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VON Statement: Approach to Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

VON is actively monitoring the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As of January 31, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada has stated the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV remains low. Our National Clinical Response Team is continuing to assess the situation as more information becomes available and is working collaboratively with our partners, including provincial governments, to support and care for our clients. 

The safety and wellbeing of our clients, employees, and volunteers is our top priority as we continue to provide and deliver quality care. VON is committed to making decisions and implementing policies based on evidence. We are working diligently to ensure the proper structures are in place to provide care and service to our clients while adjusting our approach to reduce risk, as required. 

To protect our clients, employees, and volunteers, we have taken a number of precautionary measures, including:

  • National Clinical Response Team: We have activated a dedicated team to lead an ongoing organizational risk assessment to guide our approach. This includes active monitoring of the 2019-nCoV outbreak, identifying risks of exposure, developing and revising policies, implementing preparedness activities, and supporting sites and employees with any concerns about clients, household members, or visitors with suspected or known 2019-nCoV.
  • Increased Screening: Employees and volunteers who provide direct care and service have been equipped with infectious illness screeners that include questions about signs and symptoms of illness and recent travel. VON’s screening is consistent with information that has been provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Provincial Ministries of Health, and international partners, including the World Health Organization. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment: We are taking steps to ensure all employees in all programs are equipped with the recommended personal protective equipment for airborne and contact precautions. We are working collaboratively with our employees to identify any concerns and ensure they feel confident using personal protective equipment and are providing education and opportunities for practice. 
  • Support for Employees and Volunteers: We are here for our team. VON has implemented a structure for employees and volunteers to reach out to Managers, Supervisors, and Coordinators as a first point of contact if they have any questions or concerns related to preparedness activities or client illness. 

We will continue to share updates and make necessary adjustments to our approach as more information becomes available.  For more information, or if you have concerns about delivery of care, please contact 1-888-866-2273 or email clientrelations@von.ca  

For further information about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from The Public Health Agency of Canada please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html. 

Click here to view a PDF of Frequently Asked Questions related to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

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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.