June 15, 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.
I am very pleased to again report that we do not have ANY positive cases in our resident population! We haven’t seen a unit influx since late January 2021.
The CDC has approved the Pfizer vaccine for anyone over age 12. Our Case Managers are now actively reaching out to the legal guardian of any eligible resident to obtain consent to vaccinate the youth. We are making all arrangements for the vaccine appointments and providing transportation. Once a resident is fully vaccinated and 2 weeks has passed since the last shot was administered, AND they are asymptomatic, they are immediately:
- Exempt from automatic quarantine post off -site appointments.
- Eligible for off campus THTs and do NOT have to quarantine upon return and
- Eligible for OUTDOOR visits and do NOT have to quarantine afterwards. This is allowed regardless of our position outlined above, as it applies to unvaccinated residents only.
- Exempt from wearing a mask
This is an exciting opportunity for all of our residents and their families. I hope this opportunity serves as an incentive to return consent for this important vaccine. US officials are warning of the impending danger of what is now known as the Delta Variant of Covid-19. This variant is now active in the UK and India and is known to be a highly contagious mutation, resulting in significant increases in overall cases and hospitalizations of children. It is now being detected here in the US and the CDC is urgently urging parents to get their children vaccinated. Your child is living in a high-risk of infection environment known as congregate care. Our close quarters and frequent contact with a variety of staff significantly increase the risk your child will get Covid-19. I urge you to protect the health of your child and all the children and staff here at New Hope, by signing consent to allow us to get your child vaccinated. Getting our residents and employees vaccinated is the key to eliminating the restrictions in place and getting us all back to some sense of normalcy. NOTE: If at any time a vaccinated resident displays or reports any symptoms, our standard quarantine procedures will apply.
The York county positive test rate is now below 5% and we have no known cases in our resident or employee populations. Therefore, we are pleased to continue offering outdoor visitation to any resident this weekend, 6/17/21 through 6/20/21. Please sign up for a table through your therapist. We will continue reviewing the data weekly and every Monday we are informing Case Managers and Therapists if this option is available. While we are pleased to continue offering this opportunity for you and your child, please understand that we have an obligation to do so safely, and that we reserve the right to suspend this process at any time, based on weather conditions or local/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) for unvaccinated residents or any inside visitation over the upcoming weeks. Fully vaccinated residents are approved for THTs, and again these should be scheduled through your therapist. While we are certainly making progress towards eliminating all mitigation strategies aimed at reducing the possibilities of infection from Covid-19 through the vaccination process, your patience, understanding and continued cooperation and adherence to these necessary restrictions are appreciated.
We continue to require testing of all residents and encourage the testing of all employees on a weekly basis. 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 unvaccinated 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. 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.
Thank you again for allowing us to care for your child.
Sam E. Phifer, LCSW