COVID-19 ACW Updates & Resources

To all community service providers, partners and stakeholders,

The impact of COVID-19 continues to develop across our region, while we see community transition into Phase 2. We now know this pandemic will continue to impact our health and our community. As we look down the road to June 30th, we are now assessing what the next phase of our Pandemic Operations will look like. (July 6th to September 30th). As you may already know, our agency continues to remain nimble and transparent from the beginning of the pandemic while continuing our due diligence to monitor risk to the agency and to the health and well being of our employees, our volunteers, our peers and clients.

Please note effective July 6th until September 30th, 2020 our agency will make changes to our operations while remaining vigilant in the health and safety of our clients, staff, volunteers, and community. We continue with scaled back services and remote accessibility to align with community response and reduce the potential for transmission. We continue to monitor all levels of government and public health evidence and assess on-going communications. For now are projections for levels of disruption will be the next 13 weeks.

As a result of what we have learned, effective July 6th until September 30th our organization will be implementing the following procedures and protocols.

  • The organization will continue with secure entrances (with the exception of the NSP) and screening protocols. Self screening will continue for staff, pre-screening & sanitization for any essential visitors, peers, clients scheduled by appointment when visiting the centre. New doorbells installed to notify staff of walk-in visitors.
  • There will be enhanced sanitization resources available throughout the centre. PPE will be available and made mandatory for group meetings. Daily sanitization breaks. Staff will negotiate PPE consent with each other in a social distancing environment.
  • Staff will meet visitors in the lobby and escort visitors to meeting space to avoid wandering through the building and reduce touch points. No more than two individuals in the elevator at a time.
  • There will be limitations to Reception with the auto-attendant managing call direction.
  • Education & Outreach Staff, Peer Programs, Fund Development, Managemet who are working remote will continue to work remote but will also have the option of working in-centre. This will continue to help with limitations on number of people in the building.
  • Harm Reduction & Client Support Services will continue to provide in-centre support and/or outreach “porch drop” support
  • Support Services will continue to operate with wellness checks, client support appointments will continue to be made primarily by phone. Should you require an in-centre meeting, please schedule an appointment prior to visiting our centre. Social Programs such as the Red Ribbon Cafe, Massage, Rekei and other close physical proximity touch services continue to be suspended to reduce number of people in the building and reduce risk.
  • Volunteer engagement will continue with on-line support and communications, however there will be no in-centre volunteers unless there is a need to support a community initiative that requires training.
  • All provincial and regional conferences and face to face workshops continue to be suspended
  • All fund development and awareness campaigns are moving to on-line platforms mindful that they could be transitioned to in-person depending on up to date provincial and regional guidelines.

 

We acknowledge that many community services will move to phase2 and that there continues to be a push for other sectors to open doors and that this could lead to a sense of false security in the community which could potentially lead to a resurgence of COVID19 in our region.We continue to monitor evidence based surveillance and best practices such as social distancing, sanitization and PPE as a response to keeping our staff, clients and visitors safe and healthy. Our goal will be to continue 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.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 519-973-0222 or send us an email at mbrennan@aidswindsor.org.

Regards,
Michael Brennan
Executive Director

The HIV Care Program

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.

“Yellow Umbrella” Harm Reduction Services

Windsor-Essex Locations:

  • The ACW continues to operate our Needle Exchange Program (NSP) at 511 Pelissier Street, Windsor, ON–  Our NSP has returned to regular distribution within a more permanently modified space providing enhanced protection to service users and staff.
  • Women centred harm reduction is offered at the Welcome Shelter for Women at 263 Bridge Ave, per their COVID-19 policies.
  • The OATC has reduced their NSP services as a result of COVID-19 protocols.

Chatham-Kent Locations:

  • The Chatham-Kent NSP sites: Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit, W.I.S.H Centre located at 177 King Street East, Shoppers Drug Mart at 30 McNaughton Avenue in Wallaceburg and McIntrye I.D.A. in Blenhein all continue to provide harm reduction services aligned with their COVID-19 protocols.

Mobile Outreach:

  • Mobile outreach direct to service users and deliveries to all sites throughout Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent is avialable. All deliveries will be contactless.

Harm Reduction Education:

Our existing education & outreach services and the “Label Me Person Anti-Stigma Campaign” is unavailable for face to face community engagement activities. However our staff will continue to monitor calls and emails around Harm Reduction education requests, People Who use Substances (PUDs) & COVID-19. Please also see in this section a downloadable pdf from the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid Substance Strategy for “Safer Drug Use to help prevent against COVID 19”

Support Services

“COVID-19 is a serious virus and all 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 especially 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. As in the general population, 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 of suffering more serious symptoms.” UNAIDS .

The ACW continues to provide services to people living with HIV through food security package drop-offs and by telephone, emails and video-conferencing to perform wellness checks. All in-person activities such as the Red Ribbon Café, Peer Support Groups, community activities, conferences, TTOA meetings are postponed until further notice.

Education & Outreach

Our Education & Outreach team will be unavailable for face to face community engagement activities. However they will continue to monitor calls and emails around HIV educational requests and respond accordingly. LGBTQ+ youth groups (Prism Space, Young & Proud and Inside Out) facilitators are available for support and learning via phone and email. Groups occur same days and times but have transitioned to an online format until further notice. More information coming soon regarding our other online education platforms.

General Operations

  • Volunteer and Fund Development services will be suspended until further notice.
  • Financial Management/Operations will continue to operate as normal.

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) will be collaborating on a new initiative – the opening of a Mental Health and Addictions Urgent Care Centre (MHAUCC). For more information on the centre and its services see:

www.hdgh.org/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 the Windsor Essex Community Opioid & Substance Strategy link below for content to support people who use substances based on the best current evidence.

https://www.wecoss.ca/covid-19-intersection-substance-use

 

RAAM Clinics:

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:

https://www.metaphi.ca/raam-clinics/

 

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 (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

Food Helpline:

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.

Homelessness Resources

Day Program:

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

COVID-19 Information Resources

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.

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