At this time there are ZERO (0) active or suspected cases of COVID-19 among CLH clients or staff members and there are no active outbreaks at any CLH sites.
UPDATE OCTOBER 1: In light of sharp increases in new infections happening here in our own province, the Government of Ontario has announced new restrictions on social gatherings as well as the extension of existing emergency orders, including orders that impact the agencies like Community Living Hamilton (CLH), which operate in the developmental services (DS) sector.
As a result, the following CLH programs will remain closed for the time being:
- Community Participation Day Programs
- Day and overnight Respite (both Children’s and Adult)
- Fee-for Service, including In The Know and On The Go
- Drop ‘N’ Shop Thrift Store
- Drum Corps
In addition, our Supported Independent Living team members continue to support the needs of our clients within the safety guidelines and remote support is available for Employments Access clients who have returned to work.
Though we have been looking forward to a time where we can resume offering programs that have been suspended since March, it is looking increasingly likely that it will be some time before that is a possibility.
We know the continued absence of these programs severely limits our ability to support people with developmental disabilities in our community. To fill the gap, we are in the process of creating and rolling out new temporary supports. We will also be reaching out to clients and families in the community to determine if there are other needed supports and programs we can we can safely offer during this highly stressful time.
Virtual Recreation and Leisure Programming
Based on the success of our Summer Virtual Programming, we will be continuing to offer online programming for people with developmental disabilities aged 18 and over.
Sessions run on a two-week schedule and include a wide spectrum of recreational, educational and wellness-based activities, as well as life skills training. These programs will be offered at various times throughout the week and are designed to focus on group participation, social interaction, and skill development.
Our new Fall Virtual Programming schedule and registration information can be found on our website at: https://communitylivinghamilton.com/virtual-recreation-and-leisure-programming/.
Expansion of Family Visitation for Residential Clients
CLH recognizes that contact with family members and loved ones is important to maintaining the social and emotional well-being, and quality of life of the people residing in our residences.
Back in June, we made changes that allowed for scheduled, in-person outdoor visits at our group living residences. However, for many of our residents it has been several months since they have been able to spend time with family members or loved ones. Even with a rising number of COVID-19 cases, we have decide to expand options for family visits to meet the needs of the people we support.
In following with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) guidelines, CLH will now also be allowing scheduled in-person, indoor visits at our residences, as well as permitting clients to leave their residence for short-stay visits to family homes on a case by case basis.
Strict protocols that address screening, mask use, hand hygiene, social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting have been developed for both indoor visits to or residences and external short-stay visits to family homes. In both cases, a visitation plan and assessment must be completed and reviewed before approval for visitation is granted.
These new protocols balance the individual needs of our residents without unnecessarily risking the health and/or safety of either our employees or the other clients that live in our residences.
Please note, our ability to continue to support in-person visits, and short-stay family visits is dependent on CLH being outbreak-free and the advice we receive from Hamilton Public Health Services and MCCSS.
UPDATE AUGUST 18: While the City of Hamilton and most of the province have now moved into Stage 3 of the re-opening of businesses, services and public spaces, Community Living Hamilton’s is taking a cautious approach to our re-opening of any program or service.
To ensure that we are supporting our clients and our community to the best of our ability, we are developing a new service model that takes into account recommendations from Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health and public health guidelines. To start, we are offering free virtual programs for people with developmental disabilities aged 18 and over. We are also offering free employment assistance to job seekers with a disability looking or interested in looking for work.
Information on additional programs and services will be available soon.
To learn more or to register for our free summer virtual programs, please visit: https://communitylivinghamilton.com/virtual-programming/
To learn more about our employment programs please contact Kathy Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how we can help you find a job.
UPDATE JULY 28: Community Living Hamilton is pleased to report that Hamilton Public Health has declared the COVID-19 outbreak at Community Living Hamilton’s (CLH) Mountain group living residence to be over.
On July 14th an outbreak was declared at the home after one of our staff members tested positive for the virus. Five employees and four residents who had contact with this employee were subsequently tested and all test results came back negative for COVID-19. Once 14 days had passed from the date of last exposure, and no additional positive cases or symptoms were reported, the outbreak was officially lifted.
UPDATE JUNE 27: Family visitation has now been reinstated. In following with strict Ministry of Children Community and Social Services (MCCSS) guidelines, Community Living Hamilton (CLH) is now allowing scheduled in-person visits by family members. For more information, please read our new Visitor Protocols
UPDATE MARCH 13: EFFECTIVE AS OF 5:00 p.m. SUNDAY, MARCH 15, Community Living Hamilton will be suspending all non-essential client programs and services in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Closures will be in effect until further notice.
We continue to monitor the situation and will be posting updates to this page as new information becomes available. All employees, students and volunteers are asked to check internal communication for more details.
The following Programs and Sites will be closed for the safety of our clients and staff:
- Community Participation Day Programs – including: East 34th, Eastmount, Hester, Leeming, Huntington, Lawfield, Leeming, Rosedale, Winona and York
- Special Needs Resourcing
- Respite Programs (both Children’s and Adult) – including: Charlton, Leeming and Templemead
- Drop ‘n’ Shop Thrift Shop
- Employment Access
- Drum Corps
All Fee-for-Service programs are also being cancelled (refunds for fees paid will be issued to clients/families), including:
- In The Know
- On The Go
The following essential services will remain operational, with strict precautionary measures taken to safeguard the safety of our clients and employees:
- Group Living Residences – including: Appleford, Cartier, Delancey, Kensington, Kentley, Mohawk, Mountain and Queenston.
- Supported Independent Living (working remotely)
- Personal Support Service Workers
Our Administrative Offices at 191 York will also remain open for the time being (not be open to the public).
Many of our clients are part of vulnerable populations that are at increased risk of more severe outcomes, related to transmission of COVID-19 including those:
- aged 65 and over;
- with compromised immune systems; and/or
- with underlying medical conditions
As a result we have signage posted at all locations notifying people not to enter if they have traveled internationally in the last 14 days, or are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus disease COVID-19 (fever, cough or difficulty breathing), or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19.
All employees who have traveled internationally in the last 14 days have been instructed to stay home and monitor themselves for symptoms. Employees who have traveled will not be permitted to return to work until they have been symptom-free for 14 days following their return to the country.