MEMBER UPDATE, April 23, 4:30PM

The COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People

Today, Ontario announced a new COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People to better protect vulnerable populations during the pandemic. It builds on the government's previous actions to protect people living in high-risk settings, including homes serving those with developmental disabilities, shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking, children's residential settings, and those residential settings supporting vulnerable Indigenous individuals and families both on and off reserve.

The COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People focuses on three specific areas:

  • Enhanced Screening and Reduced Exposure to Prevent Spread
    • Enhancing screening of visitors, staff, and residents on sites, as well as restricting non-essential visitors.
    • Providing masks to staff working in congregate care settings and providing training on the use of personal protective equipment in the event of an outbreak.
  • Infection Control: Managing Outbreaks and Limiting Spread
    • Enhancing testing of symptomatic staff and clients to identify the need for isolation and additional infection control measures on-site.
    • Planning to limit staff from working at more than one congregate care setting during an outbreak, specifically in developmental services, intervenor services, violence against women and anti-human trafficking settings.
    • Providing additional training and support for high-risk settings dealing with an outbreak, including guidance on how to isolate clients.
  • Sustaining Staffing and Managing Staff Shortages
    • Working with organizations to promote workforce stability and capacity in high-risk settings.

The government will work with Indigenous-led congregate care settings both on and off reserve to ensure tools and supports are available and adapted to meet local needs to keep clients and staff safe.

The plan also supports mobilizing action to high-risk locations in managing the COVID-19 outbreak in the days and weeks to come by providing assistance with staffing and additional training and support.

The government is also moving immediately to solicit ideas on additional actions and measures that can be taken now to further support vulnerable Ontarians and staff in high-risk settings.

Call your local Ontario Works office if you need to apply for social assistance or apply online. You can review the full announcement here or contact member.support@onpha.org if you have any questions.