OPTIONS Family of Services update regarding COVID-19: 3/15/2020
To our Friends and Family:
We would like to share the steps OPTIONS Family of Services is taking to address COVID-19 (coronavirus). We are committed to the health and safety of all the individuals we support and our employees. As you are aware, COVID-19 is a virus that spreads easily from person to person. Signs and symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently states that the risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. is currently low, however, the potential public health threat is high.
We are focused on preparedness and protection and are closely following the information provided by a number of local, state and federal health agencies to guide us. We are working to be as proactive as possible.
We have taken the following actions:
- We have provided staff training on virus protection protocols at each of our programs. These plans include increased hand washing—one of the best ways to prevent the virus, upon entering the program and throughout the day, with soap and water or a hand sanitizer.
- Increased environmental cleaning and disinfecting of common use areas and shared spaces such as bathrooms, doorknobs and kitchens has been implemented.
We are encouraging handshakes and hugs to be replaced with other methods of friendly no contact greetings (“elbow bumps” with a smile or a wave and a smile).
- We are practicing social distancing whenever possible, avoiding restaurants, stores, libraries, movie theatres etc. on a temporary basis. Outings and activities are in open spaces or in very small group settings. Non-essential appointments and meetings are being rescheduled or are being held by phone conferencing.
- Our visitation policy has been temporarily amended in order to avoid introducing the virus into our homes or programs. We are working with families to set up other modes of communication for the time being.
- Employees and persons served are asked to stay home when sick, or suspected of being sick. If staff have direct contact with somebody with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be asked to self-quarantine.
- We will follow required protocol if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 that may impact individuals we serve or staff. We do not have any suspected or confirmed cases at this time in our organization.
- Employees are asked to avoid large group activities during their time off and practice universal precautions in order to remain healthy and prevent introducing the virus to our persons served.
- We have relief staff cross trained in many programs to help with staffing in the event staff are out ill to try to keep services as consistent as possible.
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Please feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or suggestions. We appreciate your support and kindness as we navigate this challenging situation together.
Debbie Bertrando, CEO
OPTIONS Family of Services
OPTIONS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities achieve their goals, dreams and rightful place as full citizens of their communities. We provide residential living services, community integrated services, supported and independent living services and vocational training services to individuals with head injuries, intellectual disabilities, hearing loss, autism, and other neurological impairments.