Important information about COVID-19
April 7, 2020
April 6, 2020
Based on Governor Cuomo’s statement today, Brookville Center’s five (5) education programs, along with its day care programs will remain closed through April 29th. We will continue to update you as we receive further guidance.
April 1, 2020
March 27, 2020
Based on Governor Cuomo’s statement today, Brookville Center’s five (5) education programs, along with its day care programs will remain closed through April 15th. We will continue to update you as we receive further guidance.
March 22, 2020
March 21, 2020
March 20, 2020
March 19, 2020
March 15, 2020
County Executive Laura Curran has ordered the closing of all schools in Nassau County for the next two weeks. Brookville Center for Children’s Services’ education and daycare programs will be closed from March 16th thru March 27th 2020.
March 14, 2020
Out of an abundance of caution and commitment to the health and well-being of our students and staff members, all Brookville Center programs/sites will be closed Monday, March 16 – Friday, March 20.
March 12, 2020
As you are all aware, new information becomes available every day regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) and steps that we must take in order to prevent the spread of the virus in our agency and in our local communities. Below is a summary of new guidance provided by our regulatory agencies in the last several days.
Closures and Quarantines:
- The DOH is very clear about how an exposure is defined and it does not include simply being in the same building as someone who was affected. In the event of a true exposure, the person affected is notified in writing by the DOH (not an employer closing an office or word of mouth from a friend). This includes a list of instructions to follow. You will receive information from the HR department regarding reporting such to the agency so that we may take appropriate steps.
- In the event that the agency receives news of a potential exposure, in line with what our local schools have enacted, our first step will be to close the program involved for a period of 24 hours. This does not necessarily mean that people have been exposed or impacted however it will enable us to do further investigation and determine next steps in addition to deep cleaning and sanitizing as a precautionary measure.
- We want to assure you that IF we have a staff member or student diagnosed with Covid-19 in one of our programs, the Department of Health will be dictating the plans that we follow and monitoring each person affected.
- Prior to implementing any quarantine or isolation, the local health department is required to assess the environment to ensure that it is safe to allow the school to remain open. We provide care to a unique population where infection control can sometimes be a challenge and we have been assured that this will be taken into account.
- The CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a surgical facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Misuse can in fact be more dangerous to a person. Surgical facemasks should only be used by a person who shows symptoms of Covid-19 or people who have had proximate or close exposure (within 6 feet) of a person who was diagnosed in order to help prevent spreading the disease to others.
In the event that there is student in the program who has respiratory symptoms, always use universal precautions. There are many respiratory viruses, influenza and seasonal allergies in the local community at present.
If you notice that a student has a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, the nurses will perform an assessment and follow their protocols.
- Until further notice, all community based activities/field trips are suspended.
Below is a repeat of Respiratory Illness prevention measures as a reminder:
- Respiratory viruses are passed person to person primarily through coughing and sneezing, contact with the droplets that are expelled and then touching your nose or mouth.
- Many viruses can also live on surfaces if droplets have landed on surfaces.
- For this reason, it is very important that everyone covers their mouths utilizing the elbow method when sneezing or coughing and uses a tissue to prevent droplets from entering the air.
- After coughing or sneezing you should wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds including between fingers and wrists or use hand sanitizer that is comprised of 60% alcohol if a sink is not available immediately.
- You should always wear gloves when wiping surface and wash your hands immediately after removing.
- You should always wash your hands upon entering the classroom (that includes returning from therapies), before and after eating, and after using the bathroom/diapering. You should also assist/prompt a student to do the same before eating or after using the bathroom at the level of assistance that they require.
- No staff or student should go/come to work or go to program if they have a fever until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.
Environmental Cleaning & Disinfection:
Each program has been and will continue performing target cleaning and disinfection.
The agency is working to keep everyone informed as quickly as possible when new information becomes available. We will continue to update you regularly.
March 11, 2020
As you are all aware there is information and recommendations regarding the Coronavirus that are changing rapidly, which requires the agency to take additional prudent measures to protect the people we support, and staff, across all of our programs.
- At this time, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending “social distancing” to limit the spread of the virus. Social distancing is a general guideline that recommends remaining at least 6 feet away from another person. Therefore, at this time we are recommending that all programs examine every programmatic or recreational activity, and that any activity involving large crowds is canceled as appropriate. If you have any questions regarding whether an activity is appropriate, please reach out to your supervisor for guidance. All programs should plan for a variety of “in house” activities designed to actively engage people supported.
