NHC’s Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

 

Support New Hope

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

5/29/2020

I am happy to report we have not had any positive COVID-19 diagnoses in the last 19 days! Most fortunately, all those that were affected are doing well, including our resident who is currently receiving rehabilitation. Although we know we have a long road ahead as we gradually and carefully reimagine our new normal; there is a keener sense of relief and hope.

Although DOH and OPWDD have yet to provide re-opening guidance (which means we continue to maintain programmatic and in-home visitation status); we are actively developing a three-phase re-opening plan that addresses other practices within agency life that can begin to change. This is an inter-departmental plan that will have a targeted start date of mid-June. It is important to note that this critical process must comprehensively and holistically support the highest levels of health and safety possible, for everyone within our New Hope family. Clearly, everyone is eager to resume many activities that have been suspended over these last few months, but we must keep a keen and responsible eye to doing this right and doing it safely.

In support of this process, we are creating two online surveys for stakeholder input that should be distributed via Survey Monkey, within the next week. One survey will center on our Day Habilitation services and the other will center on our Residential services. I encourage everyone to participate in this survey process, as stakeholder input is most valuable to informed and sensitive decision making. More information on this front will be forthcoming. I would also like to note that all are welcome to email us at: feedback@newhopecommunity.org to share thoughts, concerns, questions, etc. This email is checked each weekday and all emails will receive a timely response. Also, the first of each month we will be recording COVID-related update messages 6/01 and moving forward at (845-434-8300 ext. 440). Our Community Insider newsletter and our FB page will continue to be informational resources for COVID-19 updates and I will also send out email blasts as appropriate to ensure a robust climate of clear, transparent and time-sensitive communication. And of course, please, frequently check our website in the coming days and weeks for detailed updates, as well.

On another note, this week our wonderful Hope Farm team (Megan, Sophia and Anthony) potted beautiful plants grown in our greenhouses for delivery to each of our residences. Plants were delivered on Wednesday by our Residential Coordinators and brought smiles to many faces as they received this live gift. In the midst of this crisis a group activity that speaks to life and growth, is surely a welcome thing!

We are most certainly on the brink of multi-phase change and in many ways this is exciting. But, the challenges associated with safely re-opening are many and we are committed to moving forward carefully and responsibly. I am confident all those involved will support this positioning and I thank you for your deep commitment to New Hope Community. As stated before, we are indeed, stronger together and I know we will collectively move through steps that bring us to a new day!

Sincerely,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

5/24/2020

IMPORTANT UPDATE

In the news today, Governor Cuomo stated that he expects our Hudson Valley Region to begin Phase 1 re-opening this Tuesday 5/26/20. The Mid-Hudson met the sixth of the state’s seven benchmarks Saturday when its average daily number of COVID deaths dipped to five. Our region benefited from the state recently making a key change to the way it calculates this metric. Prior to this change, a region had to have 14 consecutive days of declining deaths. This metric now only requires five or fewer average daily deaths over the most recent three day period. Mid-Hudson met this metric on Saturday. This makes Mid-Hudson eligible for re-opening a few days earlier than it would have been eligible under the prior rules. In addition, the governor stated that the right number of contact-tracers have been identified and will receive training over the holiday weekend online. The projected satisfaction of all seven benchmarks brings us to our new starting point.

Phase 1 includes: construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chains and select retail (with mainly curbside pick-up). County Executives within our region welcomed this news but state it is now more important than ever to do our part in wearing masks, maintaining social-distancing and washing our hands. Progression through the remaining three phases will be based on metrics data that interprets the status and impact of the virus’ spread in the coming weeks and days.

This leaves just Long Island and New York City as the only places in the state not slated to enter phase one of the reopening process. As this is new information post my 5/22 website update, I wanted to provide this today in real time. It is important to note, that although this represents progress, we have yet to receive any new guidance from either OPWDD or DOH. Ultimately the changing or lifting of any protocols and practices within our New Hope Community must be based on their directives.

I will continue to provide website updates as frequently as needed to ensure all readers remain in the New Hope Community loop, at all times. As noted on Friday, in the near future, we will also be sharing information specific to the engagement of our stakeholders as we move forward. Please be sure to actively check our website and feel free to call or email me if you would like to communicate directly.

Sincerely,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

5/22/2020

With pleasure, I continue to share positive news. New Hope Community is coming up on the two-week mark representing no new active cases of COVID-19 for either a person supported or a staff.  In addition, isolation for the two remaining homes noted in last week’s update, have been lifted effective today. Also, the one person hospitalized, as noted last week, is now focusing on rehabilitation. So, on all fronts, we are making progress and feeling thankful.

