BlueBG Coronavirus

Latest updates from DASCH:

2021, December 22: Message to Friends and Families

December 22, 2021

Dear Friends and Families,
As we look forward to celebrating the holiday season this year with family and friends we hope everyone stays safe and well.

The COVID-19 numbers are once again rising in the Province and new public health orders restricting gathering sizes have been implemented this week. We have not received notification of further restrictions for our sector but we do anticipate they will be coming in the New Year.

Please remain vigilant this holiday season and ensure that public health orders are being followed to ensure we all remain safe. In the New Year we will once again be hosting Family Town Halls to keep everyone up to date and answer any questions you may have.

Have a safe and happy holiday,




Karen Fonseth, ICD.D

2021, August 27 - Requirements for Immunizations/Testing for Designated Public Sector Employees

The Manitoba government will require all provincial employees who work with vulnerable populations to be fully immunized for COVID-19 by Oct. 31, or undergo regular testing.
The employees will be required to be fully immunized with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine by October 31st, which means individuals must receive their first dose on or before first day of school, Sept. 7, 2021, and their second dose on or before Oct. 17, 2021.

Download the immunization requirements and Q&As PDF file

2021, August 6: CEO Message to the DASCH Community

August 6, 2021


To: the DASCH Community,


I hope this finds everyone in the DASCH community doing well and having a nice summer!

As we work our way through the ever-changing times with the pandemic, I want to take this opportunity to provide an update about DASCH activities and our exciting plans for the months ahead.

This past year has been challenging for the entire organization. I want to acknowledge the ongoing hard work of our DASCH staff, who have faced these challenges with dedication and professionalism to ensure our programs have continued to function seamlessly.

Our head office and homes were able to stay open and operate within the Public Health and Government restrictions and I want to thank you for your support and understanding adhering to these policies. As these restrictions are eased further, we look forward to being able to accommodate less restricted family visits as we return to a new ‘normal’.

DASCH day programs and DASCHWorks vocational training will also be up and running as operating guidelines allow. We will keep you informed through our website and direct contact as our plans become finalized.

Our DASCH Foundation has also had to adapt during the pandemic. I am thrilled to share that our Possibilities Virtual Gala held this past spring was the most successful ever and raised more than $323,000 thanks to the hard work of the DASCH staff, sponsors, and all of our supporters.

Looking forward, we are planning the relocation of our head office to a new location that will provide more operating and programming space. We will be closing our space on St. Anne’s Road that currently supports our DASCHWorks program and our social enterprise store The Scrap Came Back. Both of these programs will relocate to the new building which will result in significant cost savings.

Please accept my best wishes for a healthy and happy summer. We are incredibly appreciative of the loyalty and patience you demonstrate on a daily basis.






Karen Fonseth,
Chief Executive Officer

2021, August 4: Memorandum from Community Living disABILITY Services (CLDS)
2021, April 28: Message to Families and Stakeholders

Dear Families and Stakeholders:

We would like to thank you all for continuing to come together as we know this is a challenging time for everyone with ever changing protocols and continued revised COVID-19 restrictions. As you may already know, in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, the Province has issued new public health restrictions.  DASCH is committed to providing a safe environment for your loved ones we support and have decided to implement the same restrictions throughout our organization.

In light of the province-wide restrictions, we will no longer be able to allow families to visit with loved ones in our DASCH homes or yards, effective today April 28th until May 26th, 2021 or until such times as the order may change.

Please note, these decisions are based on official public health information found at:

Further updates on how we are responding to the pandemic’s third wave will be provided at our upcoming family Town Hall scheduled for Friday, May 7th, 2021 at 12:30 pm.

Responding to COVID-19 requires a whole-of-community approach. I am personally thanking all of you for your patience and dedication as we navigate through the challenges of the pandemic.

If you have any questions or would like to register for the upcoming Families Teleconference Town Hall on May 7th, at 12:30 pm, please email Tara at:


Warmest regards,




Karen Fonseth,
Chief Executive Officer

2020, June 29: CEO Video Message

2020, April 8: Thank you message from CEO to staff and families

Dear DASCH Staff and Community:

As we evolve through the global pandemic, we have all had to adjust our personal and work lives in a significant and new way. The impact of this event on DASCH residents, family and staff has been significant and one which management felt needed open communications to address any questions family members had about care for their loved ones and our procedures and policies.

To that end, DASCH recently hosted a “Family COVID-19 Town Hall Teleconference” to provide families an opportunity to hear from DASCH staff and management about how we are dealing with the pandemic in our residences and specifically how we can maintain continuity of our services and support for both DASCH residents and their families.

Not only was the information shared about specific procedures and supports helpful and comforting – but perhaps even more important – the conference call provided an opportunity for DASCH family members to share their feelings with one another. This event clearly illustrates the support and collective strength of those in our DASCH community who are all dealing with similar emotions and experiences, as we navigate through this situation.

