We have been back in the office since early June this year. As CEO, I made the decision that our work was best accomplished in a physically interactive space. However, all staff were polled to ensure that they were comfortable with this decision before returning to our physical workspace. Staff felt that in-person work was preferable with one exception due only to the availability of child care. Our offices are sufficiently isolated to enable social distancing and rules were put in place to maintain cleanliness and sanitization of common areas. Staff feel safe in this work environment.
While public access is limited and by appointment only at this moment, staff for the most part continue to meet with clients via online platforms and phone advising. We currently offer our Welcome to Business and Business Plan Development training via Zoom and will be moving to a more participative version of our curriculum in the near future using Adobe Connect.
With the incidences of COVID-19 in our province still a concern, we are committed to ensuring the safety of our staff and our clients. In addition to asking that visitors to the Centre complete the Province’s Online Screening tool 24-hours prior to arrival onsite, they are asked to sanitize their hands and wear masks while on the premises. Staff are also masked for all in-person client and loan-signing meetings. Social distancing and regular cleaning of common areas continues to be part of our daily routine.
Our newest addition to the arsenal of safety protocols is to provide temperature screening to visitors before admitting them to our offices. A no-touch infrared forehead thermometer is used to ensure that no person entering the premises will record 38⁰ Celsius or higher. Any person whose temperature hits that benchmark will be asked to leave and encouraged to seek medical attention and follow care instructions from their healthcare provider and our local health department. Staff are also required to check their temperature upon arrival to the office using this device. While temperature screening alone won’t give us evidence of contagion, it is an additional tool along with our other steps to protect staff and clients from potential infection.
We are quite flexible in our ability to respond to the needs of the moment and are careful to stay attuned to the latest information and provincial guidance.