On Thursday, May 14, the Ontario government announced that health and community service providers will be permitted to open or expand their services beginning Tuesday, May 19, 2020, provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve. This is part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework. You can read the announcement here.
Hands demonstrated a consistent presence and commitment to client care and operations during COVID-19. The majority of our clients have transitioned effectively to online services The Agency has achieved a great deal using available technology to meet the needs of our clients and communities and will continue to utilize this model in the short-term. The success we have achieved in transitioning to an online model provides Hands with the time needed to plan a safe and effective return to a face-to-face model where appropriate, so we are able to meet the needs of all clients including those for whom face to face interaction is required.
Hands will take a carefully measured and staged approach to transitioning employees back to our office locations and to work within our communities. The health and safety of our clients, families and employees remain Hands’ top priority and will guide our recovery plan decisions. Before introducing any return to face-to-face client visits and/or office and community work, we will have a well-informed strategy in place to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 infection, as well as training and education relating to protocols introduced to protect the health and safety of clients and employees.
The government has released a series of guidelines to help keep clients and employees safe. Hands is closely examining these documents in consultation with our contracted Registered Nurse, who holds a certificate in infection control. We will ensure we are meeting or exceeding the guidelines.
Hands’ Recovery Team has already begun to meet and is actively considering how the Agency will return to work on-site. We will endeavor to ensure our clients, families and partners are well-informed of the Recovery Team’s progress.
Hands has worked diligently to maintain a high level of service continuity and satisfaction for our clients and families during COVID-19. Our initial response to the pandemic was driven by a measured and staged approach, and that same approach will be of even greater importance in our recovery.