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Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board
Proudly Serving the Communities of Hampton and Newport News since 1971
Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board
Communication Regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
As the situation surrounding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to evolve, the Hampton Newport News Community Services Board‘s Executive Leadership Team has implemented a H-NNCSB COVID-19 Emergency Protocol and is working diligently to take precautionary measures to help ensure the well-being of those we serve, our staff and the overall community. We know there are a lot of questions and concerns regarding the Coronavirus and preventative measures, and we want you to know that our CSB is taking proactive steps to address a number of operational concerns. H-NNCSB has been in communication and consultation with the Virginia Community Services Board Association, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and our community partners to ensure we have proper precautions and plans in place as necessary. It is imperative that we continue to be vigilant about the virus; therefore, we will follow and strictly enforce the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in adopting practices to ensure a safe workplace and to protect the health of the employees, individuals we serve, visitors, and others. We also need to ensure the continuity of business operations during this pandemic.
Included below is a list of some of the actions we are taking effective immediately.
• All staff have been advised and encouraged to follow the precautionary guidelines that have been shared by the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health – particularly around the practice of good, basic hygiene (washing your hands thoroughly, coughing into your sleeve, etc.) as this helps minimize the risk of spreading the virus. In keeping with these guidelines, universal precautions, and the guidelines for infection control, staff are not to report to work when experiencing flu-like symptoms.
• All staff and clients will adhere to social distancing guidelines of maintaining at least six feet distance between themselves and others and refraining from shaking hands and other close contact.
• We will begin screening all visitors to our facilities using practices recommended by the CDC. Those clients who have a scheduled appointment with H-NNCSB and are not feeling well, are being asked to stay at home and call us to reschedule at a time that is convenient for them. We, of course, will continue to serve individuals who are in crisis or considered part of a priority population.
• All non-essential social gatherings for staff are suspended until further notice and all work-related travel is suspended until further notice.
• In-person trainings are postponed and will be substituted with online training when possible.
• Where possible, business meetings will be held by phone, Zoom, Go-to-Meeting or similar electronic mediums ensuring that all applicable HIPAA guidelines are followed and PHI remains protected.
• Front Desk stations and other first contact areas will require consumers and guests to use a hand sanitizer or wash hands upon entry and individuals will be asked to leave if they are displaying flu-like symptoms.
• All non-essential home visits and client contacts at facilities such as hospitals, jails, etc. will be postponed unless necessary for client contact or service needs. Asking in advance, whether the client is experiencing any flu-like symptoms (headache, difficulty breathing, fever or chills) before responding will become routine.
• In lieu of home visits, case managers/support coordinators will engage in telephone contacts where possible to maintain status checks for individuals on their caseloads until this restriction is lifted.
• Group meetings will be suspended until further notice.
• All non-essential client transportation will be postponed until further notice. Use of agency vehicles is limited to essential appointments, meetings or program visits.
• Therapeutic Day Treatment (TDT) staff will coordinate their schedule with their supervisor during the mandatory school closings.
• All medication management patients over the age of 60, especially with significant medical issues, and those who are otherwise medically compromised and under the age of 60, and who are psychiatrically stable can be given one month refills.
• All residential programs and 24-hour programs are restricting unannounced visits and have activated emergency staffing plans to ensure coverage.
• Creative Options and Bright Beginnings has suspended operations for at least two weeks, and our Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) will suspend day program attendance and minimize community contact to essential appointments only. SEFP residents will cease attendance to external meetings and complete community meetings within the home.
• We will continue to practice ongoing universal precautions to minimize the potential spread of infection in all the programs.
The Hampton-Newport News CSB will continue to do everything within our means to support our staff and the individuals and families whom we serve, and will adhere to guidance by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental services (DBHDS), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 can be unsettling, it is also important that we all take care of our mental health during this time, practicing self-care. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide updates as needed. Please check our Website, Facebook page, and emails for additional guidance and information.