Dear Concerned Guardian and or family member,
During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, all of us here at Caregiver are concerned about the safety and well-being of our individuals and their families, employees, contractors, colleagues, and the many friends who make up the Caregiver family.
Our hearts are with those who have been affected personally by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as the many communities around the world that are facing extreme measures in the attempt to slow its spread.
For nearly 30 years, we have been honored by the trust you place in us to run our mission-critical organization to enable people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead their unique lives with dignity, independence and inclusion. In today’s challenging environment, we want to provide you more information as to how we are securing the safety and health of your loved one we serve.
Health and Safety Assurance for our individuals and employees
Caregiver has established a COVID-19 Task force team, working in tandem with local crisis teams and health authorities, to coordinate all efforts around the COVID-19 situation and provide guidance to Caregiver individuals, employees and families.
The Task Force team has developed and documented a COVID-19 Plan to respond to disruptive incidents, suspicious cases, positive cases, all while safeguarding the health and safety of our individuals and employees while minimizing the impact on the delivery of services.
Notable actions include but are not limited to:
- Day-habilitation. Texas Day-habilitation facilities were closed on March 17th. Moving the individuals into their home environment and being able to participate in day-habilitation activities with a limited amount of fellow house-mates and a limited amount of employees has greatly decreased our individuals risk of COVID-19 exposure, and we have seen a very optimistic outcome as a result of such aggressive closures.
- Aggressive visitor limitations & Screenings. Every Caregiver facility has clear and concise postings regarding the limitations on visitors and the required COVID-19 screenings including taking all employees and essential visitors’ temperatures. These screening and temperatures are documented on facility screening logs. No one is permitted to enter a Caregiver facility if any screening item is present or if there is a temperature >100.0.
- Social Distancing. Each location in which Caregiver has individuals served we have invoked all Shelter in Place orders by each Municipalities as well as the Federal social distancing guidelines. We have engaged our employees to get creative with video skyping for virtual visits with families, donation of items to continue engagement with each individual to decrease boredom and agitation.
- Disinfection Protocols:Trained employees are available to administer facility specific disinfection protocols in all Caregiver facilities as required and are prepared to respond to any positive COVID-19 case that may be identified. We are ensuring that that they apply standards and rigor to make sure all the facilities are as dis-infected as possible.
- Safety On-Site:Where on-site work is required (for example, working directly in the group homes providing care to the individuals), staff who are on-site are required to abide by the check-in and screening/temping process noted above. Staff are now required to wear facial masks provided by Caregiver during times at which they work directly with the individuals. The staff are required to continue all of their regular day-to-day activities, ensuring that the individuals health and safety is their first priority. Additionally, teams have implemented rotating schedules to reduce the number of people in a single location and to separate individuals in common areas as much as possible. Group home and other Caregiver facility access is restricted to operational personnel only and following strict hygiene protocols.
- Supplies (Personal Protective Equipment): Caregiver has gone to great lengths to ensure that each facility has adequate supplies in place in order to keep the individuals and employees safe and guarded in the event that a positive COVID-19 case is identified. In the face of international shortages, Caregiver has been able to source gloves, masks, gowns, and thermometers, all of which will be deployed immediately if required. Caregiver has already taken the steps to provide all Caregiver employees with facial masks to wear during direct contact with the individuals and or working at Caregiver facilities
- Working Remotely:For some of our teams, work can be conducted through remote connections, which enables teams to work off-site for some tasks. Caregiver leaders are working separately and remotely where possible to mitigate the risk of an entire team becoming infected, but certainly the care of our individuals will always be top priority. Caregiver has initiated split-team options and select staff segregation for business-critical roles/functions. All Caregiver offices remain open, with of course only essential personnel and the screening and check-in process is in place as noted above.
- Our Vendors:Caregiver operations are supported by a number of strategic suppliers and vendors. We are in contact with all of them continually to ensure they apply comparable mitigation practices with their teams, while still maintaining service delivery. For those who supply medications and medical supplies for our individuals, we are focusing on collaborating with them and focusing on early deliveries to reduce the impact of any potential event. Finally, we are continuing to get updates and feedback from suppliers to ensure we can quickly locate and confirm documented information outlining the COVID-19 protocols and practices they are supporting.
The above measures that have been put in motion, has enabled Caregiver to be prepared in the event we have to navigate and provide new inventive ways in the face of potentially deepening effects of COVID-19, with the ultimate goal to continue to provide quality care to our individuals while ensuring their safety and health.
We realize these are uncertain times as the world navigates this pandemic. Caregiver’s top priority is to stay fully committed to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our individuals, and families and provide support to our employees.
As this situation evolves, your Caregiver Task Force team is here to provide any additional support we can. In the meantime, if you have any further questions about Caregiver’s response to COVID-19, please contact your appropriate state and local leaders.
Randi Morgan, RN BSN
Executive Director- Clinical, Quality & Compliance