The health and safety of our clients, staff and the community are of the utmost concern to Recovery Acres. Given the population we work with, we always take care to follow best practices around safety and hygiene, but in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken measures to intensify our efforts.
We will continue our regular healthy practices:
- Provide access to hand sanitizer throughout the facility.
- Provide restrooms, coffee room and kitchen area with hand soap.
- Maintain high level of hygiene and ask those using the facility to do the same.
- Screen all incoming clients who are not feeling well and encourage them to refrain from coming to Recovery Acres until they are medically stable.
We will continue our regular advocacy of healthy practices and procedures with heightened regularity:
- Provide updated information to clients and staff as it becomes available.
- Update our procedures and protocols to conform to changing best practices as they develop.
- Review the travel history of all potential incoming clients during the interview process and make recommendations accordingly.
- Greatly enhanced cleaning protocols, with particular focus on high traffic and high contact areas as well as any area where food or beverages are stored or consumed. We are tripling the daily cleaning protocols for surface cleaning and the cleaning products we use are industrial-grade and food-service approved.
We have changed a few things at this time:
- We will not do face-to-face interviews with potential incoming clients; we will work with referral agents and self-referring individuals to set up video or phone interviews instead.
- Recreation therapy programs that have large numbers and close proximity such as yoga will be on hiatus until it is safe to resume.
- Follow “non-contact greeting protocols” (no handshaking or hugging) guidelines for staff, clients, visiting professionals and personal visitors.
- We will ask that all volunteers stay away from the facility until it is safe to return.
- All service people and delivery drivers etc. will be asked to stay out of the facility whenever possible and we will limit our external supports to emergency services only.
We are prepared to change the following if necessary:
- If necessary, we will stop taking in new clients.
- If necessary, we will cease all programming activity that occurs outside of the house.
- If necessary, we will switch to our “quarantine protocol”, which includes measures like shutting down programming, having only essential staff on duty, keeping clients isolated in their dorms and staggering meal service etc. etc.
- If necessary, we will find medically supported facilities for any Recovery Acres clients who have the virus but do not have a home to self-isolate in.
Again, please keep in mind that these are not things we are planning to do, just preparing for.
In the meantime, here are the things you can do to improve the health prospects for yourself, your friends and family and your community overall:
- Follow all suggestions from health professionals and keep up-to-date on what those best practices are.
- Practice self-care and have compassion and empathy for others.
- Financially stable people can enroll in online giving or make online donations to ensure safer environments and better support for people without the same means to ensure their own health and safety.
Take care of yourselves and each other, practice kindness and compassion and remember that we are all part of a larger community. Recovery Acres will continue to provide updates as necessary.
Jeremiah Aherne, MPH, CCTP