Published on March 20th, 2020
In case if there will be community quarantine from provincial government, LMSCL will continue to deliver quality services with the current and additional steps below.
All office personnel and management will work from home collaboratively in such way that the continuity of care is not affected negatively.
QUALITY ASSURANCE and IT
In order to facilitate communication process, in addition to Bitrix24, real time video conferencing platforms will be used to monitor houses and quality of services. Complete explanation of the protocol is provided under the heading “Services”. Quality Assurance will be responsible to monitor the quality of services provided remotely.
Hiring and Interview – will still continue to hire. Interviews will be done by HR manager through Skype, Zoom or other platforms. Orientation and training of the staff will be performed through the video conferencing platform too.
LMSCL Staff should let the management know if they are working simultaneously in other care facilities or businesses that are in close contact with customers or vulnerable population and should take every necessary precaution to assure safety of other staff and clients. LMSCL will follow orders from Provincial Health Officer and CSSEA to whether allow staff who work in more than one agency to work in our houses or not. LMSCL will try to reduce staff exposure by limiting full-time staff to work in one location as much as possible.
Based on recommendations from provincial and federal governments, health authorities and CSSEA, staff will be asked to follow protocols. The following guidelines are based on the latest updates by BC Ministry of Health  on March 18th and CSSEA on March 19th and may change frequently as necessary.
Employee isolation or quarantine for the 14 days incubation period should be done only with the approval of a medical professional unless the employee is returning from international travel, including from the United States. This is the direction of the BC Medical Health Officer to self-isolate for 14 days in order to monitor for symptoms of the illness.
Provincial officer also advises against non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the United States. Individuals who do travel are asked to self-isolate (e.g. stay away from work, school, etc.) for 14 days upon their return to B.C.
If you leave in the same house with the individual who just came from travel, please call your health professional and ask on the instruction and let management know the instruction and the name of the health professional. You may need to stay at home if that instructions come from your healthcare professional.
All other employees who have not traveled outside of Canada and who are concerned about having contracted the virus should contact 8-1-1, their primary care physician, or local public health office, to secure and follow directions on self-isolation, even though asymptomatic.
Employees who commence travel outside of Canada after March 13 contrary to the direction of the Provincial Health Officer do so at their own risk. Upon returning to Canada, they would be placed on an unpaid leave for the 14 days self-isolation period, or they may use available vacation credits or apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits if applicable.
All self-isolating employees should be directed to keep LMSCL updated regarding the status of any direction or updates they receive from a qualified medical professional.
REFUSAL TO WORK
Based on the protocol provided by CSSEA, Employees who are not showing symptoms of illness or who do not actively secure direction from a qualified medical professional to self-isolate are expected to attend, and remain at work as scheduled, despite understandable personal concerns about potential exposure in the community or in the workplace. All refusals to perform work would be taken seriously and investigated. If a belief is expressed by an employee that they are concerned about exposure, Section 3.12 of the OHS Regulation provides employers and employees with a process to address it.
Concerns about exposure can be initially addressed by ensuring that there are sufficient universal precautions in place, and that all health and safety measures are regularly reviewed with staff.
CSSEA also recommends that no vacations be granted for the foreseeable future, to assist employers in responding to unexpected staffing coverage needs. Depending on developments, it may also be necessary in the future to consider cancellation of vacations already granted.
If staff becomes positive by COVID19 – they shall treat it with the guidance of health professionals and be supported by their family. No positive staff is allowed to work in any LMSCL premises on any circumstances.
This below are from LMSCL Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) meeting;
If staff cannot come to work –
(1) Scheduler will use casual staff as replacement to cover the shift
(2) Next will try student availabilities – student who still have extra hours or allowed to work
(3) Can use staff working in the same house, then reduce the shift from the next two weeks so that they won't go over the allowed working hours a month.
(4) If none of the above options is available, LMSCL will provide further guidance on how to
use other possible options case by case and based on discussions and agreements with
CSSEA and BCGEU.
If staff called-in and they said they are not feeling well;
1. If they cannot come for work due to symptoms, they need to complete the 14 days straight
observation unless cleared by medical professionals (by Ministry of Health – Office of the
Provincial Health Officer).
Pharmacy - will still continue to deliver medications.
They will continue deliveries to LMSCL as scheduled (note: LMSCL already has at least 1 additional week of medications on hand).
The medications will be delivered by medication coordinator or delegates to each program. To avoid contact with staff and client, medication will be left at the door and staff will be called to get it while person who delivered will be witnessing that staff took the medications inside the home.
Will continue to ensure that a reasonable supply of gloves, masks and any other equipment appropriate for the worksites are readily available.
Please be advised that ordinary masks are not protective for healthy people but good for those who are concerned that might have been affected by the COVID-19 since the mask can avoid droplets to be spread in the surroundings.
Stocks such as alcohol, disinfectants, food groceries have been secured.
OHS will continue to update its bulletin in BitRix24 Activity Stream and General Chat with the latest news about COVID19. Employees has been advised to always check their BitRix24 from time to time. OHS will deliver emergency supplies to the houses as required and by the request of the keyworker or case manager. Similar as medication delivery, to avoid close contact with staff and client, groceries will be left at the door and staff will be called to get it while person who delivered will be witnessing that staff took the groceries inside the home.
Attention: Stop signs have been installed on all entrance doors to prohibit entry of any person whose exhibiting flu like symptoms with attention to; cough, fever and difficulty of breathing.
Upon entry to the homes; there’s alcohol and disinfectant provided for use.
Advised as well to change clothing, remove jacket and outdoor shoes before any interaction to the client. Hand washing signs have been posted above all sinks with soap for guidance.
Shoes can be important source of contamination. Please remove your outdoor shoes before entering to the foyer area.
