May 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
To our valued supporters:
I hope that you and your loved ones continue to be safe and well as the COVID-19 recovery slowly begins.
Here is an update to keep you informed about our situation.
I’m pleased to tell you that there haven’t been any positive cases of COVID-19 among the youth staying at Covenant House at the time of this posting.
Safeguarding our staff and youth
We continue to undertake measures to help protect the health and safety of youth and staff. This includes taking direction regarding best practices from local, provincial and federal health authorities and relying heavily on the in-house expertise of our health care team.
We are screening all youth and staff before they enter the building and referring them for COVID-19 testing, as appropriate.
All staff are still required to use masks when they are in the presence of others, including wearing a mask in common areas. Youth have been provided with cloth masks that were generously donated by members of the community.
Additional Screening Protocols – Temperature Checks
To do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of youth and staff, we have initiated daily temperature screening of all staff entering our facilities. We will also begin rolling out temperature checks for youth next week.
Staff and youth are reminded regularly to protect themselves and others by practicing physical distancing, performing good hand hygiene, avoiding touching their face, and covering coughs/sneezes.
Community Support Services program re-opening in June
We are in the process of preparing for the modified re-opening of our drop-in centre in early June. Youth in the community will be able to access the centre by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 5 p.m.
The drop-in centre will offer showers, food, one-on-one staff support, mail service, access to the food bank, clothing and hygiene supplies.
Relocation of 38 crisis shelter youth to hotel space
To date, the relocation of 38 youth from our crisis shelter to a downtown hotel for better physical distancing is working well. We are also supporting youth from Turning Point Youth Services, the YMCA and Eva’s who are residing at the hotel as well. Thank you to those staff supporting operations at the hotel, including our health care team, who is offering a weekly on-site clinic.
The City of Toronto, who spearheaded this initiative, has informed us that hotel operations will continue to August 2020, unless extended. We will keep you informed of any changes.
We are so grateful to our front line staff who continue to step up every day in providing 24-7 support to the youth.
Despite the slow ease of restrictions, we continue to encourage our administrative staff to work remotely. We are putting in place a return to work plan for those staff working off-site, which we will implement once we receive the authorization to do so from provincial authorities.
Thank you for being there
Everyone in the community has been so generous and supportive throughout this crisis. Please accept our heartfelt thanks. Your concern for the welfare of our youth is much appreciated.
Please check this page for future updates.