We've been working very hard to adjust services and provide meaningful accommodations during this time, and will continue to do so. Part of that has been transitioning from breaks in service to in-person sessions (with a range of options in between).
Our services have been deemed essential, according to the most recent guidelines introduced on January 12, 2021. See page 27 under ‘Health care and social services’.
We are able to safely provide in-person services (in home and in centre) by following all of the recommendations outlined by Public Health.
Observations will continue to be provided in-person and virtually, depending on the needs of the learner and family preferences. Virtual observations and direct service will be delivered via secure platforms (ex. Ring security system, Google Meet). When planning for in-person observations, new and existing close contacts will be considered.
The Government of Ontario has created a variety of self-assessment tools for individuals to use to screen and monitor COVID-19 symptoms.
We are asking all families to complete the school screener daily for their learner and other members of the household. Team members will also need to complete the school screener daily. They may also complete a screener for the learner upon arrival to session.
If everyone passes the screener, session can begin. If anyone does not, then the rest of the team should be notified and the recommendations listed on the screener will be followed.
The following precautions will be taken, in order to minimize everyone’s risk of exposure to COVID-19:
Complete regular daily self-assessments of all team members and clients (adults and children), home safety risk assessments, and point-of-care risk assessments.
Encourage physical distancing whenever possible. Maintain a 2-metre distance and avoid unnecessary close contacts. Stagger or alternate pick ups/drop offs, breaks, and outdoor time. Arrange for pick-ups and drop-offs to happen outdoors. During times when individuals may become unmasked (ex. snack time), please keep these activities within a 10-15 minute time limit.
If physical distancing is not possible, personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of a mask or face covering is recommended, particularly for individuals 6 years of age and older. When interacting with individuals without a mask or face covering, additional protections such as eye protection is also recommended. PPE must be put on outdoors or while physically distancing, and replaced after each visit. Perform hand hygiene before PPE is put on, and before/after removal.
For those who are unable to wear a mask due to individual challenges, working on mask desensitization or teaching appropriate mask use is a goal that should be introduced to the learner’s programming.
Perform proper respiratory hygiene. Cover coughs with a tissue or cough into your elbow, followed by proper hand hygiene.
Perform proper hand hygiene (including assisting children with hand hygiene) and incorporate additional hand hygiene opportunities. Wash hands upon entry and exit, before food is prepared/administered, and any other time hands are potentially contaminated or after other personal hygiene practices.
Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting objects, toys, and frequently touched surfaces (twice per day). Limit shared materials to only those that are essential. Ensure all toys used are made of material that can be cleaned and disinfected. Do not use water or sensory tables. Do not share eating/drinking utensils or food. Label personal items to discourage accidental sharing. Check expiry dates of cleaning products used and always follow manufacturer instructions.
The Province of Ontario has issued a directive that requires hospital and home/community care service providers to have a COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees, staff, contractors, students, and volunteers. The vaccination policy must be effective no later than September 7, 2021, and at a minimum will require these individuals to provide proof of one of three things:
- Full vaccination against COVID-19
- A medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19
- Completion of a COVID-19 vaccination educational session, and regular antigen testing
In response to this directive, Best Behaviour Inc. will be implementing the following vaccination policy, effective September 7, 2021:
- All employees, staff, contractors, students and volunteers must provide proof of immunization against COVID-19 by October 17, 2021. Public Health currently considers anyone who has received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccination for a minimum of 14 days as fully immunized. A copy of proof of vaccination can be sent to email@example.com to be kept on file.
- Anyone who cannot receive a vaccination due to a medical reason will be able to submit a request for accommodation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If a team member is unsuccessful after seeking a medical accommodation, proof of a first COVID-19 vaccination will be required within 72 hours of being notified or by October 17, 2021 (whichever comes first).
- Anyone granted accommodation or who is not yet fully vaccinated must test negative on a rapid antigen test no more than 72 hours prior to each scheduled day of work.
We will continue to monitor any updates regarding vaccinations, that would be relevant to our field of work and the learners we support.
At this time, full vaccination against COVID-19 is not mandatory for clients or families.
Rapid Antigen Screening
Best Behaviour Inc. is enrolled in the Provincial Antigen Screening Program. This provides us with rapid antigen screening kits to be used for team members who work in-centre*. These tests are only to be used for screening asymptomatic team members, and cannot be used for anyone presenting with symptoms. They cannot be used to diagnose a COVID-19 infection. They do not replace laboratory-based testing.
