How Hope is addressing the COVID-19 Virus
To: All Hope Stakeholders
From: The Senior Leadership Team of Hope Community Resources
Updated actions regarding coronavirus COVID-19- 3/26/2020
The Senior Leadership Team is meeting daily to assess and adapt as additional information comes forward and we will keep you updated as we diligently work to keep all stakeholders of Hope and our community members safe.
- All of our administrative buildings are currently locked and any visitor must make an appointment to conduct essential business.
- Our recreational centers and Hope Studios are closed for grouped services.
- Supervisors are daily monitoring staff for any indicators of illness. Any staff member experiencing signs of respiratory distress/ fever/coughing is required to stay home or be sent home. Supervisors are forwarding this information to our Medical Director, Dr. Browner through Joanne Sullivan, our Deputy Director of Health and Wellness.
- Browner will be screening all staff prior to any return to work.
- We operate 24/7 residential supports and are prioritizing those supports and allocation of staff.
- We are honoring requests for service or suspension of services at guardian requests while still adhering to social distance and hygiene protocols/mandates from local and state authorities / and informed decision making.
- We are implementing telecommute for the majority of our administrative staff to reduce exposure for our Direct Support Professionals and those we support.
- Amazon is prioritizing our shipping orders for hygiene/cleaning supplies.
- We will continue to send email updates to all our employees informing them daily of current expectations.
- Travel assessment/restrictions have been put into place:
Effective immediately, any resident of an assisted living home, staff member or staff member who has a HOUSEHOLD MEMBER returning to Alaska from out of state travel, will be placed on an automatic 14-day quarantine. Hope will provide alternative accommodations for residents of assisted living homes and live-in staff. Any upcoming out of state travel is highly discouraged and will be subject to quarantine measures that may “strand” travelers at destinations.
- Assisted Living Homes:
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, NO VISITORS are allowed into Hope’s Assisted Living Homes. This includes guardians or family members of recipients. Information will be going out to them also today. Any exceptions need to be authorized by the Senior Leadership Team.
Be thoughtful in offering other options to guardians and parents wishing to see residents. Guardians will be receiving information on the risks of taking their family members home overnight or for visits and discouraged from taking them out. They may need to be prepared to quarantine the resident if they create exposure. Explain why we are being extra careful for the protection of both residents and staff. Staff who are scheduled to work in the home need to be screened for health and travel, as well as essential visitors like nurses or house repair workers. Staff who are scheduled to work in the home will continue to be screened for health and travel, as well as essential visitors like nurses or house repair workers.
Community Activities (including the provision of Day Habilitation services)
Activities for recipients outside the home are permitted only for getting fresh air and exercise where social distancing of at least six feet from other people in public can be maintained!
MANY OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE NOT BEING RESPONSIBLE IN “HUNKER DOWN” AND ARE STILL VISITING GROCERY STORES WITHOUT KEEPING SOCIAL DISTANCE.
TAKING RECIPIENTS INTO GROCERY AND OTHER STORES IS NOT ALLOWED!
For essential grocery or other supplies, only ONE staff from the home should use the pick-up or home delivery service. If necessary to go into the store, staff must wear gloves, face mask or other protective equipment available. If none of these options are available, contact your supervisor so we can arrange the delivery of essential supplies.
The State of Alaska has authorized providing Day Habilitation services inside a recipient’s residence, and Hope is asking you to be creative in maintaining stability and safety for our recipients with the following conditions:
- DSP’s entering the home to provide Day Hab are screened for health and travel as any other essential visitor
- Activities must relate and reflect the goals in the recipient’s plan
- The primary residential staff (HAC, Lead DSP) does not provide the Day Hab activities
- Service Delivery Documentation includes reference to the Emergency Order as the reason for delivering the service in the residential setting
- We continue to triage contingency plans for the “what if” and have options for precautionary quarantine as well as sites for recovery for a positive diagnosis.
- All our stakeholders have been assessed for health risks and we are assuring we are providing options for informed consent and safest working environments.
The following three links will provide you with current facts and guidance:
State of Alaska Department of Public Health http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Pages/default.aspx
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/
World Health Organization https://www.who.int/
Hope’s Senior Management Team is continuing to monitor and respond to relevant information as it becomes available and will continue these important communications with you as new information is brought forward. We thank you for your continued diligence and heightened vigilance as we navigate these waters together.