I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all DASCH staff for the efforts you are making with our residents and to let you know just how much your support, care and understanding is being felt and appreciated by the families of those for whom we provide care and support.

Following the conference call, we heard from a number of families who praised the information shared and highlighted some of the great things you are doing at the home level to keep their loved ones ‘connected’. We have received a wide range of wonderful comments like, “I take my hat off to all of you in the trenches”, “this is a game changer, thank you !”, “this warms my heart “, which are a reflection on you, our staff, and the amazing efforts you are making to ensure families and loved ones stay informed and connected. All of the family members on the call expressed an immense thank you to all staff in the homes for everything you are doing and for taking care of their loved ones in such a caring and compassionate way through this challenging time.

On behalf of the entire DASCH organization, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the fantastic efforts you are making for our residents, their families, your fellow staff and the entire DASCH community.

Please keep up the great work and do not hesitate to reach out to me personally should you have an idea for a new way to connect, a change to something you feel can be enhanced or just to let me know how you are managing as we work our way to brighter days ahead!





Karen Fonseth,
Chief Executive Officer

2020, April 2: Message to Families

Message to Families

Further to the March 12th correspondence, in order to provide more rapid and efficient communication, we are asking family members who have not forwarded their email address to please send them to Thank you.

2020, March 26: A Message From the Minister of Families

Manitoba Minister of Families Letterhead


Community Living Disability Services Providers/ Child and Family Services Providers

Dear Service Provider:

Our department recognizes the critical role that Child and Family Services (CFS) and Community Living Disability Services (CLOS) agencies and Community Care Partners have in ensuring the safety and well-being of vulnerable children, families and adults in Manitoba. This role is especially vital during this challenging time, as some of our most vulnerable citizens will need your ongoing support to understand and follow public health direction on social distancing. It will also be important that services and supports continue to be available if clients must self-isolate or are diagnosed with COVID-19.

We consider the work of your sector to be critical. Your workforce is also critical, as they are the frontline to our vulnerable children, adults and families.

This situation is evolving rapidly and we are making decisions based on the advice of our Chief Provincial Public Health Officer. As a result, government suspended services in child care centres, except for workers providing critical services, until April 10.

During this difficult and stressful time, we need families and communities across Manitoba to follow public health advice and to help care for the most vulnerable. That includes reaching out to friends, neighbou_rs and family members to help care for our children. However, we also recognize that child care is still needed for our health care and other critical service workers, such as those delivering CFS (including licensed group care resources) and CLOS services.

Public health officials have advised that home-based child care providers, which provide child care to a small number of children, can continue to safely operate. Licensed child care centres can also continue to provide services to children whose parents are delivering critical services, as long as the care is limited to no more than 16 children per centre. Some larger centres with segregated rooms and separate external entrances are able to offer care for up to 16 children per room.

I know that the decision to suspend child care services has created stress and uncertainty for your staff. That is why the province also announced that we will be providing $27.6 million for child care centres and workers so they can provide child care to personnel delivering critical services. This funding will be provided for the following:

  • continuing to pay licensed child care centres with $7.6 million in their operating
    grants and subsidies, so they can continue serving up to 16 children, with priority
    to health and other workers delivering critical services;
  • $18 million administered by the Winnipeg and Manitoba chambers of commerce
    to provide up to $3,000 in grants to child care workers so they can help take care
    of children in homes and other arrangements in the community; and
  • $2 m ii lion for the Winnipeg Foundation to create a trust to provide capital grants
    to child care providers.

We ask that all families continue to explore alternative child care arrangements. While we are making every effort to ensure child care for critical services workers as quickly as possible, this process may take time. If you are a parent delivering critical CFS and CLOS services and are unable to find alternative child care during this time, you may submit a request for child care or get more information at

Parents who have already self-identified as a worker providing critical services on the form with their centre, or by phone or email to the Early Learning and Child Care Program, should not resubmit the request. We can assure you that your request has been received and is being processed.

Thank you again for everything you are doing during this difficult time to protect the health and safety of vulnerable Manitobans.



Honourable Heather Stefanson Signature




Honourable Heather Stefanson
Minister of Families

2020, March 26: DASCH COVID-19 Update to Parents and Families

Dear Parents and Families of DASCH,

We know this is a difficult time for everyone as the COVID-19 pandemic is changing hour to hour in our province and worldwide. It is natural to feel uneasy as events unfold so we are especially grateful to have families, support networks and staff showing great steadiness during these challenging times.

DASCH’s Shared Services and Programming departments are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of DASCH clients and staff. We are closely monitoring news and updates, locally and abroad from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centres for Disease Control (CDC), Government of Canada and local health officials.

