To submit a question, simply fill out the form on the right. When you hit the submit button, Don will receive your question and when he finds the answer, he will post it to this section. If you have a question that pertains to you specifically, please consider sending that question to you manager or to the HR Manager.
Questions answered on September 23
What is the plan for the second floor bathroom? It has been a public bathroom.
In phases 1 and 2, there will be no clients in the building. So all bathrooms will be for staff. There are signs on all bathrooms to let people know only one person can be in a bathroom at one time. When clients do come back to the building, it will be by appointment only. They will be advised that many of the bathrooms are closed to the public. Our plan at the moment is to make the first floor bathroom a public bathroom.
What is the plan for the staff who have children in school or day care in case the child has been exposed to COVID-19? Will there be a protocol in place or case by case?
We’re going to look at each case one by one and also strictly adhere to Ottawa Public Health guidelines. For example, if a child has tested positive for COVID-19, then we will be asking the parent to not come to work. If the issue is a lack of childcare or a school is closed because of a COVID outbreak, then we will again assess case by case. One thing to remember is that when employees do come back to work, it will be on a rotational basis. Only a handful of people will actually be in the office five days a week. Regardless of the circumstances, our goal is to accommodate when we can.
Questions for the Week of September 21
What happens if an employee tests positive for COVID?
The employee will be directed to follow the protocols established by Ottawa Public Health (OPH).
- They will self-isolate.
- Ottawa Public Health will do contact tracing, and contact anyone who was known to be in close proximity to the person.
- The manager will inform all individuals who have worked in close proximity with the employee. The manager will inform other relevant individuals of any possible exposure. The manager will not disclose the identity of the person who has tested positive for COVID. Those individuals will be asked to contact their healthcare practitioner, self-quarantine for 14 days, and monitor for symptoms.
- The area used by the employee will be closed off and disinfected. This is in addition to required daily cleaning by all employees.
- Once the area has been disinfected, it will be reopened to use. Workers who did not have close contact with the person who is sick can return to work in the space.
Please note that there are many reasons why some people will not return to the office when others do. We won’t share these reasons with individual situations will have been assessed by management and HR.
There will not be tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment on the basis of a protected class under human rights legislation.
Questions Submitted up to September 11, 2020
Do we have a plan?
Yes, we hired a consultant two months ago. Karen Pogue has met with Carl and Gene several times to outline the steps we are to take in order to open safely for our staff.
Do we have signage and shields in the building?
Yes, every reception area has shielding. There are also signs reminding people to not enter the building if they are showing any signs of illness. There are also signs indicating traffic flow around the building.
How will we return to work?
The return-to-work plan involves four stages. The first stage is for the managers to return to work. That will happen in the coming weeks. Stage 2 is when some staff return. The staff who return will volunteer to return to work. Stage three is when we welcome clients back by appointment. Stage four is when all staff return.
When happens when staff return?
We will not be bringing everyone back at the same time. The number of people in the office at any one time will be decided with safety in mind. We also know some of you have concerns about returning to the office. We are here to listen and to respond to those concerns. Please note, no date has been set. Your manager will contact you when we have decided on a date.
How will traffic flow be managed when clients return?
We have a traffic flow plan. Clients will be met at the front door of 219 Argyle. They will be greeted and asked some questions. They will then be directed to the community rooms on the first floor. If they have an appointment, the counsellor will come down to meet with them. If they need to travel to another floor, the counsellor will escort them. Traffic will go up one staircase and down the other. The elevator will be in limited use.
Will we have kitchen access?
Staff will only have access to the kitchen one person at a time? So if you’re going for a coffee and someone is already there pouring a cup, please stand six feet away and wait for the person to leave. The same rules apply to accessing the fridge.
Will there still be some remote working?
Yes. First, when staff return to work, not everyone will return at the same time. We are still working on a schedule but some of you might work Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week. And then Tuesday and Thursday the next week. For other staff, they will follow the reverse schedule. Our goal is to have someone at every second desk.
Will staff receive any PPE?
Yes, every employee will receive three reusable masks. Additional hand sanitizers are being installed around the building.
Will we have PPE for clients?
Yes, although we will encourage clients to arrive with their own PPE. They will be directed to use the hand sanitizer dispenser before they meet with anyone.
In the past, there have been concerns about air quality in the building. Is that being addressed?
Yes. A company was hired to do a thorough inspection of our air ventilation system that is located on the roof. The unit is working as it should and has the capacity to circulate the air of a building twice the size of 219 Argyle Avenue. The next step for the company is to look at the actual air distribution throughout the building.
Staff at Reception House and Welcome House have been open since the start of COVID-19. Are there any additional safety measures being considered?
We are monitoring the situation at both houses. Early on, there was a shortage of hand sanitizer but both houses have a healthy supply of sanitizer.
Please type your question or suggestion in the comment field below. In a few days, check back to find the answer in the Staff FAQ to the left. All questions are anonymous.