March 23, 2021
Dear Parent/Legal Guardian/ Treatment Ally:
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.
Since my last letter I am very pleased to report that we have not seen ANY positive cases! We now requiring testing of all residents and encourage the testing of all employees on a weekly basis and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This will give us an early picture of where we have clusters emerging much quicker than only testing symptomatic residents and should help us stay in front of any outbreaks.
In addition to weekly testing, we are also requesting a negative test for any new admission and we continue to monitor all residents daily for symptoms. We are also continuing to test and quarantine any new admissions or current residents who are away from our building for any reason, as a precaution. If we see any hint of an influx on any unit, we will test and quarantine the entire unit and stop all admissions to that program. We haven’t seen a unit influx since late January. 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 employees continue the vaccination process and we continue our educational and incentive-based campaign in an effort to increase employee participation. We are also continuing our entry screening and other detailed processes in place designed to track and monitor the wellness of our employees and further limit the spread of Covid-19 in our building.
I am very excited to announce that our Medical Services Team approved our outdoor visitation plan to begin April 1. I’m attaching these guidelines for your convenience. Please understand that we will strictly enforce these guidelines and reserve the right to suspend this process at any time, based on local or internal infection rates.
Due to the current trending of infection rates, coupled with clear guidance from the CDC, we DO NOT support any therapeutic home visits (THTs) or inside visitation over the upcoming weeks. Remember, video conferencing is always available, through your therapist.
While we continue to see cases decline at the national and local levels, the CDC is warning Americans to not be lulled into a false sense of security, and to remain vigilant in all mitigation strategies. The recent reductions in hospitalizations and deaths should not be interpreted as the virus being done, or even contained. The data simply indicates a slowdown in new cases, and we should all keep in mind the fact that the current overall rate of infection is still very high. Simple mitigation strategies like masks and distancing 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. Thank you again for allowing us to care for your child.
Sam E. Phifer, LCSW