Kingston, ON (February 17, 2021) – As the province begins to reopen, Ongwanada Resource Centre continues to do its part to ensure the safety of the individuals they support, their staff, and the community.
At the beginning of January, Ongwanada launched a unique COVID-19 mobile testing centre. The mobile unit visits homes in the region (Napanee, Gananoque, and Kingston) Monday thru Friday. The organization created this option to provide frontline staff enhanced opportunities to receive COVID-19 tests if they so choose. Ongwanada has also opened a separate testing facility at Balsam Grove to conduct testing for all staff who may not be working at the homes.
Since starting the project, Ongwanada has announced there have been 369 COVID-19 surveillance tests conducted at all testing locations—the mobile unit, Ongwanada Resource Centre, the nursing homes, and at Balsam. The organization completed the largest number of tests using the mobile unit, totaling 182. Overall, testing at the homes has been very well received, with almost 70% of on-shift staff being tested when offered. According to Ongwanada's press release, four of their homes have seen a 100% participation rate.
“The interest to date has been overwhelming," says Chief Executive Officer Alastair Lamb. We are so pleased to be able to offer our staff and the supported individuals we serve this additional sense of security when it comes to the pandemic”.
Lamb went on to say the model has even garnered the attention of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS). “To date, I have had several discussions with different agencies in our sector, as they examine whether they can implement a similar model." He added "most recently, I have been speaking with key players at the Ministry. I am certainly proud of the staff for embracing everything that the pandemic has thrown their way, and as an organization, we will continue to implement whatever is needed to keep people safe”.