Like so many businesses, many of our staff have been working from home since mid-March. Staff working onsite and at home remained committed to serving watershed residents, ensuring our operations continued, including planning and permitting, flood forecasting and warning, conservation parks, various field programs, community outreach programs, critical research and more.
After nearly six months of working from home, many staff members are returning to administrative offices in Meadowvale and at the Warwick Conservation Centre beginning this week. With robust health, safety and sanitization measures in place, we are returning in three cohorts on a three-week rotation to limit exposure and reduce the number of people within our offices at any given time. We have also extended the ability for staff to continue to work from home until the end of the year.
To ensure continued safety, virtual or telephone meetings between members of the public and CVC staff are preferred, including for planning and permitting services. When required, in-person meetings can be set up by requesting an appointment through your planner. The CVC Board of Directors continues to meet virtually, and anyone can attend by asking to be added to the meeting invite.
As the province gradually reopened, we began our preparations to follow suit. Six core considerations underpin our reopening plan:
- Staff readiness: ensuring staff feel confident to return and the right tools are in place to ensure their continued safety
- Physical distancing: ensuring staff are appropriately spaced at all times to limit potential exposure
- Sanitization: ensuring all areas, especially high-touch common areas are frequently sanitized
- Proper hygiene: encouraging frequent hand washing and setting up sanitization stations throughout our offices
- Personal protective equipment: ensuring staff wear masks while in common office areas
- Frequent communication: ensuring staff complete daily health self-assessments and that important health and safety information is communicated frequently
We have successfully navigated uncharted waters since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our commitment to service and safety come through in everything we do, from the safe reopening of our conservation parks to hosting online community consultation sessions. We are committed to our vision of a thriving environment that protects, connects and sustains us and we will continue to adapt to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic on behalf of the communities we serve.