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Fact Sheet: Update About VON Safety Measures During COVID-19

WHAT ARE WE DOING TO ENSURE YOUR SAFETY?

VON is committed to protecting the health and safety of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We follow recommendations from provincial government authorities and all levels of public health agencies to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the virus. 

VON’s most important priority is the health and safety of our clients, their families, our employees and volunteers. Here are some of the health and safety measures we are continuing to take during the pandemic: 

  • All VON staff are required to screen themselves for illness, every day. Employees are instructed to come to work only if they pass all screening questions, do not have any symptoms or are cleared to come to work by public health. 
  • VON care providers are provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and are trained to wear it according to direction from Public Health. All PPE worn by VON employees meets or exceeds recognized standards set by Health Canada and other health agencies.  
  • All VON care providers wear a surgical mask and eye protection for any direct client care and this standard exceeds the provincial guideline. If an employee is ever faced with a situation where proper PPE is not available to them, they will not provide care until the suitable PPE is available.  
  • VON employees screen all clients before delivering any care or service. If a client answers ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions, our care providers take additional precautions, put on suitable PPE for the visit and provide the client a VON-issued face mask to wear while receiving care. VON employees also report all positive screening results to VON management and to Public Health, as appropriate to determine next steps for the client’s care.
  • VON care providers are trained to safely put on and remove any PPE and are regularly assessed to make sure they are doing this safely. This includes handwashing before and after wearing PPE to reduce spread of germs and illness. 
  • In the case of VON care providers performing Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures (AGMPs), these are only being performed in essential cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. In instances where they are essential, care providers are performing a risk assessment (in addition to client screening) and are following recommended face protection for each visit. They also take steps to increase ventilation in the space and face masks/N-95 respirators are discarded promptly after the visit. 
  • At VON offices, clinics and locations where programs and services are delivered, we are screening everyone before they enter the premises. Anyone who answers ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions will not be permitted to enter VON spaces unless prior arrangements have been made and extra precautions are in place to ensure the safety of other clients and staff.
  • All VON offices, clinics and locations have increased infection prevention and control procedures and are following best practices to keep our clients and employees safe.
  • To ensure our employees’ safety, we are encouraging infection prevention and control measures suitable to their roles. Wherever possible, VON employees are practicing physical distancing. VON employees who can work from home are currently doing so. 
  • All VON employees are required to follow federal and provincial directives related to self-isolation, gatherings and travel.

EMPOWERING VON CLIENTS TO HELP US STAY SAFE

We all have an important role to play in ensuring that our families, friends, neighbours and healthcare workers remain healthy and safe throughout the pandemic, including VON clients and their caregivers. 

VON is educating clients and those we work with on simple things they should do to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes but is not limited to screening before visits, maintaining physical distancing of anyone not receiving VON’s direct care, practicing hand hygiene, minimizing contact and wearing face coverings. 

VON has been following all advice and directives from Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada.  

For more information about coronavirus and COVID-19, please visit: 

For VON-specific information, please visit von.ca/en/covid-19

 

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Accreditation

Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that consults with experts to develop health care standards based on best practices. They accredit a wide range of health care and social services providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, clinics, and community health programs. Accreditation Canada has been helping providers improve health care quality and safety for more than 55 years.