LATEST NEWS & UPDATES

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July 15th, 2022

Hello everyone,

Here we are in mid-July and in what appears to be the seventh wave of this COVID-19 pandemic, a couple months earlier than originally anticipated

The case numbers of COVID-19 infections are similar to the early winter months. We are seeing significant amounts of community transmission of infection related to the very high transmissibility of the newest variants and the decrease in the wide-spread public health precautions. These high case numbers put all our programs, sites and homes at risk of outbreak affecting our residents, clients and staff in very significant ways. The following strategies will help us through this current wave of the pandemic:

Self-monitoring and screening – Paying close attention to how you are feeling is very important. A scratchy throat, some new nasal congestion or even additional fatigue could be an early sign of COVID-19 infection. Please be sure to take time to reflect on how you are feeling before you attend any of our programs, sites or homes.

Enhancing rapid testing – We continue to require daily rapid testing for all staff and visitors entering our homes. At this time we will be moving towards more accurate sample collection that includes swabbing inside the mouth (or the throat) in addition to the nose. We know that Omicron is being identified earlier in the throat than in the nose and this can identify cases earlier. Click here for a detailed guide on how to preform a Rapid Antigen Test.

Staying up-to-date with vaccines – We continue to encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines. This week the province has announced that 4th doses (or 2nd booster doses) are available to all adults over the age of 18. Please check your eligibility and continue with your vaccination schedule. Those of us working and visiting high-risk settings, such as the locations in which we provide care and services, should ensure we are doing everything we can to keep ourselves infection free when interacting with those most vulnerable.

Mask use and eye protection – We continue to require universal masking at all of our programs and homes that provide care and services. Although there is no longer a provincial mask mandate in place, we do believe that masking does provide protection when in crowded places. We also encourage our staff and visitors to utilize higher level masks such as KN95s or N95s that we have available for use when requested at screening and consider wearing eye protection again, as these may become mandatory in the future.

Preparedness and planning – Our fall preparedness activities have been moved up to ensure we remain in good shape to manage this wave of the pandemic. Unfortunately, this wave is happening during the time our staff are trying to take their well-deserved summer vacations. Our dedicated staff continue to practice and hone their skills in outbreak prevention and management. We utilize our supply chains and resource management to always ensure sufficient levels of PPE and infection prevention and control supplies.

We hope that you all enjoy the summer safely. Take care and stay well,

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Steve Sherrer

CEO

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June 9th, 2022

Hello everyone,

We hope that you are enjoying the warm weather and are looking forward to some summertime activities.

We continue to monitor the current COVID-19 situation in our province and our local areas. We are happy to see the number of COVID-19 cases decreasing and the hospital pressures alleviating at this time. These are contributing factors in the recent provincial COVID-19 precaution changes. Effective June 11th, many of the provincial precautions are being lifted. Of note, many of the masking mandates will be lifted. Some exceptions for masking mandates do remain. Masks are still required in all longterm care home and retirement homes in the province. Masking is still recommended in higher-risk congregate living settings.

Due to the nature of the work we do and the vulnerability of our workforce, Thrive Group will be continuing with all masking requirements for all staff, students, volunteers, caregivers, visitors and contracted workers in all of our sites and programs for both indoor and outdoor activities. This includes the Osler offices. Residents and clients are still encouraged to wear masks when gathering in groups when distancing is not permitted.

We will continue to evaluate the precautions being implemented and will adjust and modify them as required.

Take care and stay well,

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Steve Sherrer

CEO

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March 29th, 2022

Hello everyone,

All of Thrive Group’s member organizations, are continuing to review our practices, precautions and policies as the province lifts COVID-19 precautions in the broader community. Our vaccine policies have been under review and today we have some updates for you.

Employee Vaccination Policy

At this time, Thrive Group organizational leaders have completed the review of the employee policy for COVID-19 vaccinations. This policy applies to all of our staff, including students, volunteers and contracted/support workers that provide care or services within the organization. The decision has been made to continue to require all staff to be fully vaccinated based on the definition of “fully vaccinated” by Health Canada. At this time, that definition does not include a third or booster dose of vaccine. It is still very much the position of Thrive Group that all staff obtain the additional or booster doses that are recommended as soon as eligible.

Visitor and Essential Caregiver Vaccination Policy

The vaccine requirements for visitors and essential caregivers continues to be under review as we continue to investigate how to adequately balance resident and clients’ rights with safety for everyone that enters our homes and other sites. We will share the updated policy as soon as we are able to finalize this plan. In the meantime, all individuals entering our programs must be fully vaccinated (minimum 2 doses of vaccine).

We know that the vaccine works well at preventing severe illness requiring hospitalization and it works relatively well at preventing illness in general for the period of time after a booster dose. We continue to echo the messages the Chief Medical Officer of Health in saying “I encourage all health care workers as well as all Ontarians to remain up-to-date in their COVID-19 vaccines, and to receive all doses, including additional doses, that are recommended as soon as they are eligible”.

Take care and stay well,

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Steve Sherrer

CEO

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