The past few days have us all evaluating how we can best respond to the ever-changing landscape that the spread and potential spread of COVID-19 has caused. Our top priority is to make sure the individuals we serve at The Brambles stay safe and are healthy, and that our response leaves no one behind. To prepare for this in the beginning of March, The Brambles has done the following:
- Developed an addendum to the current Emergency Preparedness Plan.
- Made contact and continues to have contact with Mathews County Emergency Coordinator.
- Keeping up to date with communications from Center for Medicaid and Medicare and Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
- Educated our staff and individuals through a series of email communications, discussions, and videos about proper hygiene practices which include hand washing and refraining from touching mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Increased cleaning of touch points in the homes and vehicles to several times per shift.
As of Monday March 16, 2020, The Brambles is practicing social distancing outlined by the CDC:
- Day Support is being worked from the houses for those that live at The Brambles and limited to groups of under 10. The Day Support building remains open for individuals that do not reside at The Brambles; however limited to 10 people.
- The Brambles has cancelled or rescheduled non-essential medical appointments.
- The Brambles is limiting outings to small groups and encouraging staff and individuals to engage in only ride outs, drive thru’s, and outside activities like parks and recreation.
During the first week of March, The Brambles reached out to our suppliers and placed extra orders of PPE gear, gloves, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. We were able to secure about 3 weeks of supplies. There are limited supplies based on the demand; however we are keeping our pulses on our inventories and talking with our suppliers about what we will be needing. Grocery shopping is a challenge and we are working with what is available in the stores. This means that those that may be used to eating eggs in the morning may have to eat cereal and vice versa. We have an abundance of dry and canned goods in our warehouse that will sustain us for months if not a year.
We have asked the local community services boards, REACH workers, etc. to limit face to face meetings and are working with the state on how to best proceed where annuals and other assessments are needed to continue waiver services. We are asking and encouraging parents and guardians to postpone visits as well. Reach out to the house manager for alternative ways to communicate for the time being, whether by phone, video, social media, or other methods and they can assist you. If you are wanting to pick up your loved one, please make arrangements with the house manager. House Manager information is as follows:
Boston & Coastal Homes: Caitlin Lee (804) 238-8399
Cottage Home: Veronica Gresham (804) 384-3326
Hacienda, Lodge, & Villa Homes: Dee Singleton (804) 854-5146
Windsor & Poplar Grove Homes: Cynthia Jackson (804) 436-7695
We are currently exploring the need for a screening process which may include questions about travel, contact with others, and a temperature reading. As this develops we will let everyone know.