Disclaimer

Disclaimer

The materials provided on clfe.ca are for educational and informative purposes only, do not constitute legal or professional advice, and are not guaranteed to be accurate, complete or up-to-date.  You should not rely on the information herein without seeking professional advice. The COVID-19 Resources contains links to third-party websites, which are not under our control and Community Living – Fort Erie makes no representations or recommendations as to the accuracy of the information therein.  Use of and reliance on any information or materials provided on this site or any linked website is at your own risk.

The use of CLFE’s COVID-19 Resources is free to be used and duplicated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Select an item below to reveal more information. If you have a question and cannot find the answer below, please click here to email us a question.

Self-Isolation

What does it mean to self-isolate?

  • Self-isolation means staying at home when you are sick with COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has contracted the disease
  • Physically distance yourself from other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others in your home and community.
  • This is critical to “flatten the curve” of disease spread.
  • Self-isolation also applies to anyone returning from travel outside of Canada whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.

Mandatory Quarantine / Isolation

What if an employee shows up to work sick?

An order to remove oneself from any contact with others with possible legal consequences if that order is violated.

  • Employees who have flu-like symptoms or other signs of acute/severe respiratory illness, which include difficulty breathing, new cough or fever, should be sent home.
  • Refer the employee to the Ministry Of Health’s Online Self-Assessment to help determine if s/he needs to seek care

I’m not feeling well, what do I do?

An order to remove oneself from any contact with others, with possible legal consequences if that order is violated.

  • Stay home and self-isolate. If you are experiencing symptoms, including fever, new cough, difficulty breathing and other flu-like symptoms you should:
  • Self-monitor and inform your supervisor/manager.
  • Consult your primary health professional or Niagara Region Public Health.
  • The Ministry Of Health Online Self-Assessment can be completed to determine whether testing for COVID-19 is recommended. 
  • If an employee is ill and not presumed to be at risk for COVID-19, they should refrain from going to work for a minimum of 24 hours after the symptoms have stopped. Acute respiratory illnesses and Influenza can circulate at any time during the year and these infectious diseases may also put individuals at CLFE at risk.

My co-worker wants to come to my house for a visit after work. We spend time together at work. Is there any harm in them coming for a visit?

  • Yes
  • The community (person to person) spread of Covid-19 is driven by human interactions.   If people continue to interact outside of their immediate families and in greater numbers, the greater the risk of exposure and infection from the virus.  Remember, your co-worker may not be showing symptoms of the virus, but they could still possibly be carrying the virus and could unknowingly infect members of your family.

How will I know if a worker is placed on mandatory quarantine/isolation?

The employee should notify CLFE if the employee tests positive for COVID-19 and has been at work in the previous 14 days. Public Health authorities will notify CLFE.

My employee just called to say s/he has been travelling and can’t return to work. What’s next?

Employees who have traveled outside of Canada are asked to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days. You should tell them to follow this instruction and notify your manager.

Compensation For Time Off Due to COVID-19

Questions about sick pay, paid and unpaid leaves and vacation days?

Employees are encouraged to contact the HR department to discuss and/or seek clarification regarding their specific circumstances and benefits.

If an employee must be away from work due to quarantine for COVID-19, is the employer under a legal obligation to pay the employee while s/he is off work?

  • No.
  • There is no legal obligation to continue an employee’s pay if s/he is unable to attend work due to illness or quarantine, unless a workplace policy or collective agreement provides otherwise.
  • However, these are unique times and employment provisions are being reviewed by Federal/Provincial governments.
  • Depending on the circumstances, the employee may be able to access short-term disability benefits if available, or Employment Insurance.

Refusal / Reluctance to Work

What if my employee expresses a concern about coming to work because of an underlying medical condition that puts them in a high-risk category?

The Public Health Agency of Canada suggests there is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians who are over the age 65, with compromised immune systems and who have underlying medical conditions. All employees should be aware of the preventative and protective measures implemented across CLFE, including the screening protocols in place, to ensure such risk is being mitigated. CLFE is following the recommended infection, prevention and control measures provided by experts including the Infection Prevention and Control Committee of Canada (IPAC), the World Health Organization, local and provincial public health agencies.

Can an employee refuse work due to a fear of contracting COVID-19?

  • Yes, in some circumstances. This is a very complex issue in our sector.
  • Employees supporting people with developmental disabilities have a limited right to refuse work where hazard is inherent in their work or where refusal of work would potentially endanger the life of another person.
  • Please refer to the CLFE’s Occupational Health and Safety Right to Refuse Work policy.

Other Return to Work Scenarios

I am not COVID-19 positive but I was having symptoms and stayed home. I’m feeling better, can I come to work?

An employee can return to work if s/he is free from symptoms for at least 24 hours and has not been advised by Niagara Region Public Health or their primary health care professional to stay away from the workplace.

Is there childcare support for families who have to work?

  • Yes
  • Now there is emergency childcare (children under 6) for essential workers and staff working in developmental services are eligible for emergency childcare.  You can find out more information at the Niagara Region website:  Emergency Child Care

I was off for an illness unrelated to COVID-19, can I come to work?

