December 8, 2020
Dear Parent/Legal Guardian/ Treatment Ally:
I would like to extend my warm greetings to everyone this holiday season. On behalf of the entire team at New Hope, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve your child and family during these difficult times. We hope this letter finds you and your family well. In consultation with our Medical Services Team, I would like to again update you on the current status of Covid-19 at New Hope Carolinas.
I’ve decided to no longer continue sending you the details of how severe the virus is. By now I’m sure you are well aware that the data continues to indicate the virus is not contained and reminds us that strong mitigation strategies continue to be necessary to ensure the safety of our residents and employees. Your patience, understanding and continued cooperation and adherence to these necessary restrictions are appreciated.
Since my last letter we have cleared all the cases on Safe Harbor, Waypoint One and Transformations Two. We also saw 12 cases emerge on our Transformations One program. We quickly implemented unit quarantines and admission freezes where indicated, and I’m happy to report we expect to lift the Transformations One unit Quarantine on 12/11/20. Through our testing and mitigation strategies we are confident we have identified all cases and done our best to limit the spread. Luckily none of the residents developed any serious symptoms. We currently have 3 Transformations One youth in quarantine for Covid-19, and they are all expected to be released on or before 12/15/20.
We are continuing our entry screening and other robust processes in place designed to track and monitor the wellness of our employees. We are continuing to monitor all residents daily for symptoms. We are also continuing to quarantine and monitor symptoms of any new admissions or current residents who are away from our building for any reason, as a precaution, and if we see any hint of an influx on any unit, we test and quarantine the entire population and stop all admissions to that program.
We are continuing to test any youth in our care for Covid-19 if they display symptoms or if they leave our facility for any reason. When a resident displays or reports any symptoms, our process includes conducting a rapid test for influenza and strep and testing for Covid-19, then isolating that resident until we have results back on all 3. We are continuing to offer the flu vaccine, which is mandatory for all residents, and employees. Remember, if any youth tests positive for Covid-19, we will notify the parent/Legally Responsible Person (LRP) and encourage his/her parent/LRP to take the youth to their permanent residence for quarantine. When that is not feasible, we will quarantine the youth here.
Our plans for outdoor visitation and fully returning all employees to the workplace also remain on hold, pending better infection rates data in South Carolina. The CDC is now urging all Americans to avoid holiday travel as it increases the likelihood of community spread. Due to the current trending of infection rates, coupled with clear guidance from the CDC, we DO NOT support any therapeutic home visits (THTs) over the upcoming holidays. Remember, video conferencing is always available, through your therapist.
Thank you again for allowing us to care for your child. May your Christmas be blessed with lots of love, care and happiness this season. Happy Holidays!
Sam E. Phifer, LCSW