In terms of our Mid-Hudson region re-opening status; we continue to meet 5/7 required benchmarks. For metric two, we need to show a reduction in hospitalization deaths for another eight days and achieve fewer than five deaths over a three-day average (we’re currently at seven). We also have yet to meet the contact tracer number required of benchmark seven (30 contact tracers per 100K residents or per infection rate). Therefore, we continue to uphold all protocols as has been the case since mid-March. To date, OPWDD and DOH have not issued any new guidance. To stay current with our regional re-opening status please visit: https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard

We certainly look forward to fully meeting all metrics for re-opening in the near future and will communicate all changes to our New Hope family in a responsible, time-sensitive manner. As noted previously, stakeholder input is essential to our planning moving forward and we are currently exploring the best communication pathways to support a meaningful exchange. Expect information on this front within the next 7-10 days.

On another “good news” front; all New Hope residences were provided with a wonderful pizza dinner delivery by Anthony Perito of Colonial Family of Funeral Homes, this week. Anthony is such a wonderful, generous friend of New Hope Community and everyone loved this surprise (after all, who doesn’t love pizza?). All New Hope staff also received white circular car window decals this week stating “Not all Heroes Wear Capes”. It’s a perfect way to broadly message our staff’s value.

And on that note – I would like to give a special shout-out to our fabulous maintenance staff this week. They needed to be largely re-purposed outside of our residences during COVID-19 and the entire crew has seamlessly stepped up and adapted to an altered work schedule in an incredible way. Our main building is continuously disinfected from top to bottom, environmental modifications have been put in place, grounds are actively groomed and improved and multiple renovation projects (exterior to our residences) have been tackled with zeal. They are integral to keeping us safe and functional and they are deeply appreciated!

In closing, I’ve been speaking to the chronicity of this crisis and I know that it is only felt more deeply as time wears on. In our Community Insider newsletter today, I speak about ways one can support their best state of mental health (May is Mental Health month). I hope you get a chance to read the column and also take every opportunity to practice good self-care. We all need to feed a healthy rhythm and capture every moment of positivity possible as we push through to better days (and there will be better days!).

Please enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. Stay safe – stay well. And please accept my thanks for your ongoing kindness and support.

Warmly,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

5/15/2020

It is with pleasure, I begin this message with positive news. New Hope has not had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis for either a resident or a staff since last weekend. Currently we have totaled 16 COVID-19 positive residents and 22 COVID-19 positive staff. Most fortunately, all are stable and almost all are fully recovered. As of this morning, only two New Hope residences are in isolation and only one resident remains hospitalized. Thankfully, the resident is not critical and is recovering nicely. In addition, our hardworking HR and training teams have managed to create a flexible, online hiring and orientation process that allowed us to hire seven new staff in April and has positioned us to complete the hire of 11 new staff in May. Also, our nursing and QI departments have worked diligently to continuously identify PPE resources and are actively keeping New Hope staff supplied with all needed masks, face shields, gloves and gowns. Ordering quantities are taking into consideration projected need during the remainder of this year and beyond.

I am also happy to report that our new division, Select Human Services, is faring well throughout this crisis. This is wonderful to see as they are located in Westchester County – an area hard hit by the coronavirus. Despite this, they have been able to steadfastly provide supports and services within their service catchment area. In-person programming in their well-loved Judy Voron Life Skills Studio is now being offered via Zoom and a wide variety of creative classes and activities are being enjoyed by many. Amazingly, to date, there have been minimal positive COVID-19 diagnoses for staff and those they support.

In the midst of positive news and change as noted above, some things do remain the same. New Hope Community continues to uphold all regulations, protocols and practices as set forth by NYS, the CDC, DOH and OPWDD. On May 14th, Governor Cuomo extended an executive order to continue the “New York State on PAUSE” policy, until June 13th – unless regions meet reopening criteria. Currently, Sullivan County (which is part of the Mid-Hudson region) has only met five of the seven benchmarks required to meet the reopening criteria. Please see: https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard to review all data, to date, and to track our region’s progress moving forward.

Additionally, guidance issued from DOH and OPWDD remains unchanged. This all means that New Hope Community – for now – continues with all present protocols and practices. However, our planning process to support a safe, smooth and multi-phased reopening, has begun. As I noted last week, we want to hear from our stakeholders as we know such feedback will help inform a plan that is clear, comprehensive and holistic. Although we all look forward to resuming on-site programming, opening our doors to visitation and much more – the navigation of such must optimize health and safety while being sensitive to the impact of multi-level change. We have much to navigate but we will be equipped and are committed to doing it right! Please stay tuned for more information on this front, moving forward.

