To all community service providers, partners and stakeholders,
The impact of COVID-19 continues to develop across our region. As we look down the road, we’ve assessed what our pandemic operations will look like. As you may already know, our agency continues to remain nimble and transparent while ensuring due diligence surrounding risk to the agency as it relates to the health and well being of our employees, volunteers, peers and or clients.
Please note our agency continues with scaled back services and remote accessibility. We continue to monitor all levels of government and public health evidence and assess on-going communications. As a result of what we have learned our organization has implemented the following procedures and protocols:
- The organization will continue with secure entrance to our main reception area. Our NSP services are accessible through the lobby with screening protocols. Self screening continues for staff, pre-screening & sanitization for any essential visitors who have a scheduled appointment. Doorbells are accessible to notify staff of walk-in visitors.
- There continues to be enhanced sanitization resources available throughout the centre. PPE is available and continues to be a mandatory protocol for group meetings.
- Staff are expected to greet visitors in the lobby and escort them to meeting space. No more than two individuals in the elevator at a time.
- Reception continues to be limited to the auto-attendant.
- Majority of agency staff are working a combination of remote and in-centre hours. This limits the number of persons in the building at all times to a maximum of 15 or less.
- Harm Reduction & Support Services continue to provide case management and supplies distribution.
- Volunteer and fund development engagement will continue with on-line support and communications. At this time there are no in-centre volunteers.
- Financial Management/Operations will continue to operate as normal.
We continue to monitor evidence based surveillance and best practices and put in place protocols that we hope will aid in curbing a resurgence of COVID19 in our region. Our goal is to work with all of you as we move through the pandemic to create innovative solutions to sustaining services for the weeks, months and year to come.
“COVID-19 is a serious virus and people living with HIV should take recommended preventive measures to minimize exposure to prevent infection. It’s important to underline that there is currently no strong evidence that people living with HIV are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or if they do contract it they will experience a worse outcome. This does not mean that people living with HIV should take COVID-19 lightly and should take all precautions to protect themselves. Older people living with HIV or people living with HIV with heart or lung problems may be at a higher risk of becoming infected with the virus and suffering more serious symptoms.” UNAIDS
Support Services continues to provide wellness checks (primarily by phone), monthly food package deliveries and scheduled one-on-one appointments (phone, video or in-person). Persons requiring an in-centre meeting are asked to schedule an appointment prior to visiting the agency. Programs such as the Red Ribbon Cafe, Massage, Rekei and other close physical proximity touch services continue to be suspended.
The HIV Care Program wants to let individuals know that their pharmacy will be delivering patients’ medications at this time. This will ensure that patients receive their medications while continuing to observe self-isolation and social distancing protocols. Please call the pharmacy at 519-254-6115 if you have any questions or concerns about this process, or to place your medication order.
Needle Syringe Program: Yellow Umbrella
All Prevention Education presentations and facilitated groups continue to be offered online ONLY using Zoom. Requests for in-person presentations and or group activities are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For more information regarding our education platforms, click here.
Health Care Access
A map has been designed to indicate where area residents can still receive patient care including but not limited to doctor/NP offices, walk-in-clinics, diagnostic imaging (x-rays, etc) and lab blood draw clinics. Developed by Essex County Medical Society President, Dr. Jennifer Bondy, and colleagues, the map can be found at: https://ecms.org/covid-19-updates-public/
Mental Health & Addictions Urgent Care
In an effort to respond to the mental health and addiction needs of our community especially given the anxiety, fear and uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA WECB) and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) have collaborated to open the Mental Health and Addictions Urgent Care Centre (MHAUCC).
People who use substances have specific needs and may be at an increased risk of COVID-19 due to a number of physical, social and environmental reasons. Please visit Windsor Essex Community Opioid & Substance Strategy for content to support people who use substances based on the best current evidence.
Rapid access addiction medicine (RAAM) clinic is a low barrier, walk-in clinic that patients can attend to get help for a substance use disorder without an appointment or formal referral . RAAM clinics provide time-limited medical addiction care (including pharmacotherapy, brief counselling, and referrals to community services. For the nearest RAAM clinic near you – please see:
Counselling Support Line
The Windsor Essex COVID Care Coalition is launching the Windsor-Essex Counselling Support Line (WECSL) to help people in the community access professional counselling support services. The Support Line is available to the community starting Wednesday, April 15. The Windsor Essex Counselling Support Line offers professional counsellors who are members of the Ontario College of Social Workers and who are experienced in providing personal counselling services. The WECSL will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To access the helpline, people can call 519-946-3277 or 1-877-451-1055.
Seniors Call Assurance Program
The Windsor-Essex COVID Care Coalition is launching the Windsor-Essex Seniors Call Assurance program (WESCAP) to provide outreach and social support to seniors in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors can sign up for the program by calling 1-877-771-2677 from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. WESCAP will be available to seniors who are 55 or older starting Monday, April 20.
Food Security Access
The Windsor-Essex Food Helpline 1-888-488-1578. Call this number for information regarding food banks and hubs, or to request grocery gift cards, food hampers, or prepared meals to be safely delivered to your home. This call centre is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 8:30pm.
The City of Windsor, in partnership with a variety of community agencies, has opened a day program at the former Windsor Water World location. The day program provides those experiencing homelessness in Windsor with access to a safe space during the day. Onsite support staff include CommUnity Partnership, a Pathway to Potential partner, as well as the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Family Services Windsor-Essex Street Outreach Team. Light refreshments and activities will also be offered, while respecting physical distancing requirements.
Location: 400 Wyandotte Street East.
Operating Hours: Daily 9:00am – 7:00pm
Resources (External Links)
In order to promote an evidence-based response, supported by the most current scientific information available, we remind you of some key resources available to you with regard to COVID-19.