May 20, 2020
Yesterday afternoon we learned that one of our staff members has tested positive for COVID 19. The staff person, at this point, is asymptomatic and has not experienced any illness from the virus. All guardians and staff members for the group homes that are directly impacted were contacted last night.
This is our plan:
• A month ago, we partnered with two private lab companies. One of them will provide testing for the residents and staff today at the affected homes.
•Staff members that were on duty at the affected homes last night have agreed to stay in place for at least the next few days to take care of the residents. No other staff will enter these homes. We will provide any support that they may need.
• As required, the case has been reported to the Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC). We expect them to visit and/or contact us today and for them to likely give us additional guidelines to follow.
• If we do have additional positive tests results, we have a quarantine plan that we will implement.
April 1, 2020
We want to take this opportunity to check in with you. We hope that you and your family are well and making your way through these unusual times.
The past several weeks have been out of the ordinary for all of us, but we are pleased to let you know that at CHAI we are managing well and have been working from a plan that we first put in place at the end of February as news of the Coronavirus crisis was first known. We continue to update the plan on a regular basis under the guidance of Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) that regulates our license. They have been keeping us informed of regulations and CDC guidelines. We are monitoring and updating our procedures regularly and tapping into a variety of resources to stay informed.
Here are the steps we have taken:
- Our group home residents have been staying in their homes with round-the clock staff supervision from our dedicated caregivers for the past several weeks.
- No visitors are allowed in the homes and residents have only left the homes for supervised walks in the neighborhood.
- Under the direction of our fulltime CHAI nurse, the staff has been trained in the necessary protocol for keeping the group homes, the residents and themselves as safe as possible.
- The CHAI Central Office has been closed since March 16th and staff members are working remotely from home with the exception of some occasional work in the office being done by a very limited number of people with essential functions in accounting or case management.
- So far, all of our residents and staff are well and we hope and pray that continues. We can’t say enough about how grateful we are to our staff that continues to care for our residents and are going above and beyond every day!
- We have been keeping our residents connected with each other, their families and volunteers through “virtual” visits and activities via Zoom. They have had book club, played BINGO, held a sing-along and talked with their families using the webcams on the computers in the group homes.
- Generous donors have sent games and puzzles through our Amazon Wish List and ordered meals to be delivered several evenings a week. Next week, thanks to more generous donors, a Seder meal will be delivered to the group homes and family members will be able to join by Zoom for a short Seder service. We know this will be a meaningful time for families who have not been able to be with the residents for several weeks.
Throughout these out of the ordinary days, CHAI is doing what we ordinarily do. We are fulfilling our mission of providing programs and services to enable adults with intellectual disabilities to live full, rich lives in a safe environment and to meaningfully participate in the community.
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