COVID-19 information has been posted on the bulletin board in the staff office
Services department will continue to monitor and check the houses with the help of QIC. The houses will be divided per group and assigned to members of QIC who will supervise the house during the quarantine period. Video conference check-in via Zoom will be performed.
Each manager will call the houses together with their case manager in such way that both morning and evening shifts will have the opportunity to update management. A draft will be provided by the services department on what to be discussed with the support workers as the event unfolds.
VISITATIONS & GATHERINGS
All home visitations by external parties in LMSCL houses have been cancelled. All visitations by client to their parents and family home has been cancelled and limited to permission by the management for extreme exceptional cases by consulting with all involved stakeholders including funders (CLBC and MCFD).
All stakeholders have been updated with the internal protocol implemented through all the programs. This includes other options/ activity for the children/youth/individual and will AVOID for now any public or private places with high risks of getting infected such as recreation centres, community centres, and any public places (Libraries, Malls, Groceries, Swimming Pools, Gym, etc.).
Other alternatives for the activities; can be indoors and doing board games, crafts, coloring, reading, playing in the backyard and gardening; outdoor walk in the neighborhood is allowed when is safe to do so with consideration of all necessary precautions and safe distancing.
All car rides have been cancelled unless there is written permission by the management.
It’s highly recommended to cancel all outing activities that may expose person served to crowds and replace with the in-house activities as alternatives.
All day programs and community inclusions of CLBC individuals have been cancelled.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has advised all community gatherings and events planned for 50 people or over be cancelled or postponed.
This is not the case for LMSCL. CLBC is asking agencies to ensure supports are provided in ways that are safe, including with no exposure to groups larger than five. The smaller the better.
We will need to keep our houses with least amount of people inside. This will ONLY include the individual in care and the staff on duty. Any visitations should be only organized by the top management till further notice. All monitoring will be performed remotely.
Birthday parties will be done only with the staff on duty with whatever available in the house and without increasing the risk of infection by going to the mall and buying Birthday cakes, candles, etc. Also, no friends or families will be invited to attend the party. For further guidance please communicate with your Case Manager.
INDIVIDUALS IN CARE
If a child, youth, caregiver or contractor involved with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) becomes ill with COVID-19, please report it to the management as well as Provincial Centralized Screening at 1-800-663-9122.
Concerned about the symptoms of a child or youth in your care?
Inform management and Consult their health provider or call 8-1-1.
In case of emergency and a need to self-isolate any staff or client. An emergency house has been identified. The management will instruct you if necessary.
Public health authorities currently advise us to focus efforts on preventing transmission of cold and flu like illness. Below were conveyed to all LMSCL employees already and will continue to keep reminding, as well as individuals and families, the importance of doing the following:
- Wash your hands often with warm water and soap
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and dispose of tissues properly or into your elbow sleeves.
- Avoid others who are unwell
- Stay home and away from others if you or your family are sick.
- Report flu-like symptoms to your doctor
- Ensure your family has a plan to care for family members
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid usual greetings such as handshakes, hugs and kisses.
This information may change rapidly please contact Finance Manager if you have any question on how to apply for EI and COVID-19 emergency benefits.
Who qualifies for EI?
Whether you qualify for EI will still depend on your specific situation, such as regional rate of employment, and the number of hours worked in the last 52 weeks. The government recommends people apply as soon as possible to find out if they qualify; waiting more than four weeks after your last day of work means you could lose access to those benefits.
To receive EI, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own, which includes being unable to work because of illness or quarantine. Newly, the one-week waiting period for sickness benefits is removed for those who have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, meaning applicants can be paid for the first week of their claim too.
If approved, the maximum amount paid out for EI is $573 a week. For further information please visit CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html.
How do I apply?
Applicants usually need a medical certificate along with records of employment, though the new rules allow quarantined workers to apply without the former requested documents. If you can't apply because you are quarantined, you can also file for EI sickness benefits later and have the claim backdated.
To apply for EI benefits, you can visit the website (Canada.ca). Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government's toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725, or teletypewriter at 1-800-529-3742.
It is also possible to apply in person at a Service Canada office, though those who are experiencing symptoms, or are in self-isolation or quarantine are instructed not to visit.
What if I don't qualify for EI?
The federal aid package also includes the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
The Emergency Care Benefit provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks, to those affected by COVID-19. It's intended for those who don't qualify for EI, can't go to work and don't have paid sick leave.
Workers — including the self-employed — who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 can apply, as can those staying home to take care of a family member with COVID-19 who doesn't qualify. Parents staying home to care for children because of school closures are also covered, and can apply whether or not they qualify for EI.
The Emergency Support Benefit will give up to $5 billion to workers ineligible for EI who face unemployment. It is intended to be a long-term income support, but the government hasn't yet said how much it will provide, or how long funds will be given out.
Pharmacists in British Columbia are now able to provide medication refills to patients without an updated prescription from a doctor or nurse practitioner.
Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the change earlier this week in an effort to avoid non-essential visits to physicians, freeing them up to focus on halting the spread of COVID-19.
As this situation remains fluid, we encourage all employers to stay informed of developments by regularly visiting the following helpful websites:
Office of the Provincial Health Officer
BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID-19
HealthLink BC (which contains many links to other useful websites)
Public Health Agency of Canada
and for travel notices:
WorkSafeBC – COVID-19 and the Workplace
Government of Canada – Employment Insurance – COVID 19
 Bonnie Henry, Updates on COVID-19, Office of Provincial Health Officer, Victoria, BC, March 18, 2020
 CSSEA, CSSEA Info: COVID-19 Update and Letter from Provincial Health Officer, Vol 27; Issue 4, March 19, 2020
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