March 17, 2020
Options will continue to provide essential services necessary for the health and safety of our clients while also doing our utmost to minimize person-to-person contact to slow the spread of COVID-19. To that end, our Executive Team has decided, effective Wednesday, March 18th, Options Community Services will suspend in-person services for a period of 2 weeks, including drop-in programs, groups and community visits. We will be monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis and will provide updates accordingly. The following offices will be closed to the public:
- Carole Wahl: 9815 140th St
- Newton Office: 13520 78 Ave.
- Early Years: 6846 King George Blvd
- MAP: 203B 10190 152A Street
- BCSIS: 4-13634 104Avenue
- NESP: 305-10362 King George Blvd
- North Surrey WorkBC Whalley: 10362 King George Blvd
- North Surrey WorkBC Guildford: 202-10334 152A St
- Surrey Newton WorkBC: 110-7525 King George Blvd.
There will be exceptions for programs providing essential services. Those programs include:
- All residential programs, including Hyland House, Bill Reid, Evergreen and Virginia Sam Transition Houses, all supported housing sites, as well as Nichol House and Blair House Assisted Living
- Fraser Health Crisis Line
In all other programs, we will continue to see clients in-person on an emergency basis. Staff will be contacting their current clients to arrange remote consultations wherever feasible. If we cannot arrange to communicate remotely, and if our staff feel there is potential harm to the health and safety of our clients, we will arrange to support them as best we can.
We understand that these measures may seem extreme to some, however we must do everything we can to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SPECIFIC PROGRAM/SERVICE, PLEASE CONTACT THAT PROGRAM DIRECTLY.
We will continue to provide additional updates on our website and through our social media channels.
March 16, 2020
To our community;
The COVID-19 virus had required a significant response throughout our country as we try to contain the spread of this disease. Options Community Services is monitoring the latest updates from trusted sources including Public Heath Canada, the BC Centre for Disease Control and our Local Health Authorities, who determine the risk to British Columbians remains low. Nonetheless, this is a challenging time for all of us, particularly for our staff and volunteers, because of our roles as service providers in the community. I want you to be assured that we have been taking steps in each of our programs and locations to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission of this virus.
Options Community Services receives and adheres to guidance received from Licensing and Public Health. We are taking universal precautions which include thorough hand washing, social distancing, sanitizing and reducing human contact where and when possible. Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers and the people we serve.
While we all may feel anxiety around the COVID-19 situation, we are a human service and have a responsibility to continue to serve. We will continue to do that. If, however, we have to suspend a service because of a local outbreak or as per the guidance of the authorities mentioned above, then this information will be communicated as soon as possible to affected individuals. And if we do, we will have, to the best of our ability, a contingency plan in place to ensure people remain fed, housed and cared for.
Please stay well - and remember to wash your hands.
Chief Executive Officer
What you should do
COVID-19 Assessment Tool: https://covid19.thrive.health/
Medical Clearance - Options' previous alert indicated that clients who have travelled to high risk areas or have come into contact with someone tested positive must disclose the situation to Options immediately. The alert also indicated that prior to receiving service, the client must receive medical clearance by a local public health agency and provide a doctor’s note that they are in good health.
Thank you for your questions and your concern that the health system, due to being overwhelmed, is not likely to be in a position to provide this for clients. The same holds true for staff and volunteers.
The “” link, indicates that if you suspect that you have COVID-19, you should call ahead to your family doctor before going to their clinic for assessment and testing. This ensures that the clinic is prepared to test you and keep the clinic’s staff and other visitors safe.
If you do not have a family doctor, please call 8–1-1 for assessment. The nurses at 8-1-1 can give you more information regarding where you can go for assessment and testing, for example, an urgent priority care centre or a walk-in clinic.
Nurses at 8-1-1 have been instructed to complete an exposure risk assessment of callers with compatible symptoms, such as cough or influenza-like symptoms. In some cases, the 8-1-1 nurse may suggest a caller go see a healthcare provider for assessment and testing, and recommend that the caller call ahead to tell the clinicians that they are coming.
Ideally, medical clearance from public health or a physician is obtained. However, if not feasible, clients and staff must be symptom-free before entering Options worksites.