MCIS COVID-19 Response
Updates for Customers

What is MCIS Doing to Manage Risks to Customers and Interpreters?

  • As of July 1, 2020, MCIS has resumed the provision of interpretation services.

Please ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to protect yourself and those around you, including language professionals, your family, friends, the extended community and clients.

We would also like to remind you of the following expectations prior to requesting an interpreter for a face-to-face assignment, during the assignment and following the assignment:

  1. Assess the risk of our language professionals being exposed to those who may have COVID-19 symptoms.
  2. Consider requesting remote interpretation services via phone and/or video platforms, where and when possible, especially where there is an elevated risk.
  3. Follow public health guidelines at ALL times on prevention and risks.
  4. Extend the same protective measures to our interpreters as you would to your own staff members.
  5. Inform MCIS immediately if there are any concerns that the language professional may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Our language professionals are also expected to:

  1. Check for any symptoms and complete an online self-assessment to reduce potential risks to themselves and others, before going on a face-to-face assignment.
  2. Inform MCIS immediately if they are unable to complete a job due to the abovementioned concerns.
  3. Follow public health guidelines at ALL times on prevention and risks, including appropriate masks/face coverings, use of gloves and hygiene practices.
  4. Decline any in-person interpretation jobs, if they have any symptoms or have been exposed to an individual suspected of having COVID-19.

MCIS continues to monitor the situation and will provide regular updates when new information becomes available through public health authorities.

If you have any concerns related to the outbreak that are specific to your organization, please contact Judy Abraham at judy@mcis.on.ca. Judy will be happy to work with you on finding the best solution in every case.

Free/subsidized interpretation and translation services

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting lives across Canada and around the world. It is now more important than ever that non-English speaking communities have access to critical information about COVID-19 so they can keep themselves safe and healthy, so that everyone can work together to beat this pandemic. At MCIS, we do not want cost to be a barrier preventing people from having access to critical information in their language. For this reason, we have created a fund to assist organizations that are working hard to support these communities. We are offering a free interpretation phone line for COVID-19 related conversations and making it available to eligible SPs and partners. In addition,  we are offering free and subsidized translation services for COVID-19 related materials. If you need either of these services and cannot afford the regular cost, please use the buttons below to access the application forms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Face to face interpretation may pose a risk of expose to coronavirus for all those involved. What alternative solutions is MCIS providing?

To manage risks to our customers and interpreters and in the interest of community health in general, MCIS temporarily stopped the provision of in-person interpretation services from March 30 until June 30, 2020. As of July 1, 2020, we have resumed the provision of in-person interpretation services. We continue to offer remote interpretation services via telephone or video conferencing and ask that customers take the necessary precautions to protect all those involved in in-person interpretation services.

We kindly ask for your understanding and support in ensuring we keep our interpreters safe so they can continue supporting you through these challenging times.

Please consider the use of remote interpretation services (telephone, video) in cases where interpreters may be exposed to an increased risk. Immediate/on-demand as well as scheduled telephone and video interpretation services are available and they are a safe alternative to face to face interpretation when there is a health risk to those present. If you have never used these services before and are not sure how to access them, please email sales@mcis.on.ca and our staff will be happy to support you.

  1. How can I access immediate telephone interpretation services?

If you are an existing customer with a Customer Identification Number (CIN) for immediate telephone services, please do the following, keeping in mind that your call maybe rerouted to the new IVR:

Call 416-467-3097 / 1-800-990-9014.

Press 1, then press 2.

    • Press 1 for Spanish
    • Press 2 for Arabic
    • Press 3 for Mandarin
    • Press 4 for Farsi
    • Press 5 for Punjabi
    • Press 6 for Cantonese
    • Press 7 for Tigrinya

If you are not yet set up to use these services or you are not sure how to use them, or you require translation services, please call Judy Abraham at 416-467-3097 ext. 520 email us at sales@mcis.on.ca.

  1. How do you screen interpreters for exposure to coronavirus?

MCIS is screening interpreters in several ways:

a) MCIS is asking all interpreters who have travelled to an affected area in the past 14 days to inform MCIS immediately, and follow official public health guidelines on self-quarantining, avoiding contact with others and seeking medical assistance. 

b) MCIS is also asking interpreters not to accept jobs if they, or their family members, show symptoms associated with the coronavirus (coughing, fever). If the symptoms develop after the assignment was booked, we ask them to inform us immediately so can find you another interpreter, or if it is short notice, work with you to find the best alternative solution for seamless service delivery. 

  1. Will we be charged for cancelled appointments?

As long as the cancellation is made with more than 24 hours’ notice to MCIS, you will never be charged for cancelled appointments. For appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice you will be charged for the booked time, as usual. If the cancellation is made by MCIS, as a result of the suspension of in-person services, you will not be charged. We will also offer a complimentary message relay to inform your patient/client about the changes to the appointment. However, in order to be able to do this, please make sure to call us to discuss alternatives. If we do not hear from you and are unable to reach you, we will cancel the appointment, but will not be able to inform your client/patient, as we need your consent and updated contact information to do so.

  1. Interpreters are asking that we sign to confirm appointment end time using their smartphones. I am concerned about exposure to the virus if I touch the interpreter’s phone. What solution is MCIS offering?

In response to feedback received from customers and interpreters, MCIS is waiving the requirement for the customer to sign confirming assignment completion on the interpreter’s phone. Instead, interpreters are now asked to sign themselves in your presence, to make sure all details are correct.

  1. During house calls, our staff screen clients before entering the home. If a risk is identified, the nurse will complete the assessment by phone from the car, without entering the residence. Can the interpreter join our staff in the car to complete the phone assignment?

Yes.

We kindly ask that you consider the health and safety of our interpreters on assignments, by informing us as soon as possible of any known risks, and extending the same protection measures to our interpreters as are in place for your own staff.

Please see question 2 regarding accessing remote services.

  1. How can I change face to face appointments to phone or video calls?

Please call us at 416-467-3097 / 1-888-990-9014 to discuss available options. Our intake staff will guide you through this, and provide you with assistance.

  1. How can I book telephone or video interpretation services?

You can request telephone or video interpretation services using the same method you use to book face-to-face appointments. Please book the appointment for a sufficient length of time to guarantee the interpreter is available for the entire duration you need them. We strongly recommend booking the appointment for the same length you would if the service was delivered in person, otherwise the interpreter may have to disconnect from the call before the appointment is over to attend to other scheduled calls.