Message from Executive Director Gail Gould on COVID-19

Dear Bernard Betel Centre Community,

In response to the growing concern around the world and in Canada about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), I want to assure you that the senior leadership team of the Bernard Betel Centre are continuing to monitor reports and assess the public health risks associated with COVID-19 from the Medical Officer of Health City of Toronto, Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, the Public Health Agency of Canada and local health care providers. We are in ongoing communication with provincial health care providers, North York General Hospital and other communal agencies.

The health and well-being of our members, volunteers, participants and staff remains our highest priority. We will continue to keep our stakeholders updated as new information becomes available.

We are in the process of developing pandemic protocols and commit to being vigilant with our protocols and procedures and will take the appropriate measures to minimize the transmission of infectious disease and ensure the ongoing health of all those who come through our doors.

We are keeping up to date on the situation, listening to recommendations coming from appropriate authorities, and taking proactive steps to minimize disease transmission.
The following are specific steps that we are taking in our ongoing effort to prevent the spread of illness within the Betel community:

  • We have reviewed our daily cleaning and sanitation protocol for all program areas and have modified and enhanced daily procedures where necessary and appropriate, and have taken steps to ensure that we will have the necessary supplies to do this.
  • We have increased hand-washing signage in our washrooms and throughout the Centre and have added hand sanitizers in additional areas of the building.
  • Our staff are being reminded and retrained on procedures for sanitizing equipment in the fitness programs as well as high use surfaces throughout the facility.

In addition, there are also steps that I would like to ask you, our Betel community to take in order to aid our efforts to promote and maintain a healthy building:

  • If you are not feeling well and exhibit any symptoms of illness, we are asking you to please refrain from coming to the Bernard Betel Centre until all your symptoms have subsided. If you have a fever please make sure that you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to Betel for any programs or services.
  • We ask that everyone wash your hands often with soap and water frequently, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Please consider carrying a hand sanitizer with you.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Adopting a practice against hand-shaking, hugging and kissing.
  • Enabling staff who have a close family member experiencing cold or flu symptoms to work remotely so they can care for their loved one and to prevent transmission of infections.
  • Cover your mouth and cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (door handles), and surfaces.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share your recent travel history with your health care provider. (if a tissue is not readily available, use the upper part of your arm/sleeve).
  • Practice the same precautions you would in preventing the spread of the flu.

If you are planning to do any personal travel in the coming months, please take a moment to familiarize yourselves with information about the areas where infection rates are high and the chance for disease transmission is heightened.

For any of you who would like more information about COVID-19, I encourage you to visit Toronto Public Health.

We will continue to monitor this situation and communicate information and follow guidelines as they are disseminated from health authorities. We will maintain our commitment and diligent efforts to mitigate exposure to and transmission of infectious disease within Betel and ask that each of you please do your part in continuing to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. We appreciate your vigilance in doing your part to keep our Betel community – and all residents of our city – safe. We remain deeply thankful for our city’s robust public health infrastructure and the many dedicated medical professionals who are working to address this challenge.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Gail Gould
Executive Director
416-225-2112, ext. 129
gailg@betelcentre.org

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