Memo To Families (April 1)

April 1, 2020
Dear Ongwanada Family Members,

As the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, so does Ongwanada’s approach to addressing this global crisis. We continue to be in close communication with provincial and local health authorities and are following their recommendations and advice in taking precautions necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of the people we support, as well as our staff.

With the extension of Ontario’s State of Emergency and the announcement earlier this week that schools in the province will remain closed until May 4, 2020, Ongwanada will be extending the closure of many of its services and programs until at least May 4, 2020. In our last communication, we indicated that we would be reviewing measures on a regular basis and providing updates as necessary.

The updates are as follows:

Residential Services
Ongwanada continues to follow the Ministry of Health’s mandated procedures for care homes and is still not permitting visitors to the residential/treatment/complex homes. We realize the impact that this has on families, but we are taking this precautionary step in order to limit the chances of the COVID-19 virus being spread to our residents and staff. We appreciate the importance of staying in touch with your family member and will coordinate with families to continue communication through other means such as telephone and Facetime calls.

Should you wish to take your family member home during this health crisis, we will reserve their space, however we will not be able to accommodate their return until after the health crisis is over to prevent against possible transmission of the virus.
Individuals supported in Community Residences/treatment/complex homes will not be attending Day Programs or community activities in general until further notice.

Ongwanada Resource Centre
The Ongwanada Resource Centre remains closed to the public until further notice. Public services including X-Ray, hydrotherapy pool, Snoezelen Room are closed. After-hour use of the Resource Centre by community groups is suspended.

Day Programs
Balsam Day Program, Crescent and ORC Day Programs will remain closed until May 4, 2020.

Respite
Ongwanada respite services have been suspended until May 4, 2020 with the exception of Wilson Street which will not reopen until May 31, 2020 as it has been temporarily repurposed.

Volunteer Services
Volunteer services continue to be suspended.

Ongwanada recognizes the impact that these measures have on the individuals that we support as well as their families and we ask for your continued understanding during these unprecedented times. Updates will be posted on our website www.ongwanada.com and will be communicated directly to families as required. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me or send a message to covid@ongwanada.com

Sincerely,
Alastair Lamb CEO
Ongwanada