This week, I’d also like to share some additional resources with everyone. I trust they will prove both informative and helpful as we all continue to do our best to move through this very challenging time.

The first website provides detailed COVID-19 data that is Sullivan County specific. Good to know and understand the hard data for our own backyard: http://www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/coronavirus

This next website provides detailed COVID-19 statewide data. It is an excellent tracker that breaks down information by county in list, table and chart forms: https://covid19tracker.health.ny.gov/views/NYS-COVID19-Tracker/NYSDOHCOVID-19Tracker-DailyTracker?%3Aembed=yes&%3Atoolbar=no&%3Atabs=n

NY Alliance continues to be an excellent COVID-19 resource – information can be accessed here: https://nyalliance.org/coronavirus

The final website contains free mental health supports during this crisis (the specific collection is entitled “Weathering the Storm”). It includes meditations, sleep and movement exercises. You can access a collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep exercises and children’s content to help address rising stress and anxiety: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

Lastly, OMH has set up an emotional support helpline at #1-844-863-9314. This hotline provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency and is staffed by volunteers including mental health professionals who have received training in crisis counseling.

In an email to staff and board members, yesterday, I stated that the positive in all of this speaks to the opportunity to not just build back to what was, but rather, to build back better than before. To quote from the recently released New York Forward plan “today, we have another chance to make ourselves better for having gone through hell”. It’s time for us to reexamine, reimagine and rebuild – in smart and meaningful ways. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can and we will!

Please stay safe and well!

Warmly,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

5/8/2020 – updated 4:30pm

New Hope Community remains stable and strong. To date, only eight of our 42 programs have been affected by the coronavirus. In each instance, all family members associated with an affected home were contacted by phone. Fortunately, the vast majority of those affected experienced mild symptoms and many have already reached full recovery. As of today, Sullivan County has 1,039 confirmed cases and New Hope Community (both residents and staff) accounts for only 3% of all cases.

It’s been approximately two months since our life as we knew it – changed. And now we are moving through the “sameness” of policies and protocols that have been put into place and need to be upheld, as we continue to safeguard the health and safety of our New Hope family. As we move past a state of crisis acuity and are given clear guidance on re-opening steps and dates (as per NYS, DOH, OPWDD and Sullivan County), we will be reaching out to our stakeholders to receive your valued input as we strive to optimally support everyone within our New Hope family. And as we wait for this transition phase to be announced, I encourage you to reach out to me and/or other members of our New Hope leadership team to share your thoughts, concerns and recommendations.  After all, we are in this together!

Through all of this, I deeply appreciate everyone’s patience, understanding and perseverance. I also appreciate the constant creative flow of resources and activities as we do our best to stay engaged and connected. Please don’t forget to visit our Facebook page to enjoy pictures and posts of all the fun New Hope happenings despite the present challenges. Our staff and all those we support continue to be amazing!

On an entirely different note – this Sunday is Mother’s Day and I can’t end this message without wishing all the moms reading this, a very “Happy Mother’s Day”. I’m sure for many, it will be different than years past, but I trust families will find special ways to celebrate another hero among us – our moms!

Stay safe, be well and hold onto hope. It will get better and we will prevail.

Warm regards,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

5/1/2020

New Hope Community continues to be strong and steady during COVID-19. Recoveries have been celebrated and recovery paths are positive. For this, we are deeply thankful. We look forward to confirming that we have flattened as the viral status in the metropolitan area seems to indicate this downward viral trending. I know we all have fingers crossed!

Although I do this every week, I can’t miss the opportunity to give ongoing applause to our staff and also thank our families and board members. New Hope exists within the embrace of overflowing support, compassion and deep dedication. I am so thankful to be part of such a wonderful team.

As always – my wish to all reading this – be well, stay safe!

Sincerely,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

4/24/2020

New Hope Community continues to be stable, strong and actively moving through this COVID-19 crisis. Sullivan County has not yet peaked and the timeframe for the impact of this pandemic is still not fully known but our ongoing demonstration of creativity and acts of kindness, constantly speak to our unbreakable bonds and deep human connection. And it is awesome! Please take the time to visit our Facebook page to see all we are up to as we push forward and persevere. The fun projects keep changing as our art coordinator, Sue Petry and our wonderfully dedicated residential team, share fabulous ways to have fun and show appreciation.

