March 17, 2020
On behalf of the Board of Family Mediation Canada, and in response to the recent news that the situation with COVID-19 is now considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization, we are reaching out to you. We want to provide information and guidelines to assist in providing for the safety of you, our members and the people you serve.
In order to keep the risk of contracting COVID-19 as low as possible, please maintain best health practices, including frequent handwashing, avoiding contact with others and maintaining appropriate distance between yourself and those around you. If you have recently travelled, please ensure that you are following the guidelines for self-quarantine as set out by public health officials. If you are ill in general, please ensure that you are staying home and are self-isolating.
We encourage you to talk with your clients to assist them in navigating their matter with you. They may appreciate information from you to understand what steps you are implementing in order to minimize their risk. Suggestions you could offer:
- When attending in-person meetings, refrain from handshaking or touching things that may have been touched by other people, such as pens and doorknobs, and keep your distance from others by using meeting rooms that allow for the recommended social distancing;
- Reassurance that you have not travelled internationally within the last two weeks or have come in close contact with someone who has;
- That you recommend frequent and thorough handwashing and are following this practice;
- That you would prefer to reschedule the meeting if they or you:
- Show signs of a flu and/or have a fever, have a cough or runny nose, or generally feel unwell;
- Have travelled internationally or have been in close contact with someone who has travelled internationally within the last 14 days;
- Have been in direct or close contact with someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Where possible, consider having meetings proceed via teleconference or video conference if you have the capacity for secure and confidential service. Depending on the work you are doing, please take the necessary precautions to ensure you have the capacity to use separate private video caucusing, a secure exchange for document sharing, and support for dropped or interrupted service.
We trust that you will take whatever precautions you feel are necessary to ensure your own personal safety and that of your clients.
Wishing you stay healthy and well,
The Board of Family Mediation Canada