We would like to take the opportunity to provide you with an update on the current status within our organization. As we continue to practice safe social distancing, we are inviting you to a teleconference call in order to share information and answer your questions. The call will take place on Friday, April 3rd from 12:30-1:30pm.

If you wish to participate in this teleconference call, we are requesting that you register, and forward any questions you may have, by April 1st to Tara Pereira at Once you are registered, Tara will send you details for calling into the meeting.



Karen Fonseth

Chief Executive Officer




2020, March 18: DASCH COVID-19 Update to Families and our Stakeholders

Dear Families and Stakeholders:

We know this is a difficult time for everyone as the current COVID-19 situation is changing hour to hour. It is natural to feel uneasy as events unfold, so we are especially grateful to know that we have staff and families that show great steadiness in difficult times. This communication is to update you on changes within the organization to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. In the interest of minimizing exposure and controlling the spread of COVID-19 we have had to make some very difficult decisions.

Effective today, all non-essential visits to DASCH residences are to be postponed until further notice. Should the visit be determined essential, the self-screening criteria form (click here to download or download it from the quick links on the right) must be filled out and signed prior to entry into DASCH locations. This also includes non-essential outings and visits outside of our locations for the interim.

Effective end of day Thursday, March 19, DASCH will be temporarily suspending our day program and transportation services. All day program staff will be redeployed to our shift staffed homes to assist with supporting individuals. Our focus will be on maintaining our essential services as this remains our number one priority.

As of today, we have initiated town hall conference calls with all Location Supervisors. We are working on technology to allow for all staff organization-wide to be able to participate in these calls as soon as possible. We anticipate with these technological advances to be in a position to include family information sessions in the near future. Please watch for website updates on this opportunity.

We are also basing a number of these decisions on official public health information found at in addition to

Responding to COVID-19 needs a whole-of-community approach. I would like to personally thank all of you for your patience and dedication as we work through the challenges that continue to arise.



Karen Fonseth

Chief Executive Officer




2020, March 12: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update from DASCH

Dear Parents and Families of DASCH,

As many of you are aware, The World Health Organization is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, as are we at DASCH.  Shared Services and Programming have been working to ensure that DASCH has a COVID-19 Action Plan in place, should the need arise.  While the outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, there are a low number of confirmed or presumed cases in Canada, mainly in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, and now in Winnipeg.  The Public Health Agency of Canada has indicated the risk of this virus spreading within Canada remains low.

DASCH has a Communicable Disease Policy and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which provides responsibilities for staff, supervisors and employers as well as practices to promote, support prevention and control.  Based on the Policy/SOP, DASCH is to report any cases of confirmed COVID-19 to the Medical Officer of Health for the Province/City and is to follow their direction.  Our policy also states DASCH will follow the orders and actions set out by the Province in how an outbreak is handled.  By planning ahead, we can determine what challenges we may face due to many variables. Protecting our clients’ health and safety is our top priority.

A Control Action Plan is in place. We are to follow the direction of the Medical Officer of Health for the Province/City.  If a support worker, staff or a client is showing symptoms and is not hospitalized, this may require quarantine/isolation of the individual, being staff or a client, and may also include advisory of exposure notice to all staff, CSW, other clients, family and other third parties who may have been in contact.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has measures in place and is taking steps to decrease the risk of infection and the spread of COVID-19 within Canada.  If you or family members have traveled, or will be traveling outside of Canada or through an airport and are feeling ill, please take immediate precautions and contact your health care provider or Health Links at 204-788-8200. DASCH staff are being advised to take precautions to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting the COVID-19.  The risk to our staff and clients being exposed to the virus is currently low. Should the risk grow, the action plan will be put into place.

Please be assured we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our clients and staff and will continue to keep you informed and updated should the situation change. In order to communicate more efficiently, please confirm your email address to if you have one.





Karen Fonseth,
Chief Executive Officer



Illnesses like flu and colds are spread by:

  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Unclean hands

These illnesses spread quickly in crowded places where people have close contact

  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Get vaccinated. Talk to your heath care provider to see what’s right for you
  • Turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth against your sleeve or shoulder when coughing or sneezing
  • Use a tissue to cover your mouth or nose during coughing or sneezing
  • Throw away tissue in a waste basket right away
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after coughing or sneezing
  • Use clean cutlery, drinking glasses, towels and other personal items
  • Stay home when you are sick and take care of yourself
  • If you have a new cough, shortness of breath and a fever protect others by staying away from them
  • If your fever or cough lasts, call your health care provider
  • Washing HandsClean your hands and cover your cough
  • In addition to regular household cleaning, increase frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces
  • If you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath and fever, report it to your employer and refrain from coming to work until seen by a medical doctor

For more information contact your physician or Health Links at 204-788-8200 or toll free at 1-888-315-9257