Our talented staff sewing team has added face shields to their production and are wowing us all with their topnotch skills! It’s amazing what one can accomplish in response to real need. They’ve made well over 500 face masks (and the count continues) and provided our new division, Select Human Services with 136 masks for their administrative and field staff.

As we all continue to celebrate the meaning that drives all we do within and for, our New Hope family, I’d like to close this short update with these words:

“In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path – the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love”.  Amit Ray

Be safe and well,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

4/17/2020

It has been more than a month since our world has been turned upside down by COVID-19. New Hope Community continues to stand strong and work hard to support everyone within our New Hope family.

All required practices and protocols continue to be in place and staff are demonstrating incredible flexibility as they re-adjust, in real time, to all changes occurring. Last Friday evening we put up a large sign by our main campus entranceway that reads “Heroes Work Here”. We say this with heartfelt pride and find it our privilege to make such a statement.

As we continue to push through this crisis, I trust you are doing your best to care for your mind, body and spirit. As so many of us commit efforts to supporting others we must not forget to take care of ourselves.

Please continue to stay safe and well and know that our thanks for your support grows stronger with each passing week.

We will prevail.

Warm regards,

Debbie

 

A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

4/10/2020

This has been an active week for our New Hope family as we do now have a very small number of COVID-19 confirmed cases (less than 2%). Please understand only parties directly impacted can have specific information shared as it is essential that confidentiality be upheld in accordance with all HIPAA required standards. That said, I am happy to report that everyone impacted is doing well and presenting with minimal associated symptoms.

This is not unexpected as the coronavirus has had a widespread impact throughout our state, our country and our world. The good news is, we thoroughly prepared for this possibility and were – and will continue to be – maintaining the highest level of health and safety, possible.

We continue to uphold all CDC, NYS DOH and OPWDD practice standards. Guidance is changing on a daily basis but rest assured, we are staying current to all changes, at all times. I would also like to note that we are fortunate to be maintaining stable staffing patterns and have a good supply of all necessary PPE. In addition, our incredible staff are soldiering forward in their commitment to the many tasks at hand and the wellbeing of all those we support. They also continue to create and share a vast array of engaging and fun activities that can be enjoyed by our entire New Hope family.

It is hard to believe how much all our lives have changed in just the last four weeks. Our rhythm is so different but our purpose and passion are intact. We realize there is much yet ahead, but I believe we have risen to the challenge in the most responsible way and will continue to persevere and rise above. When we finally arrive at a more stable, healthy place I am confident our New Hope family will be a shining example of true resiliency.

To all those reading this message – thank you for your support, your kind words and please continue to stay safe and well!

Best,

Debbie

 

The Power of Community
A Message from Debbie McGinness, CEO

4/3/2020

New Hope Community continues to stand strong as we push through the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, we do not have any diagnosed cases of COVID-19. Agency-wide we continue to uphold all health and safety protocols as required by our NYS and Federal regulatory bodies to support everyone’s highest levels of health and safety. And – our staff continue to utterly amaze me as they demonstrate stamina, flexibility, creativity and caring in simply wondrous and beautiful ways!

We know changes in our viral status could occur at any time, so we are continuing to build our supply of hand sanitizer, masks and gloves through a myriad of resources. Our resourceful staff have stitched together 350 cloth medical masks thus far (180 more to go) for residential distribution. We also purchased 1000 cloth masks from a New York tailor and have several hundred surgical masks and N95 masks (and will be getting more). As we still have many weeks in front of us before peaking and climbing back to a stable and clear state of health, we know it is important to maintain the highest level of readiness, possible.

As we all strive to stay informed and be positioned to share essential support to one another, I would like to share some valuable resources available through our professional organization – NY Alliance. They recently removed their website firewall to allow non-members to access all their COVID-19 information and they’re building a great library of resources (www.nyalliance.org/coronavirus).

On this page you will find sections to include: Statewide Resources, Recorded Webinars, National Resources and Additional Resources. I hope you are able to visit the site and tap into some excellent information. I particularly would point you to the “Additional Resources” section. It has a sub-section for families and self-advocates and one for DSPs. Under the DSPs subsection there are links to: a) a recorded webinar on “The Role of the DSP and Coronavirus”, b) a COVID-19 Toolkit for DSPs, c) a recorded webinar on “Self-Care for DSPs in a Crisis”, and d) a video on “The Coronavirus Explained and What You Should Do”. There is something on this site for everyone!

