COVID-19 Update, March 16

Updated: Apr 22

Please see an update below from CFY's Senior Leadership Team regarding the on-going COVID-19 situation as it relates to CFY programs and services.


Personal safety and individual health

Consistent with updates from various health agencies and the Chief Medical Officer, any measures we can take as individuals focused on good hygiene and social distancing remains the best way to limit the rate of transmission, and to reduce the overall impact on our community, our families and our clients.


For any CFY staff who are feeling sick, please take a sick day. If you’re worried about your symptoms there are two ways to determine next steps for you:


  1. Use the province's online self-assessment tool available at https://www.811healthline.ca/covid-19-self-assessment/

  2. Call 811 to discuss your symptoms and seek instruction


It is completely normal to feel anxious about COVID-19. We are reminding the CFY team that they and their families can access EAP at no cost 24/7. To get started call 1-877-418-2181.


We also remind members of our community and our staff that at any time, they can call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668.


Changes for all teams and programs at CFY

All teams have been asked to:

  • Suspend group-based activities; shift to individual supports as necessary.

  • Suspend hosting events; shift to postponements, cancellations or digital engagement where possible.

  • Postpone all work-related travel to other regions of the province, outside the province and outside the country.


Any staff returning from out of country or out of province for any reason should inform their supervisors right away and self-isolate for 14 days.


Any staff with a member of their household returning from out of country or out of province should discuss the situation with their supervisor.


Please note the additional measures for specific teams below.


Additional changes for residential and shelter teams

These parts of CFY are considered essential services. As part of our on-going dialogue with the Department of Health and Community Services, we have requested procedures and instructions should there be a need for quarantining. We want to avoid this scenario but must plan for it.


We will be sharing more information with these teams as it becomes available.


Additional changes for the Outreach and Youth Engagement team

As of Tuesday March 17th, meals will be provided during regular drop-in hours as takeaway meals only.


All other youth engagement at Carter’s Hill will be appointment based or crisis response. CFY staff will monitor, in consultation with health officials, access to Carter’s Hill site in a limited fashion (smaller numbers at any given time) for other needs such as support managing addictions, mental health, housing, etc.


Under the direction of the Downtown Health Collaborative, there are also discussions underway to prepare for the potential provision of testing at Carter’s Hill. This is at a discussion stage only, and it is unclear if this will be necessary or possible. The focus at this time is on readiness in the event it does become necessary. Once finalized, information will be provided to all staff to ensure access to the information required to provide direction and support to youth.


Additional changes for administration teams and non-essential staff

Staff on these teams are asked to work from home if possible. Beyond coming in to work to access specific files or equipment, we have asked staff to limit their time in the office, or to access what they need during off hours if necessary in consultation with supervisors.


Additional changes to Education, Employment and Social Enterprise teams

While The Shop and Impact Construction will continue operations, our Neighbourhood store will be closed as of March 17th. All group based activities (e.g. Jumpstart, GED, etc) will be suspended until it is safe to resume.


Managing staffing levels in relation school closures

As with staff needing to self-isolate, please consult with your direct supervisor about any needs you and your family have as a result of school closures.


Supporting youth and our community in other ways


  • COVID-19 posters and hand washing reminder signs have been distributed to all CFY sites and housing units. We have made our workplace posters on COVID-19 available for use by other employers. Download here.

  • Informational post-cards are being created for programs to distribute to young people. This will contain information about COVID-19 and measures they can take to take to limit their risk.

  • Additional cleaning supplies have been purchased for all sites, and our residential and housing programs have taken steps to ensure they have a 2-week supply of food in case of emergency shutdown or quarantine situation. Additional cleaning measures are being implemented at all sites for high touch areas as per public health recommendations.

  • Our cleaning services provider has been instructed to take add additional cleaning measures and ensure all high-touch areas are thoroughly cleaned.

  • Members of CFY's Senior Leadership Team are participating in a Vulnerable Populations Working Group spearheaded by the Department of Health and Community Services.

  • Members of CFY's Senior Leadership Team are continually seeking advice and coordinating efforts through the Downtown Health Collaborative; and across partnering organizations such as the Gathering Place and Stella’s Circle.

  • CFY is coordinating social media messaging with the Department of Health and Community Services to help reduce misinformation and the rates of transmission.


Please stay safe, follow social distancing practices and look out for your neighbours, family members and colleagues.


CFY will continue to follow updates made available by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and encourage you all to stay informed and up-to-date with information by visiting the GovNL COVID-19 site at https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/.


We can all do our part by staying informed, remaining calm, and working together to limit the spread of this virus.


The safety of young people and staff will be our top priority through all of this.

Connect with us

MAIN OFFICE

261 Duckworth Street

St. John's, NL A1C 1G9

E: info@choicesforyouth.ca

P: 709.754.0446

F: 709.726.3125

Choices for Youth

Registered Charity

130889942 RR0001

All are welcome.