PRI Staff COVID Update – January 6, 2022

Dear PRI Staff,

I apologize in advance for the length of this email but we think all this information is important for you to know and understand given our current circumstances so please read it through.

As we made you aware yesterday, Team 2 and Team 5 are in isolation because they are potential high-risk contacts with a Staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.

●      Any potential high-risk contacts among Staff have been contacted directly.

●      Team 2 and Team 5 have been PCR tested

Upper Dorm Isolation Protocols


Team 2 and Team 5 (Upper dorm, main building) are under isolation protocols as we await their PCR test results and under the guidance of WDG Public Health

The teams have been broken into smaller cohorts, by their rooms, and are in isolation within their roommate group.  4 rooms, 4 cohorts.

They are able to use the bathroom in their room cohorts, and move outside and to specialized programming underway for them, while ALWAYS avoiding contact with the rest of the community, this means entering and exiting the building from the back, for example, and at no time being in shared spaces with the rest of the community.

Jamie is working on tailored programming for this group and the protocols to safely shepherd the students to updated activities that will maintain their isolation from the rest of the community. This programming schedule will also assist our custodial team in scheduling their upper dorm cleaning when students are not in their rooms/bathroom


All staff working with Team 2 and Team 5 must adhere to full COVID safety protocols any time they are with students on the Upper Dorm.

That means, when in close proximity with students on the Upper Dorm staff must be in full PPE:

●      N95 Masks

●      Visor/eye-protection

●      Gloves

●      Gown

PPE supply bins are available on dorm and a supply will reside in Jamie’s office.  Once you have worn your PPE, after an interaction within 2 metres PPE is to be disposed in the garbage bin with the exception of your n95 mask.

If you don’t already have an n95 mask kit, ( team 2/5 staff and program support on dorm) they are available at the nurses’ office. Each has three n95 masks and three paper bags:

·       Use the same mask for a shift

·       When not in use, store in the paper bag

·       Use a fresh mask each day until all three have been used.

·       Cycle back to the first mask and repeat, keeping each in its own bag

For staff who are working on the Upper Dorm when not in direct contact with students (for example, overnight staff when not in a room with students, custodial staff), you may use your medical mask. The n95 mask is to be put back on any time you are in contact with the students.

We cannot stress enough how important it is that all Staff wear masks AND visors/eye-protection at all times when engaged with students AND OTHER STAFF at a distance of less than 2 metres.

If you have a medical exemption from wearing visors/eye-protection than you can simply never be within 2 metres of the students or fellow staff.

All of this is to keep yourselves and each other as safe as possible.  This also minimizes high-risk contacts and therefore unnecessary isolation that is hard on everyone.

We continue to work closely and consult directly WDG Public Health to main the highest level of safety we can for our community and for the program to continue to thrive.


Until we know more, all movement between OLE and Campus is suspended.


Similarly, new Admissions are also temporarily suspended.


Families have been made aware than until we have student test results and understand more clearly what we are dealing with, in-person family visits are also suspended.

Rapid testing program

Please continue to follow the RAT program we have in place.  This process of completing a rapid test at home prior to shift has allowed us to avert other possible high contact issues.

To reiterate:

·       Full time staff- rapid test on Mon and Wed

·       Overnight, part time, relief- rapid test 2x if shift days are consecutive and each time if shifts are separated by more than 2 days

·       Weekend-rapid test prior to shift on Saturday

New admissions

When new admissions resume, students will be rapid tested at a pick-up location prior to parents departing.

Returning OLE students

As above, movement between OLE and Campus is on hold, but when it’s resumed students will be tested prior to leaving the OLE.

Family visits/home visits

When visits resume, families will continue with rapid testing requirements prior to visits.

Students returning from home visits will continue with a rapid test prior to rejoining the community.


We appreciate this is a highly stressful time and one which some of you are new to experience at PRI. Our goal is to enhance communication so you have the most up-to-date information at all times.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions.  We will be checking in often with you.

A reminder we have a COVID committee that is now meeting daily to review the status of our enhanced protocols. If you have any questions, your primary contacts are Jamie, John, Nursing and Jennifer. You may also send an email to on or off hours and a committee member will respond

Work Schedules

We have specific direction for staff returning to work following a HRC or positive case. Jamie has these details and will speak to you specifically regarding your return to work schedule.

Please continue to try and book your booster appointments as soon as possible. Vaccination is a strongly recommended measure in reducing the potential impact and severity of this virus and is key in your return to work following a close contact or positive case.

We will get through this together.

Vaughan Dowie (He/Him)

Pine River Institute

180 Dundas Street West

Suite 1410

Toronto, ON  M5G 1Z8

Tel  416-955-1453 

Cell 647 622-9465
Fax  416-955-1652