I’ve likened our staff to “heroes”. I feel they are also “warriors”. Strong, determined, undeterred as they strive to defend and uphold our most important purpose. And I trust our families, friends and community partners are staying strong as well as we all do our best to not just survive, but to thrive as we move through and past this life-changing experience.

I will close by sharing that our traditional Seder dinner in our main building cannot occur this year. But we will still come together. Recipes have been shared and our house manager, Brina Cohen from 20 Aster Road, will be virtually (via Skype) hosting this sacred start of Passover the evening of April 8th (if you would like to join in, please add asterroad20@gmail.com into your Skype account and shoot an email to Brina).

Please stay safe, be well and in the spirit of freedom and liberation for all people “Happy Passover”.

Warmly,

Debbie

Debra J. McGinness, CEO


A Message to our Staff and Families from Debbie McGinness, CEO

3/27/20

With so much uncertainty around us, there are things that are very clear to me:  NHC staff is amazing.  I am so thankful and proud of all of our staff.  To our DSP’s who are continuing to provide services and keep things as normal as possible; to our nurses, who are keeping us informed and maintaining a healthy environment; to our maintenance and cleaning crews who are constantly sanitizing and maintaining environmental controls.  And our Finance department, who makes sure business is running, and our clinical staff who are mindful of our mental wellness.  Each and every person is SO important.

The safety and well-being of people we support and our employees remain our highest priority, as the potential for community spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus continues. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus at New Hope Community. We are actively in contact with and monitoring websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NYS Department of Health (DOH), County Health Departments and the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

During this crisis, we are thankful for our teams who are working together seamlessly and are in constant communication.

NHC has a number of measures in place, including

  • Suspending community outings and on site operation of our Day Programs, and reassigning those staff members to augment our teams at residential sites. Our staff has been extremely flexible and has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to our mission in light of unprecedented circumstances.
  • Implementing a NO Visitors Policy to protect the well-being of those we support and our staff.
  • Utilizing Skype and Face time to keep families connected and provide emotional support and social interactions.
  • Integrating limited time outdoors, while maintain social distancing rules.
  • Utilizing Telemedicine for appointments as available.
  • Increasing training on cleaning protocols and product use, and practicing beyond Universal Precautions.
  • Assessing critical supplies of PPE and exploring alternatives, including developing our own (please visit our Facebook page to see fun pics of our staff making facemasks together – incredible!).

*We will continue to send out regular updates through our website, Facebook page and email blasts. Thank you for staying tuned and be well*

 

An update from Debbie McGinness, CEO

3/20/20

Dear Families and Friends –

During this time, things are changing dramatically hour by hour. I didn’t want to wrap up this work week without reaching out with some important updates.

First, as of this email, I am happy to share that we continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our New Hope family. In addition, Sullivan County continues to be vastly lower in confirmed cases compared to all surrounding counties (currently standing at 6). In addition, we continue to have a very steady staffing structure in place that is comprehensively covering all staffing needs throughout our 41 homes.

Other important information:

Governor Cuomo announced mid-day (3/20) that a state-wide lockdown will go into effect on Sunday, 3/22 at 8 pm. Although our organization is granted an exception to this order due to our essential 24/7 services to a vulnerable population, we are still responding in a manner that demonstrates our commitment to the highest level of safety and sensitivity for all those we sup

  •           Our HR department emailed letters this afternoon to all programmatic and leadership staff. The letter will confirm their employment as a designated essential employee of a human service agency providing 24/7 services to people with I/DD. Staff will be keeping this in their vehicle for all work-related travels starting Sunday evening at 8 pm

Other information to note:

  •           Our front desk will continue to be covered Monday – Friday, 8am – 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 9 pm
  •           Agency nurses will be remaining on site to ensure everyone’s health and safety
  •           Our HR department will have staff from 8am – 4pm, Monday – Friday to assist with all HR-related needs
  •           We have developed flexible departmental scheduling to ensure a minimum number of staff present to effectively run and oversee all operations
  •           Myself, as well as all other senior leadership, will maintain a continuous presence during this time. We understand the importance of providing consistent, ongoing guidance and support and as things change will respond and communicate swiftly and appropriately

I continue to be so thrilled at the incredible evidence of dedication, collaboration, caring, creativity and strength within our New Hope family. I am seeing random acts of kindness take place all around me and have staff actively brainstorming on ways to keep all those we support (as well as themselves) engaged in fun, meaningful activities to combat the potential negative effects of unexpected change and isolation*.  Also, I am happy to share that everyone is excited that our NHC Foundation board is generously providing pizza delivery to all of our homes over the next few days (and pizza is a big hit around here). So please know – despite the presenting challenges – we are doing okay and truly hanging in there!

