November 10, 2020
Dear Parent/Legal Guardian/ Treatment Ally:
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.
The United States is reporting over 10 million cases to date and is now seeing record breaking numbers of new cases every day. Hospitalizations and deaths are increasing in multiple states all across the country. The percent positive rate for SC is at 13-14%. The data continues to indicate the virus is not contained and reminds us that strong mitigation strategies are necessary to ensure safety.
Because of these infection rates, we do NOT anticipate supporting or condoning any therapeutic home visits (THTs) over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We will re-evaluate the Christmas holidays as those dates draw nearer.
Two weeks ago, we experienced new cases for the first time in over three months (July 13, 2020). Last Friday, 11/6/20, we lifted the quarantine for the Starting Pointe residents, all of whom returned to programming safely. We currently have only 1 recently admitted youth in quarantine for Covid-19.
We are continuing the 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 will 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 now have the flu vaccine and we are in the process of offering it to all employees and residents.
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 a fourteen (14) day 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. Your continued cooperation and adherence to these necessary restrictions. Video conferencing is always available, through your therapist.
Thank you for allowing us to care for your child.
Sam E. Phifer, LCSW