August 10, 2020
As Circle of Care continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation, we are carefully following the guidance of Public Health Ontario for Home and Community Care and the Ministry of Health to ensure all of our clients, families and employees are protected while we provide necessary and essential care.
Circle of Care’s infection prevention measures include regularly screening clients for new symptoms and following recommended protocols on hand hygiene, the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the safe disposal of supplies.
What should I expect from my Circle of Care provider?
Any Circle of Care employee that conducts home visits is required to screen clients and their family members for symptoms of COVID-19. The list of symptoms is extensive, and may include fever, cough, pink eye, general malaise/fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.
- Health care professional employees (such as your Client Services Supervisor) will contact you prior to their visit to screen via phone.
- Your Personal Support Worker/Homemaker will conduct the screening questionnaire in-person at the beginning of a visit.
If you or any family member in your home reports symptoms, your Personal Support Worker (PSW) or Homemaker will put on full PPE to provide your care and contact the office in order to have the Client Services Supervisor follow up with you directly to gather additional information.
This screening ensures that any individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19 are identified immediately to limit the spread of the virus.
What protective equipment should my PSW wear?
Your PSW should always wear a mask, gloves and eye protection (face shield or goggles) during every visit. In addition, they will wear a gown and shoe coverings if the client is confirmed COVID-positive, or if there is a risk of exposure, or symptoms are present according to the guidelines set out by Public Health Ontario.
Before your PSW begins providing care to you, it is important for you to let Circle of Care providers know if you or your family members in the home are sick, experiencing flu-like symptoms, or have been advised to self-isolate.
If you are concerned that your PSW is not wearing the correct protective equipment during your visit, please contact your Client Services Supervisor or your Service Coordinator.
What should I do if I think I might have COVID?
If you are concerned you have COVID-19 or that you may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, please contact Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) or your family doctor and inform them of your concerns. You are also encouraged to get tested at your local assessment centre.
Privacy and Health Information
Please be mindful that Circle of Care maintains the privacy of its clients and employees and information on specific individuals will not be disclosed to clients.
As per Public Health Ontario, all contact tracing for COVID-19 is done by the local public health unit and all communication about the risk of exposure to individuals must also be done by Public Health. Circle of Care cannot provide this information to clients or family members.
If there is a potential risk of exposure identified, PSWs will be required to wear full PPE which includes: clean gloves, a surgical mask, yellow isolation gowns, goggles or face shield for the duration of 14 days.
Mandatory Mask Bylaw & Physical Distancing
Recently, the City of Toronto and surrounding municipalities have enacted bylaws around mandatory masking for enclosed, public areas.
Where possible, we encourage clients and their family members to wear a mask, as tolerated, while your care provider is in the home. This is recommended as added protection for clients and care providers.
When your PSW is not providing direct personal care, we have asked all our employees to maintain a 6-feet physical distance from you or your family members during their visit.
Lastly, if you have a new visitor in your home that does not live with you, please let us know immediately so we can take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus and maintain physical distance from your visitor. Depending on the visitor’s original place of residence, we may ask that this person remains in another room during our visit.
Thank you for your cooperation
We appreciate the cooperation of all our clients and families to help keep everyone safe. The pandemic is not over, and we ask everyone to remain vigilant during these times.
Chief Executive Officer