Last updated 01/5/22 This page will be updated as new information becomes available. All guidance applies to CRi unless otherwise noted.
From: Terry Hurley, EVP, Administration and CFO on behalf of CRi’s Clinical Leadership
We hope you and yours are enjoying festive holiday time, and like everyone, focused on prioritizing your safety and well-being.
This memo is to update you on our actions and plans as we all continue to address this pandemic. I share this with the full understanding and humility that as this pandemic has shown us, we may need to adjust and pivot tomorrow if new information or guidance is published. However, that reality doesn’t diminish the need or value of today’s plan.
I will first share our current focus on vaccinations, then discuss our current operational profile given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and conclude with next steps.
Vaccinations are and will continue to be a key tool in mitigating the effect of COVID-19. In specific, we are:
• Implementing plans to have all employees vaccinated, with documentation, or an approved exemption, by January 4, 2022. This is in alignment with federal guidelines issued this fall. We are making good progress while working with employees since the federal announcement to understand the objective.
• Maintaining a weekly testing regimen for employees who identified as non-vaccinated. This has been monitored by our Human Resource Department and shared with management teams to ensure compliance as needed. These actions support our contractual requirements with state and county funders.
• Actively supporting the adoption of boosters for those we support and by our employees. Of note, we hosted Fairfax County’s Health Dept for a vaccine event on December 17th. Our Director of Nursing, Bea Claiborne, RN has supported individuals and employees in this process.
However, vaccinations are not the only action we are relying on to address the pandemic. In addition, we will continue to:
• Keep our employees and individuals they support safe by having our employees use KN95 masks in our programs. We are privileged to have our staff. At the same time, we need to be clear with the expectations regarding safety and infection control.
• Follow CDC guidance on isolation and work expectations when staff are exposed to COVID19. Like the community, we have seen an uptick of staff who have COVID19 or had direct contact. As of today we are re-evaluating our protocols for employee availability to reflect the CDC guidance that was announced on Monday, December 27th.
As needed, we will implement updated protocols this week.
• Stress to employees that if they are feeling at all sick -- stay home and check with their medical provider.
• Have our agency wide Emergency Response Team meet to ensure timely communications and alignment on priorities. We are actively managing our inventory of PPE, have a good amount of it on hand and distributing it to any program that has a need.
Our current profile and next steps:
• As mentioned, COVID19 is present in the community, with CRi, our employees and those that we support. In summary, our current counts, which change daily, are:
o Six individuals have tested positive and we are actively supporting them in our residential programs. All notifications to guardians and community partners have been made. Since January, we had only three individuals with COVID thanks to the dedication of the staff and the actions by the individuals.
o 20 staff also have active cases or are supporting someone with an active case. As mentioned earlier, we may update our protocols for CDC’s 12/27 update as appropriate.
• Not planning any agency wide closures. However, we will isolate those programs where there are active cases. Program Managers and Directors are the best source for this information and have been, and will continue to, share updates.
o Visitations may be reduced in recognition of the surge. In addition, at times, and with little notice, programs may need to adjust visitation practices. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.
• Inviting conversations with individuals, guardians and family members, as appropriate, on each person’s thoughts about how best, for them, to integrate within the broader community. Do they want to continue to go out, to work, to day programs, to activities?
These conversations will help us in ensuring, within the broader community guidelines and agency protocols, individual choice can be recognized and supported.
On behalf of everyone at CRi, I wish you a Happy New Year. If you have any questions you may reach me a 703-842-2321 or email@example.com. In addition, our Senior Directors of Clinical Services, Julie Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kris Hollins, email@example.com or DeAnne Mullins, firstname.lastname@example.org are available to answer your questions.
CRi is in need of many critical items to ensure the safety of our residents & mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We have two Northern Virginia drop-off locations & one in Richmond. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Janet at email@example.com for more information!
👉 Make a Donation to CRi: This is a scary & unknown time for many of the people we support. Your dollars during this time are more critical than ever. An unrestricted gift to CRi right now ensures that you are part of community protection & healing. Your gift will provide immediate resources to people in vulnerable positions who need us most.
👉 Check Out Our Amazon Wishlist: A safe & convenient way to donate, our Amazon Wishlist contains the needs of many of our 42+ residential programs in Virginia.
👉 Join the Million Mask Challenge: The Million Mask Challenge is a local DC/MD/VA initiative with a mission to sew & distribute 1 million masks to first responders, health care workers, & vulnerable populations.
👉 Share the Facts about COVID-19: Looking for more information that is accurate & reliable? Check out this COVID Fact Sheet straight from the CDC!
👉 Stay Up-to-Date With CRi News: Click here to see our latest E-News Blast regarding COVID preparations & procedures, the Spring Campaign & more.
top priority remains the health, safety and well being of the individuals,
families, friends, visitors and employees. As local, state and federal
guidance’s continue to evolve on a daily basis related to COVID-19, so do CRi
practices to ensure a safe home and environment for all. Please understand that changes will be made
that will supersede guidance’s or decisions made in earlier days. This is in harmony with what we are seeing
nationally and locally every day to ensure our communities are safe.
