Revised June 10, 2020
SIGN has released its re-opening plan but will strictly follow the provincial government’s guidelines in getting back to business as it was before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Following consultation with Public Health, we have received approval to move forward with this plan”, Executive Director Andrew Sedley notes. “Public Health has asked that we remain cautious in our approach to re-opening, and we recognize that our plans may need to be re-evaluated based on community transmissions or if an outbreak happens in communities we serve.”
Since mid-March SIGN staff has been primarily working from home, meeting with clients and providing programs and services by telephone and video conferences.
Since the start of work-from-home, three SIGN programs have continued to operate face-to-face, although with many precautions in place. There is no other way to provide the services of Senior Mobility, SIGN Early Learning Centre (daycare) and the Adolescent Group home, and those services were essential to maintain.
The government’s Phase 2, effective May 19 did not result in any changes to the way SIGN operates.
The implementation of Phase 3 on June 8 did not have a major impact on SIGN. SIGN has begun to methodically implement re-opening of services. Some staff will be able to go to their offices for short periods of time if the work they need to do cannot be done from home. However, staff will be encouraged to continue to work from home whenever possible.
Physical distancing must be maintained when staff is working in the office or in public. Waiting areas in all SIGN facilities will have chairs placed at least six feet apart, and all clients will be screened before any in-person meetings take place. Clients and staff will be strongly encouraged to wear mouth coverings.
Staff must stay at home if they are sick or if they demonstrate or report Covid-19 symptoms. Regular practice of hand washing, and enhanced sanitization of workspaces will continue.
The major change in Phase 3 is that the Early Learning Centre is able to expand the number of children who can attend the daycare, doubling the previous limit, resulting in spaces being available. See details below.
SIGN on Broadway, which houses most of the SIGN programs, and the Elton Davidge Building on North Street will remain closed to the public until Phase 4, when gatherings of up to 30 persons will be allowed.
Public meetings up to that size will be allowed then, but meeting spaces will be set up to ensure physical distancing, and enhanced sanitation methods will be in place.
Staff will continue to work from home whenever practical until the final Phase 5 is implemented by the provincial government.
At that time, all SIGN services will resume to operate as they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, additional precautions will remain in place.
Hand hygiene stations will be available at all entrances of SIGN facilities and all staff and visitors will be expected to use them. Hand hygiene posters will remain in all public washrooms. A staff member who is sick will be expected to stay home, and SIGN will follow the government of Saskatchewan’s guidance on size limits on public gatherings.
“It’s been a challenging few months, and that will continue for some time yet,” Mr. Sedley added. “During our virtual staff meeting this week I thanked all staff for what they do daily to support individuals and families. The support they provide, although we are doing it in a different way, makes a difference in the lives of many members of our communities.”
SIGN staff is working from home in order to ensure the safety and health of clients and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. At this time there is no set schedule for how long the new way of providing services will have to be in place.
Some programs are excluded from the work-from-home process because the services cannot be provided that way. The excluded programs include the SIGN Early Learning Centre, the Adolescent Group Home, Trustee Program and front desk/dispatch services.
Doors for both the Elton Davidge Building on North Street and SIGN on Broadway are locked. This will provide the opportunity to do an even more thorough job of sanitizing in preparation for the buildings reopening in the future, and for the safety of those who must continue to use the buildings.
There is a directory on all main lobby doors at SIGN on Broadway with phone numbers of all program managers so clients can contact them by phone. Signs also advise clients of Turning Point to use a door on the west side of the building, and a doorbell has been installed for them to use.
SIGN on North Street and the administrative offices are also closed to the public. Call 306-783-9409 during regular business hours (9 am to noon and 1 pm to 5 pm Monday through Friday, closed on all statutory holidays). Parcel deliveries are accepted during business hours; please ring the doorbell. For Trustee clients, cheque pick up for regular and extra money requests is now Mondays and Thursdays only from 1:30 pm to 3 pm. Ring the door bell and stand so you are visible in the window.
Following is detailed information about each of the SIGN programs, and how they are being conducted at this time. This information will be updated here and on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/signyorkton) if and when changes occur.
We continue to look for innovative ways to implement programs and services while adhering to safety protocols and standards. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
Please note that any information stated here may change at any time, based on the ongoing advice and guidance from Saskatchewan government ministries and provincial and local health authorities.
Updated June 10
Early Learning Centre
The staff at SIGN Early Learning Centre (ELC) was hoping for everyday operations to be less complex with the start of the Saskatchewan Re-Opening Plan Phase 3 on June 8, but with the exception of allowing more children per group, this is not the case. ELC staff will largely continue what they have been doing for the past several months.
Phase 3 now allows groups of 15 children in an area. The Centre classroom will be in use again, once enrollment starts to increase. The South room will remain as it was because there were not enough children to require the room to be divided. At present there is room for additional children at the centre.
The ELC is implementing wearing face mask during sun screening/diapering/bathroom breaks and during any other close contact between children and staff. Staff have been working hard to making the children comfortable with staff wearing masks by explaining how it’s keeping everyone safe, being silly with them, etc. The main goal is to make sure everyone is safe during different tasks of the day, but also to ensure children are not afraid or scared when they see staff and others wearing them in public.
As part of Phase 3, new guidelines for daycare facilities suggest avoiding close greetings like hugs or handshakes, and encourage physically distant greeting such as “air fives” and waves. The staff are very understanding why this new guideline was put into place, but are concerned that children could be denied an important part of their learning and developmental needs. Parents have been advised that if they want that guideline in place for their child/children, to let the staff know. Otherwise the teacher will continue to support the social/emotional needs of the child when they need it, keeping in mind good hand hygiene.
Procedure for drop off and pick up will continue to consist of:
The guidelines which have been in place since March and are largely unchanged are:
Before and After School
Adolescent Group Home
Triple P Positive Parenting Program
Kamsack Family Resource Centre
Yorkton Early Years Family Resource Centre
Life Without Barriers
Sexual Assault Counselling
Family Violence Counselling
Office and Room Rentals
Elton Davidge Scholarships
Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours
83 North St. Yorkton SK S3N 0G9 | Tel 306-783-9409 | Fax 306-786-7116