  • Yes.
  • Provided the employee is symptom free for 24 hours and, in the event of travel outside of Canada, completes the 14-day self-isolation period.

I was diagnosed with COVID-19 but I’m feeling better, can I come to work?

Not until you are no longer a risk, as determined by in collaboration with the Niagara Region Pubic Health.

Supporting Persons in Service and Programs

My staff has informed me that a person in service is ill. Now what?

  • Advise employees to follow usual protocols.
  • Provide them with protective equipment.
  • Provide guidelines regarding employees’ responsibility to separate the person from others in service and to seek medical attention through primary care professionals and Niagara Region Public Health on next steps.
  • Update your team and your manager regarding any advice from medical professionals.

Should individuals be going home to families for visits during this time?

For the protection of the people supported, their families and CLFE staff, CLFE follows the ministry’s Visitation Guidelines. Visits can currently be held inside and outside for essential visitors. Outside visits only for non-essential visitors, provided PPE provincial guidelines are being followed.

SOR report to the Ministry

  • An SOR is required if someone in our care has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Follow the normal process for serious occurrence reporting.

Insurance Policy Coverage

Question about insurance benefits?

Employees are encouraged to contact the HR department to discuss and/or seek clarification regarding their specific circumstances and insurance benefits.

Meetings

Should employee meetings still be held?

  • In-person meetings should be limited as much as possible in accordance with provincial directives.
  • If needed, two metre distance should be maintained between attendees.
  • Meetings should be held virtually.
Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Latest Update

COVID-19 Safety Measures have been extended

Updated June, 2021

Over the past 16 months, Community Living-Fort Erie has taken rapid and necessary steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these changes came about as a result of information from Niagara Public Health authorities that has been updated or amended as we have adapted to the crisis. We have extended many of these measures a number of times since March 2020.

Active screening measures are in place in all our sites and staff have been required to limit their employment in the vulnerable person sector to Community Living-Fort Erie and school boards. Our staff are trained and continuously supported in infection prevention and control, cleaning, and disinfection protocols. Individuals living in Community Living-Fort Erie residential programs have been receiving meaningful virtual and in-person day supports in their homes.

In keeping with recent provincial guidelines, Non-essential visitors must schedule out door visits. Essential visitors are not required to schedule visits to Community Living-Fort Erie sites. Essential visitors may include family members providing care, healthcare providers, and maintenance staff. Where possible and practical, essential family visits should be conducted outdoors while observing physical distancing, hand hygiene, and active screening measures. Community Living-Fort Erie will provide masks, face shields, and any other personal protective equipment necessary to keep these visits safe. Essential overnight absences will continue. Short stay absences from Community Living-Fort Erie residential sites are limited to essential trips, such as medical appointments or school.

Beyond these measures, we are ensuring that all our group homes have the technology they need to keep the people we support happy and connected to their families and friends. Please contact the residential group home staff to arrange phone calls, FaceTime chats, or other virtual connections with your family member.

Specific Community Living-Fort Erie sites may be subject to further restrictions beyond these guidelines. Please consult with the site manager with questions regarding site-specific restrictions.

We will update these restrictions as permitted to do so by the provincial government.

Our Respite day supports and Passport Program supports has been paused due public health restrictions. These programs will remain paused until further notice. While we cannot say exactly what will happen next, we know that reopening our services as we knew them is not an option. This is an opportunity to redesign our services in a way that furthers our core mission of supporting the rights and choices of our community through smaller, more individualized program offerings.

Community Living-Fort Erie Offices

Community Living-Fort Erie has taken steps to significantly limit the number of people entering our administrative office at 615 Industrial Drive. Only essential staff are permitted entry to our offices, and anyone entering must wear a mask and be actively screened before proceeding into the building. Staff entering our Administrative building are required to wear facial protection (a mask) during their workday. All in-person training remains suspended across the Association and required and mandatory training is being provided online. Employees should contact their direct Program Manager before visiting our main office on Industrial Drive to see if the visit is required.  People supported should not accompany staff to our main office.

Community Supports,  Family Supports and Supported Independent Living

Many individuals supported or affiliated with Community Living – Fort Erie live independently in the community with some or infrequent services from Community Living-Fort Erie. We continue to reach out and support new and existing families with children and adults living at home remotely. We have recommended that people living independently take measures to limit the number of visitors entering their homes and that they practice physical distancing as much as possible.

We must all do our best to keep each other and our communities safe.

We know that vaccines are now available, but basic public health measures like physical distancing and hand washing have never been more important. We remain laser-focused on keeping the people we support and our staff safe. Community Living-Fort Erie staff are trained and experienced in the measures required to meet this challenge.

Until further notice for those who need to submit invoices for Passport or SSAH please fax them into our office attention Kaye Zanatta at 905-871-3339 or scan and email to Kaye Zanatta at kzanatta@clfe.ca.

We will keep you informed as the situation unfolds.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

For the most updated information on Covid-19 MCCSS guidelines please visit MCCSS COVID-19