Team members who are not fully vaccinated and are required to complete a rapid antigen test every 72 hours may use the tests provided at the centre or obtain tests from a community distributer. The results of tests completed at the centre must be reported using the Google Form provided. Personal rapid antigen test results do not need to be reported to Best Behaviour Inc. at this time. Training on how to complete the screening and report results will be provided.
In the event that a team member receives a ‘positive’ result, they will be required to immediately cancel their sessions for the day. They will book a COVID-19 test and follow the subsequent recommendations from Public Health. We recognize the inconvenience this may cause families, however this is one of the ways we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and workplace.
*Screening provided by Best Behaviour Inc. is not currently available for team members working in-home, clients, or families. If rapid antigen screening becomes available in your community, we encourage everyone to take advantage of this resource.
Here's what you can do to help us maintain a safe work environment at the centre:
- NO WALK INS. Please do not enter the unit unless you have been instructed to do so. Please call 226-755-0015 if you are unsure how to proceed upon arrival.
- CALL before entering the unit for your scheduled appointment, if no one is there to meet you. You will be met in the hallway, outside, or at your designated meeting point.
- BEFORE entering the unit, please complete a self-assessment. Contactless temperature checks may also be conducted.
- WASH or sanitize your hands upon entering the unit.
- COUGH or sneeze into your elbow and avoid touching surfaces/materials when possible.
- MAINTAIN a 2-metre distance between yourself and others when possible.
- If this is not possible, personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of a mask or face covering is required for adults only. It is recommended for children over the age of 2 years old, particularly for individuals 6 years of age and older. PPE must be put on outdoors or while physically distancing, and replaced after each visit. When interacting with individuals without a mask or face covering, additional protections such as eye protection are required for adults only.
Cancellation Policy Reminder and Temporary Change
In light of Public Health recommendations that may result in an increased number of cancelled sessions, it is also important to note that we have amended our 24-hour cancellation policy. For one-to-one sessions (as stated in the One-to-One Registration Form) …
- In the event of a cancellation, I must notify the ABA Therapist(s), Senior Therapist, and Clinical Supervisor. Sessions cancelled twenty-four (24) hours in advance will not be billed. Cancelled sessions can be rescheduled at the discretion of the Parent/Guardian and Therapist, but it is not required.
- Sessions cancelled within
twenty-four (24) hours* notice will be billed in full, as a Late Parent Cancellation. If possible, these hours will be used to benefit the learner’s programming.
- If the learner is sick and the session is not cancelled, the Therapist may cancel upon arrival or end session early at their discretion and it will be considered a Late Parent Cancellation.
- If the Therapist cancels a session for any reason, all parties will be notified as soon as possible. If the session cannot be covered by another team member, the session will be cancelled and will not be billed. Cancelled sessions can be rescheduled at the discretion of the Parent/Guardian and Therapist, but it is not required.
*Please note a TEMPORARY CHANGE starting Jan. 17th, 2021: Sessions cancelled after 8 AM on the day of the session will be billed in full. Team members, please record the date/time you received notification of a cancelled session when tagging it as a Late Parent Cancellation on Clockify, in the description.
This applies to the first instance of a cancellation, not subsequent cancellations. For example, if SC is exhibiting symptoms and the self-assessment indicates that sessions will need to be cancelled until the learner is symptom free for 24 hours, that first cancelled session may be billed in full if it was cancelled after 8 AM on the day of the session. However, it is understood that all subsequent sessions are cancelled until further notice, so there would be no ‘Late Parent Cancellation’ charges for subsequent sessions. In this example, a parent would notify their therapy team when the learner has been symptom free for 24 hours and sessions would resume at the therapists’ earliest available start date.creening is not currently available for team members working in-home, clients, or families. If rapid antigen screening becomes available in your community, we encourage everyone to take advantage of this resource.
Financial Benefit Programs
There are many financial benefit programs available to help families and workers facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs include benefits geared towards caregivers, employees, and independent contractors who may be required to stay home and self-isolate or who experience a significant drop in income due to someone else’s self-isolation.
Here is a list of the most up-to-date financial benefit programs.
Employees may also be eligible for the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit. This time can be logged on Clockify under ‘Other Hours’ – ‘Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit’.