New Horizons' Corona Virus Protocol

NEW HORIZONS SUPPORTED SERVICES, INC. CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PROTOCOL

Anyone experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath must stay home and seek advice from a medical professional right away. Individuals and staff may return pending approval from a doctor with a release form (must be given to the nurse). Individual must be brought in by residential with their release form to be assessed by the nurse before transportation will be resumed.

Anyone who exhibits fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath will be sent home. Individuals and staff may return pending approval from a doctor with a release form (must be given to the nurse). Individual must be brought in by residential with their release form to be assessed by the nurse before transportation will be resumed. 

The following precautionary and response measures at New Horizons are helping us to continue a safe and clean environment:

  • While at the program, we are encouraging proper handwashing techniques among individuals, staff, and our guests.
  • Staff have increased cleaning of high-touch areas (tables, doorknobs, light switches, water fountains, snack machines, vans, etc.)
  • We have implemented the use of hand sanitizer by individuals, staff, and our guests.
  • While at the program, we are encouraging everyone not to touch their face, mouth, eyes, or nose without washing their hands prior.
  • We are reminding everyone to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze or use the inside of their elbow and to throw away used tissue. 
  • If you cough or sneeze immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • We are limiting the potential for exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by not taking individuals to venues that could have crowds of 10 people or more or places that are small in relationship to the number of people that may be present at one time.

Should we become aware of any documented exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) of any staff, individual, or visitor to NHSSI the following will be implemented:

  •  The center will be closed immediately and reopened pending completion of an investigation and decontamination.
  • All family and residential caregivers of our individuals will be notified of the exposure and the individual will need to be quarantined for 14 days after we became aware of the exposure.
  • All staff will be notified of the exposure and the staff will need to be quarantined for 14 days after we became aware of the exposure.
  • All visitors to the building will be notified of the exposure and will need to be quarantined for 14 days after we became aware of the exposure.

Preventative Measures and Social Distancing  

New Horizons staff will take the following steps as well as helping the individuals they support take the same steps to avoid any contact:

  • Again, wash hands frequently and thoroughly (This is better than hand sanitizer).
  • Use hand sanitizer when washing hands with running water is not readily available
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • Avoid shaking hands and touching objects and surfaces
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other at all times
  • All staff and individuals will be screened for fever by checking temperatures daily. All temperatures will be recorded daily.

Visitor Restrictions

  • Send communication to families advising them of our visitor restrictions over the next several weeks. 
  • Post signs at the entrances to the facility indicating if you have a fever or cold-like symptoms you may not enter the building.
  • Beginning March 17, 2020 all sites will be closed to all visitors for the next two weeks.  On March 31, 2020 and thereafter all visitors will be screened upon arrival. 
  • All visitors will be screened for fever (temp will be taken), or symptoms of respiratory infection, the nurse will assess all visitors; each visitor will be asked if they traveled internationally within the last 14 days to affected countries; or have been in contact with a person who is ill and has traveled outside of the U.S. in the last 14 days; contact with an individual with COVID-19; or residing in a community where community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.  If any visitor has any of the symptoms mentioned above or has traveled outside of the U.S. within the last 14 days, they will “NOT” be allowed onsite.  They will be encouraged to seek medical assistance.
  • The nurse and/or staff assistant will wash hands and disinfect the area.

Infection Control

  • All staff will be trained by the nurse on the selection, use, removal and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Inventory PPE supplies and increase ordering as needed.
  • If a person has a suspected or diagnosed case of COVID-19, we will notify our local health department, their case manager, and our DDA Regional Office immediately.
  • All staff and other individuals who were exposed will be quarantined to a specific restricted area of the building until further guidance from Prince Georges County Health Department.  
  • Personal Protective Equipment will be worn by all staff

 Coordination

  • Agency Nurse, Deputy Director and Executive Director will be the point of contact
  • Program Managers and Leads will inform the nurse and Deputy Director of all cases of symptoms of illness among staff and individuals.  
  • Executive Director will be informed of all updates as it relates to everything outlined in this protocol.  Executive Director will provide any updates to DDA, families, caregivers, staff and individuals via, written memo’s, town hall meetings, email, phone, etc. 
       
       
 
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