Happy New Year! In this service update, we’d like to share information about the impacts of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on the delivery of services and a few timely resources.

Click on any link below to go directly to that topic or website:

  1. COVID-19 Update: Preparing for Omicron’s Peak – see below
  2. Family Support Here – individual or group, various topics
  3. Mental Health/Substance Use Parent-Peer Support Here – FamilySmart Programs
  4. Learn about Financial Planning and Disability Benefits – see events listings
  5. Let’s Share A Moment Together with Curiko

Please visit our pandemic and other community resource pages at www.posAbilities.ca or www.laurelbc.ca for more activity ideas, inspiration and support.

  1. COVID-19 Update: Preparing for Omicron’s Peak

As you may have heard in the news, the peak of the Omicron wave is anticipated by the end of January. The health and welfare of persons served, employees and their loved ones is paramount to us during this fifth wave of the pandemic. We successfully navigated the holidays, and are now battling against the spread of Omicron amidst the typical illness brought about by the winter cold and flu season.

We are prepared for the possibility of extreme staff shortages
If we are short-staffed, we may have to quickly pivot to Essential Service Levels. We will inform you of any changes to your service as soon as possible prior to the change taking effect. Expect that:

  • Community Inclusion programs will have to close temporarily and staff will be redeployed to residential services, where individuals require continuous support.
  • Outreach services will temporarily return to virtual platforms (Behaviour Consultation, Employment Services, Community Connecting, Supported Living, Explore Journey Facilitation.)

If you are showing any signs of illness or symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home
If you are feeling unwell, do not participate in Community Inclusion programs or scheduled appointments with our employees. Even mild symptoms of illness can indicate that you’ve contracted the COVID-19 virus, especially in vaccinated individuals. We greatly appreciate your flexibility and assistance with keeping our employees and program sites safe and healthy at this time.

We are enhancing our safety measures
We have added layers of protection in all programs. Employees will be wearing three-layer masks plus a face shield; practicing physical distancing within programs as much as possible; and choosing virtual meetings over in-person gatherings for events like birthday celebrations, staff meetings and training.

Updated Visitor Guidance – temporary suspension of indoor, in-person visits
We are temporarily suspending indoor in-person visits. Even small family gatherings have proven to be a significant trigger for transmission of the Omicron variant. Outdoor and window visits, as well as phone calls and virtual visits are continuing.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update – Getting Boosted
We are supporting persons served and employees with getting their third dose (booster) of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, and anticipate that everyone will be boosted by the end of January.

We encourage all family members and friends who wish to visit persons served in their homes to get vaccinated/boosted also. We look forward to welcoming fully vaccinated visitors back soon.

Thank you for your kindness and support throughout the pandemic. It’s been a team effort, and your contributions are greatly appreciated.