COVID-19 Updates from Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

This page is dedicated to Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s response to COVID-19. Please watch this space for more updates as this situation evolves. 

The health and well-being of the people we serve, our families, staff and the wider community is our top priority. We want to assure you that we are taking measures to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19, guided by recommendations from the Region of Waterloo Public Health, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Click on the topics below for more information.

Changes to Service and Cancellations

Changes to Service and Cancellations

Our office remains closed until further notice. As an organization, we are practicing physical distancing and our staff are working from home. Our staff continue to be be reachable by email during this time and are monitoring their voicemail regularly each day. We encourage you to please continue connecting with your Coordinators as per usual and we appreciate your patience as reaching them may take a little longer than usual.

The following are changes to service and community groups:
• WALES Group will shift from meeting in-person to meeting virtually
• Community Groups and Weekend Social Club will run virtually or be delayed
• The Kitchener-Waterloo Library of Things will continue offering curbside drop-off/pickup for members every Thursday from 5-7 PM. Click here to learn more about the curbside pickup and drop-off process.

We are closely monitoring updates from Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services and local municipalities and we will continue to keep you updated and informed of any changes.

The following programs remain cancelled until further notice:

All volunteer positions with EAFWR have been temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Michelle Scala at michelle.scala@eafwr.on.ca

Information for Families and Staff

Information for Families and Staff

Families

All staff have been asked to work from home at this time. Our staff will be reachable by email during this time, and they will be monitoring their voicemail regularly each day. We encourage you to please continue connecting with your Coordinators as per usual and we appreciate your patience as reaching them may take a little longer than usual.

We recognize that you and your Direct Support Person(s) may wish to continue to spend time together and ask that you:

Staff

Staff are working from home during this time. They continue to be be reachable by email and are monitoring their voicemail regularly each day.

Direct Support People

All staff have been asked to work from home at this time. Our staff will be reachable by email during this time, and they will be monitoring their voicemail regularly each day. We encourage you to please continue connecting with your Coordinators as per usual and we appreciate your patience as reaching them may take a little longer than usual.

We understand the impact that this situation has on our Direct Support People. For those who choose not to work, we have provided financial support. For those who choose to work and wish to continue meeting with their families, we ask that you explore ways to provide creative support and that you:

We will continue keeping you updated regularly via email.

Communications

Communications

We are committed to providing the people we serve, our families and staff with COVID-19 updates as we receive new information and direction. See below for letters that have been sent to families and staff:

Families
2021 Updates

May 12, 2021 – Vaccination Opportunities Update to Families

April 8, 2021 – Update #15 to Families

April 6, 2021 – Vaccination Opportunities for Families and Support Providers

March 22, 2021 – Update #14 to Families

February 10, 2021 – Update #13 to Families

January 13, 2021 – Update #12 to Families

2020 Updates

December 23, 2020 – Update to Families, Direct Support People and FamilyHome Providers

November 25, 2020 – Update #11 to Families

September 29, 2020 – Update #10 to Families

August 13, 2020 – Update #9 to Families

June 10, 2020 – Update #8 to Families

April 30, 2020 – Update #7 to Families

April 7, 2020 – Update #6 to Families

March 31, 2020 – Update #5 to Families

March 24, 2020 – Update #4 to Families

March 18, 2020 – Update #3 to Families

March 17, 2020 – Resources and Activities from EAFWR to Families, Direct Support People and Friends of Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

March 16, 2020 – Update #2 to Families from Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

March 15, 2020 – Update to Families, Direct Support People and Friends of Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region


Direct Support People
2021 Updates

April 8, 2021 – Update #16 to DSPs

April 6, 2021 – Vaccination Opportunities for Families and Support Providers

March 22, 2021 – Update #15 to DSPs

January 13, 2021 – Update #14 to DSPs

2020 Updates

December 23, 2020 – Update to Families, Direct Support People and FamilyHome Providers

November 25, 2020 – Update #13 to DSPs

September 30, 2020 – Update #12 to DSPs

July 16, 2020 – Update #11 to DSPs

June 10, 2020 – Update #10 to DSPs

April 30, 2020 – Update #9 to DSPs

April 22, 2020 – Update #8 to DSPs

April 7, 2020 – Letter from Support Coordinator Team

April 3, 2020 – Update #7 to DSPs

March 30, 2020 – Update #6 to DSPs

March 24, 2020 – Update #5 to DSPs

March 17, 2020 – Resources and Activities from EAFWR

March 16, 2020 – Update #3 to DSPs

March 16, 2020 – Update #2 to DSPs

March 13, 2020 – Update #1 to DSPs 

Vaccination Information

Vaccine Pre-Registration in Waterloo Region

The rollout of COVID vaccinations is based on 'priority groups' in three phases.

As of April 11, 2021, Region of Waterloo's pre-registration is in Phase 3 and has expanded to include those 12+ years of age. Priority groups continue to be invited in order of eligibility.

Priority groups continue to be invited to pre-register for the vaccine in order of eligibility. This includes adults 18 years of age and older with intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g. Down Syndrome autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy). One parent or caregiver for either an adult or a child with a high risk health condition who requires support for daily living is also eligible for a vaccine under Phase 2 pre-registration.

If you have any questions regarding the vaccine and its process, please contact your local Public Health unit.

Vaccination Clinics

In early April, the Developmental Services Planning & Advisory Committee was authorized by the Region of Waterloo Public Health to offer COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic to people with developmental disabilities, front-line Direct Support Staff, and one essential visitor/caregiver.

These clinics have since administered the first dose of the vaccine to those who pre-registered, and will reopen in July 2021 to administer the second dose to these individuals.

Region of Waterloo Public Health and the Province of Ontario have created a number of resources and guides to help residents better understand the vaccination rollout efforts locally and across the province:

If you are looking for translated materials or information, please see below:

Additional Resources

Resources and Activities from EAFWR

Resources and Activities from EAFWR

As we navigate the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, we recognize not only the impact this has on how we work and support one another, but how we connect as we continue to practice physical distancing distancing.

As an organization, we understand and value the importance of mental health and well-being. Given how quickly this situation keeps unfolding, we know there may be some concern, anxiety, stress around understanding recent developments around COVID-19. We wanted to share some resources and activities that may be helpful to you. This space will be updated regularly.

Have a resource or idea you’d like to share? Please email communications@eafwr.on.ca 

COVID-19 Resources from Healthcare Organizations

Municipal Updates about COVID-19

Community Resources

Community Groups, Initiatives and Services

Phone Support

Mental Health Resources

Activities

We encourage you to continue connecting with one another, whether it is over the phone or online. Together, we can continue the valuable connections and relationships we have and be #BetterTogetherWR, at a distance.