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Family Visitation Update

As of 12/29/2020 Community Services is modifying the protocol on home visits (to family homes and in IRAs).  Please read below for specific guidelines. 

We implemented the visit pause based on an abundance of caution for those we support and the wish to keep people healthy and safe.  At the time the pause went into effect we had a significant number of positive cases among our IRA’s and Erie County rates had increased as well.  We continue to follow OPWDD, CDC and local Health Department guidance and evaluate the agency status weekly.

As the Erie County rates continue to decrease, they are still over 5%.   We have seen a significant reduction of positive cases among our IRA’s and we attribute that to the pause on home visitations.

We recognize the desire to be with family, especially during the Holiday’s and we appreciate your understanding and willingness to work with us.  Therefore, we are modifying our family visitation protocols to allow for pre-planned, day-time visits.  We believe that prolonged overnight visits, would become difficult to manage and place those we support at greater risk.

It remains priority to keep your loved ones safe and healthy therefore, while we are modifying the pause of family visitation, we are doing so with specific guidelines in place.

Managers are responsible for completing pre-screening prior to the visit to the IRA or to the family home.

Screening questions include: 

  1. Do you have any symptoms of COVID to include, but not limited to: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell? Upon arrival your temperature will be taken.
  2. Have you come in contact with anyone who has had symptoms of COVID (see above) and/or been to a “designated quarantined state” as identified by the NYDOH in the last 14 days?
  3. If you have been instructed to self-quarantine by the Department of Health (DOH), Center for Disease Control (CDC) or their medical provider in the last 14 days?
  4. Have you come in contact with anyone under a DOH quarantine in the last 14 days.

Screening Determination:

If you respond with a YES to ANY of the above questions, we cannot allow the visit to take place at this time.

Additional Safeguards: 

Individuals may participate in home and family visits if there is reasonable assurance obtained that appropriate risk mitigation strategies are in place and that those, they are visiting do not have a confirmed nor suspected case of COVID-19.

Appropriate risk mitigation includes social distancing, use of masks or other face coverings when tolerated, as well meticulous attention to hand washing, proper cleaning and disinfection.

Home visits must be pre-planned and approved of by the Director or Assistant Director of Residential Services.  Again, with this modification to our protocol we are allowing for daytime visits for now.  We will continue to adhere to CDC, OPWDD, and local Health Department guidance, monitor rates in the County and within our agency and re-visit our protocols as necessary.

Upon leaving the site, families should remember risk mitigation strategies, as stated above, and that exposure to members of different household and to public places should be done with caution and on a limited basis. See “Family Guidance for In-Home and Off-Site Visits” that includes best practices to implement these risk mitigation strategies.

If your loved one resides in an IRA where there is a positive case, and/or if someone is exhibiting signs of symptoms of COVID-19 and/or  if someone was in close contact/exposed to someone with COVID-19 and/or the site is in quarantine, we must pause the home visit until the quarantine or isolation period has ended as directed by the New York State.

Managers will be reaching out to touch base on your family’s specific situations.

General questions can be sent to COVID19@csevery1.com.