March 13th, CRi posted and distributed guidance and expectations regarding
visitors in our programs. Some visits continued
as they were approved as essential and/or critical needs. These also included off site day visits and families
who chose to take their loved one home for extended stays. In these instances, expectations were either verbally
or written and included families needing to certify items outlined in March 13th
guidance/posting relative to health, wellness, symptom free and no known
exposure or illness.
As has been shared in those instances, please understand that the following applies to all persons who engage in offsite and/or extended visits:
· CRi expects that you keep the program abreast of any health status changes that may (or may not) occur while the individual is away from the residential program.
· In the event that your family member displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (i.e. cough and shortness of breath) and/or has a fever consistent with CDC guidance and our Medical Director (100 degrees or greater) you understand that you will be asked to not return your family member to their CRi home until such time that they are free from these symptoms and fever for recommended timeframe outlined by the CDC.
· Equally, CRi will share with you any changes that may occur in their CRi home so that you equally can be informed about potential risk should it be of concern and make the choice that is right for you.
Please be advised that CRi may need to make a decision to discontinue all in-program and off-site visits as we have seen instituted in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across our nation to protect everyone. Additionally, those who make the choice to take their family member home, may not be able to return them until this pandemic is over or CDC guidance dictates otherwise.
Please understand that these measures are in line with what is necessary and prudent to keep everyone safe and reduce risk for transmission and spread to others. This remains a fast moving issue however, our mission of supporting individuals and providing a safe environment for them and our employees is not changing.
How we operate on a day-to-day basis will change in the short-term, but not our mission.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force has issued guidelines to help protect Americans during the global Coronavirus outbreak. CRi is working to help slow the spread by following the recommendations below:
Like all of you, we have been reading with interest the various news items on the Coronavirus. In addition, our entire management team has been working with our President & CEO, Arthur Ginsberg, to review and reinforce our emergency plan preparations. Here is a snapshot of what we are doing.
#1 – We are strongly committed to our Emergency Preparedness (EP) Plans and the efforts that we have made in their development. We will rely on them to help guide, but not constrain, us as we address this event over the next few weeks and months. We began meeting in February to address this very important topic.
#2 – Our leadership team has met as the Emergency Response Team, our primary leadership structure for EP. Our Medical Director, Dr. U. Nguyen, joined us on Friday the 28th and emphasized, that while there are unknowns with the Coronavirus, our primary focus needs to be on Infection Control and Flu Prevention techniques. Focus on Flu Prevention and prepare. This includes increased frequency of cleaning and the implementation of our Infectious Disease prevention protocols and Universal Precautions.
#3 – We are monitoring, gathering and sharing information, tools and techniques from a variety of sources such as the CDC, the state health agencies for Maryland and Virginia, local county Community Service Boards, health departments, other organizations and ANCOR. This has led to us beefing up our cleaning routines and review of supplies.
#4 – Let me identify specific actions in our program areas that may be followed up with more information as appropriate. - For our residential programs we will be implementing restrictions on visitors and visitations. The timing will be announced soon. Of note, deliveries will continue with a focus on limiting interaction with 3rd parties. In addition, we will be increasing our daily health screenings in the programs to ensure close monitor of the individuals’ health. - For our community programs we are re-evaluating our meeting locations, our pickup routines and our screening protocols. Specific plans will be communicated by the program(s) as needed to their families and/or residential providers. - We ask for your cooperation on both of these operational adjustments as we work through strategies to address this virus. We will make every effort to communicate why we are making changes, if and when they are needed.
#5 – We are actively engaging with our employees on this topic. In specific, appropriately discussing; their ability to work given various scenarios regarding community closures such as schools, their recent travel plans, and possible exposure of their direct family/friends. Our team will act accordingly with the information to address the agency’s needs. Our support functions are evaluating telework practices that can be effective in minimizing the risk of exposures while also accomplishing their support tasks. There will be more use of conference calls and fewer face-to-face meetings.
#6 – Lastly, as we have learned this past week, this is a fast moving issue however, our mission of supporting individuals and providing a safe environment for them and our employees is not changing. How we operate on a day-to-day basis will change in the short-term, but not our mission.
CRi is suspending Day Program participation for al individuals supported in our residential programs effective, March 16th, 2020. In addition, CRi is temporarily closing Newbrook Day Programs, including the NICS Community-based programs, at all locations for the period March 16th ‐ 27th, 2020.
We know this will cause a disruption of people’s lives and daily routines and that of their families and friends. The CRi service delivery area, our community, has experienced a dramatic and unprecedented increase in COVID‐19 cases. In addition, we are witnessing the impact of the governments’ declarations of state/national emergencies.
We are implementing these proactive measures to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission. Our priority is making sure the individuals that we support, staff, and community remain healthy and safe.
CRi’s top priority is the health and well‐being of the individuals, families and friends, employees and visitors. Given the most recent government updates regarding COVID‐19 we have instituted the following requirements effective March 13,2020 and until further notice:
All visits are temporarily suspended unless they are of critical nature. PLEASE CALL the program home if you have a critical need to visit or drop an item off.
If approved for a critical visit:
We are actively supporting visits via telephone and video in lieu of in person. We are implementing these proactive measures to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission. Our priority is making sure the individuals that we support, staff, and community remain healthy and safe. Thank you in advance for your support. If you have questions on this temporary practice, please call Terry Hurley, VP at 703‐842‐2321.