I am happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have. I will be checking my email each hour over the weekend and will respond promptly to all that reach out to me.

Stay safe and well!

Best,

Debbie

*We’ve shared: free Sproutflix films http://sproutflix.org/virtual-sprout-film-festival/, “blast from the past” New Hope you tube videos https://www.youtube.com/user/newhopecommunity1, a free stream of a 3/13/20 Live Performance of BeethovenNOW: Symphonies 5 & 6 https://www.philorch.org/live and much, much more (hope you have the chance to check these out). And please – feel free to share other resources with us!

 

An Update From Debbie McGinness, CEO

3/15/2020

New Hope Community leadership has been closely tracking every new development related to coronavirus (COVID-19) and continues to immediately respond to all updates, guidance and programmatic mandates in an informed and comprehensive manner. Without question, our top priority has been the health and wellbeing of all those we support and all New Hope employees. We also are making decisions that speak to our need to support the health and wellbeing of the communities in which we provide services. After all, we are all in this together and the actions of each one of us can ultimately impact many others.

As we continue our efforts to maintain a healthy environment for all, I am writing to make you aware of temporary changes that will be put into effect today:

  •           For all homes, programs and buildings, we will no longer be allowing any visitors.  This includes Care Managers and families. All locations will receive signage tomorrow to place in their locations.
  •           We are suspending all day program operations.
  •           We asking staff to not participate in any external meetings.  Internal meetings should be accomplished via teleconferencing, unless otherwise approved.
  •           We will be implementing basic wellness checks of our staff in homes to support a healthy environment.
  •           Our ICF homes are going to have additional guidelines that must be followed as mandated by OPWDD.

As of this writing, there are still no confirmed cases in Sullivan County. However, we believe that these measures are necessary to be as proactive as possible.

As previously stated, please reach out to your Caseload Nurses with any questions you may have regarding COVID-19.  And while we are focusing on temporary limitations, I encourage you to focus on what you CAN do to support healthy positioning during this challenging time. Though we may be uncomfortable for a while, we will learn from this and it will get better. Let’s all remember to take a moment to enjoy the fresh air and may we all hang onto the hope that spring is around the corner.

We will get through this with the support of our families and our dedicated staff.

Best,

Debbie

Debra J. McGinness

Chief Executive Officer

 

An Update on COVID-19 from Debbie McGinness, CEO

3/13/2020

Dear Families and Friends,

We recognize you, or members of your family, may have some questions or concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus).  New Hope Community leadership and our Health Services team are actively monitoring and aggressively implementing precautionary measures to protect individuals and staff. As of this writing, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sullivan County.

We want to assure you that as a healthcare provider we follow stringent infectious disease policies and procedures. At this time, all activities and meetings outside of the facility are suspended.  In addition, all visitors must be pre-screened prior to entering the facility. It is mandatory that all families and friends call the home to complete this prescreening prior to arriving.

Please know this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to adjust our planning and actions as developments warrant. Our efforts are informed by the recommendations of the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OPWDD on all such incidents regarding health care facilities.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to the caseload nurse assigned to your family member, or email us at healthinfo@newhopecommunity.org.

 

Best,

Debbie

Debra J. McGinness

Chief Executive Officer

Additional Resources
CDC’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.cdc.gov/nCoV

 

An Update on COVID-19

3/11/2020

New Hope Community leadership and our Health Services team are actively monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are currently coordinating our planning with all state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on best practices for safeguarding our facility.  The safety and well-being of our staff and individuals we support are our primary concerns.  We know this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to adjust our planning and actions as developments warrant. Our efforts are informed by the recommendations of the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on such incidents regarding health care facilities.

New Hope Community already has stringent infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking additional steps to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.

There are a number of steps that families and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the State Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • * DO NOT VISIT if you have traveled or been exposed to someone who has traveled to an area that has been deemed an area of outbreak or of heightened concern in the U.S. or other country. Please give us a call before visiting.

New Hope Community is committed to the safety and well being of the individuals we support and those who work for us. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely, so that we are fully prepared to take action, and to keep you informed.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to the caseload nurse assigned to your family member, or email us at  healthinfo@newhopecommunity.org.

For the Centers for Disease Control’s latest updates on coronavirus, visit the CDC website.