Guidelines for Staff and Guests as We Continue Our Re-open
(Informed by Tourism Saskatchewan / Government of Saskatchewan) August 31, 2020
Our goal at Queen’s House is to safely resume operations for our guests and our staff using best practices that reduce risk. Queen’s House will be operating with added provisions and protocols designed to enhance safety. These include:
- Monitor personal health. If you feel ill, please stay home.
- Be patient and exercise care and consideration.
- Use healthy hygiene practices, especially hand washing.
- Practice physical distancing as much as possible.
- Restrict and monitor the use of shared items and spaces.
- Use a mask in common areas. (Available for purchase – $2)
- Sanitize upon arrival, as required, and upon entry into the dining area.
- The provision of masks ($2) to assist patrons as needed.
- Each group must have and retain an accurate record of their attendance list.
Our goal as staff will be what it has always been, to welcome and care for all who enter, as best we can with what we have to offer. During our current COVID-19 conditions, the following general enhancements are in place:
- Staff monitored and intensified cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection routine using appropriate eco-friendly supplies.
- Frequent sanitation of high touch areas.
- Staff use of appropriate and practical PPE.
- Practice physical distancing as a standard practice.
Our Goal in Food Services has been to modify the contact by guests of our food line and to allow for physical distancing and staggering mealtimes:
- Staff will serve guests along the food line and from behind a plastic guard.
- Individual utensils, cups and condiments will be provided.
- Additional guidance will be provided on site.
Our goal as an institution is to further incorporate the use of technology to assist us with operations. These include registration, payment and donation utilities and significantly increased band width withing our work spaces.
Organizing and Preparing for Re-Opening
August 17, 2020
We have completed most of the IT related upgrades that we have been working on as we prepare for the gradual return of guests and groups. We are cleaning, setting up shields and guards, and installing sanitation stations were required in preparation for the arrival of our scheduled groups. Even as we undergo these preparations, we are conscious of the challenges that we all face and are being attentive to the recommended directives and protocols. We will post these shortly and will update them regularly as we adjust to the realities and needs that COVID presents. We are still operating with a skeleton staff, so phones for serves are not always being manned. We ask that you use the auto attendant on our phone’s answering machine to connect directly with the person you are trying to reach or leave a message at reception or bookings. We will respond as quickly as we can. We are looking forward to connecting – thank you for your patience – we do have much to be thankful for despite the uncertainty, worry and inconvenience of these times. God bless. Stay safe.
As We Look to August and Beyond – Re-Opening Wisely & Well!
July 31, 2020
As re-opening plans continue to unfold for and within our community, Queen’s House is faced with all of the same challenges as every other faith community, business, enterprise and gathering place. How do we welcome our community back into our space safely, wisely and well. We have had a number of small gatherings over the last few weeks and will continue to do so without offering food services throughout August. We are in the process of confirming our precautions and procedures so as to keep everyone as safe and comfortable as possible. As these measures are confirmed and clarified over the coming days, we will post these on our website so that guests can plan accordingly. We continue to work with a skeleton staff which of course offers its own challenges in our efforts to meet all of the needs that have inevitably surfaced. We look forward to providing more details over the coming days and hope and pray that the recent uptick in cases of COVID in our area and province can be contained and brought under control. We are looking forward to returning to a more active ministry in the coming weeks. And again, from all of us here at Queen’s House, we offer you our encouragement and our prayers. Take care, stay safe and May God continue to bless and protect us all!
Queen’s House Update and Our Re-Open Saskatchewan Planning
May 25, 2020
We have enter the 66th day of our closure to our public and we now take great hope as we see the world outside our doors slowly emerging, albeit in a very cautious and carful manner, with new normals and responsibilities to guide us. We tentatively see Queen’s House as being informed by the reopening guidelines found in Phase 3, set to begin on June 8th, and Phase 4, still pending, of our provincial plan. We also recognize and understand that being permitted to open and being able to open offer 2 somewhat different realities.
A very real example of this challenge has been our decision to cancel our annual Oblate Scramble Golf Tournament because the uncertainties of such events make planning next to impossible. Each day, we are pleased to announce our fortunate Spring Fling Winners and to again express our appreciation to all of our supporters and congratulations to our winners. We are currently connecting with our community to determine what our groups are planning, what they see as their needs at this time and what might be required of us and of them over the next weeks and months in order to proceed safely and with confidence and certainty, and to be able to do so in a viable and doable way. We are working and planning to ensure that all of the necessary provisions that are required will be in place when our guests and groups return. To this end over the last 3 months, we have upgraded all of our computer stations and operating software and installed fiber optics. In addition, we are just completing the project to offer on line program registration and payment and that will allow and offer the e-commerce support for on line donations to easy the need for direct contact while retaining the more traditional methods of managing financial transaction crucial to our operational health. We are planning to offer our Summer Stillness Retreat with Fr. Ron Rolheiser in a virtual form and are finalizing the details of this program offering this week.
A quip attributed to Winston Churchill that has been circulating recently states “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”.
From all of us here at Queen’s House, we offer you our encouragement and our prayers. Take care, stay safe and May God continue to bless and protect us all!
STATUS UPDATE AND COVID19 INFORMATION
April 18, 2020
We have been closed to the public for the last month. It is difficult to believe, but this is our collective, new, temporary normal and we join the commitment of our community to get to the other side of this challenge safely and in a position to again be of practical service to and with our community. During this time, we have undertaken the following steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our immediate community:
- The majority of our staff are enrolled in the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program which has allowed them to stay safe at home and to maintain their homes and families in the short term. We are most grateful for this support and pray often for the members of our medical and civic agencies.
- We are operating with a skeleton staff focused on completing upgrading, repair and maintenance projects already underway and managing the needs and requirements of local Oblate personnel and ministries and engaging in the community coordination efforts required to respond the the challenges of C-19. That Queen’s House has not yet been required in some practical way to assist with this challenge is seen as a definite positive sign – to be prepared but not needed is much better that the alternative.
- Because we were already knee deep in our Spring Fling Raffle when C-19 reminded us of our vulnerabilities, we have elected to continue with this initiative. We did not have the manpower to unwind, and have very much appreciated those of you who are participating and thereby supporting the ministry of Queen’s House. We judge by the number of calls that we receive requesting care and support that this ministry will be even more important to our community on the other side of this crisis.
March 20, 2020
Effective Wednesday, March 18, Queen’s House Retreat and Renewal Centre is temporarily closed to the public due to the COVID-19 virus and will remain closed at minimum until April 30.
This decision was made in consultation with the information we are receiving both locally and federally from political and health authority leadership, and from the leadership team of OMI Lacombe Canada, which owns and operates Oblate retreat centres across Canada.
We will be monitoring our local situation, and as the month of April unfolds, we will have a better sense as to whether we will be able to open our doors to the public in May, or if that date will need to be adjusted. Although our Oblates, Associates, Board Members, Staff and Volunteers are saddened by and regret this decision, we know wisely and truly that this is the most responsible decision that can be made given what we know about the virus and in anticipation of what other challenges are still to come.
Please take good care of yourself and others in the coming days.
Peace be with you. From all of us at Queen’s House.