada Families;
The current sixth wave of the pandemic has been particularly challenging for Ongwanada. With COVID being so prevalent in the community, some staff and supported individuals have been infected. Staff have also had to isolate due to exposure to infected family members. Fortunately, the health impact of infection for most has been minimal.
Ongwanada continues to take whatever steps it can to protect our supported individuals and staff, the availability of a fourth booster dose for our supported individuals being a good example.
Despite many COVID-related policies and practices being relaxed or removed in the community, by virtue of the vulnerabilities of the people supported, Ongwanada is required to maintain many of the requirements previously put in place to keep our population safe. Our staff is still required to wear medical-grade masks when at work and other personal protective equipment (PPE) in certain circumstances; they are required to self-screen and take their temperature upon entry to the workplace and are required to conduct a rapid antigen test three times in seven days.
In addition, visitors to our homes are reminded that they too are required to wear a medical-grade mask (available at the homes) during their visit and to conduct a rapid antigen test before the visit. Keeping visits to a reasonable length – about one hour – and limiting the visit to one room helps reduce the possibility of the virus spreading to other household members.
We share your concerns about access to Day Programs. Please know that we are diligently working to recruit staff, modify space, and provide increased options for those we support in residential services, including access to community activities and Day Programs.
I am sure each of you, like me and our staff, are anxiously looking forward to when these requirements are no longer needed. But, in the meantime, I want to thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and support as we work through these changing requirements.
I encourage you to reach out with any questions or concerns.
Please accept my best wishes.
A. Alastair Lamb M.Sc. MPA