- The agency will be evaluating all large gatherings/meetings, and utilize technology where appropriate in place of “in person” meetings. Further information will follow regarding this initiative.
Thank you very much for your support, and please know that we appreciate your diligence and hard work to keep the people we support and our employees safe! Future communications will be forthcoming this week, and will be focused on what to do if a fellow employee or person supported is diagnosed with the Coronavirus.
March 10, 2020
ALL OPWDD OPERATED PROGRAMS
Due to the presence of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the local community, we are under express direction from the NY State Department of Health and OPWDD to implement infection control measures related to visitors (including: parents, family, friends, care managers, advocates, etc).
All potential visitors must CALL AHEAD to the residence/program to schedule a visit. When you call the location, you will be asked three questions as listed below:
- Have you traveled to a country for which the CDC has listed a travel warning in the last 14 days (China, Iran, Korea, Italy)?
- To your knowledge have you had contact with a person who is diagnosed with Covid-19/Coronavirus or who is currently being monitored for symptoms in the last 14 days?
- Do you have any symptoms of respiratory infection (ex. cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath)?
If you answer YES to any of the above questions you will not be able to visit the location and will be referred to the program administrator for further instructions.
It is of the utmost importance to us that we keep each and every person who we support safe! Thank you in advance for your cooperation in complying with these very important directives.
March 9, 2020
We felt that it was important to reach out to the people we support, agency personnel and families in light of the recent Coronavirus (Covid-19) diagnoses in our county. We first want to share that we are fully prepared and would like provide you with some additional information related to our planning and the actions taken to protect the people we support and staff. We are monitoring and ensuring swift action on all communications from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and DOH (Department of Health). We encourage you to do the same to ensure that you are seeing up to date and accurate information at:
What are we doing to reduce the risk in our programs? As we have shared, this is a rapidly changing situation. Any steps we take may be modified and enhanced as we are closely following DOH guidance. While Coronavirus may simply present as cold symptoms, given that there is no vaccine or antiviral medication available at this time, we are ensuring that enhanced precautions are being taken as below.
Hygiene: We are instructing staff and people supported across all programs to engage in frequent hand washing including after using restrooms, after coughing or sneezing, upon returning home and always before eating. We are making hand sanitizers, with 60% alcohol content, available to take into the community for staff and people supported for when sinks are not available. Cough and sneeze etiquette including the use of tissues for coughs or sneezes are being reviewed in every program. The CDC does not recommend the routine use of respiratory/surgical masks. We do have a supply available of surgical masks and N95 masks that are reserved for individuals that may present with symptoms and cannot exercise safe respiratory hygiene.
Cleaning: In all programs commonly touched surfaces are being disinfected with anti-viral products including doorknobs, light switches, railings, remote controls, telephones, etc. This is being on a daily basis at minimum and in residential settings, at the end of each shift.
Maintaining Stock of Essential Items: We are maintaining a stock supply of: non-perishable food, water, toilet paper and cleaning supplies in the event that a program requires anything that is not readily available in the community. We are in contact with our pharmacy and other vendors to ensure their availability to provide us with additional resources if necessary.
Monitoring for Signs of Illness: Staff and people supported are instructed to stay home when showing signs of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat & headache). Nursing staff will guide actions for all people supported who present with respiratory symptoms. Staff should not present for work if they have any respiratory symptoms and must contact their physician. In the event that you need to seek medical attention, call ahead and tell them about any recent travel and symptoms. Always avoid contact with others until a diagnosis is received. In the event that staff or a person supported is diagnosed with Coronavirus, it will be reported immediately and we will work in conjunction with the CDC and DOH to ensure that every possible step is taken to minimize the impact to all involved.
Travel precautions: As the virus continues to spread travel restrictions are being updated and now include several countries. The CDC has very strict measures in place at all ports of entry to screen people coming back from any of the identified countries. The results of that screening carefully dictate what follow up is required for that person and there is direct contact with their local county health department as well as strict follow up measures. We have discouraged all non-essential travel to outbreak areas and have requested that employees and people supported disclose travel to outbreak areas to their Program Director so that appropriate steps related to self-quarantine can be taken upon return. Updated travel information related to 2019‐nCoV can be found at: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
We remain firmly committed to the health and wellness of the people who we support and our workforce. We have taken every possible step to prepare to meet the challenges of this virus outbreak. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach our Senior Director of Health Services, Nicole Uterano-Ferrar at email@example.com or 516-293-2016 ext 5347.