By now all Americans are experiencing a disruption in their lifestyle due to the spread of COVID-19 and making necessary modifications to their daily lives. The health, safety, and welfare of Opengate’s individuals and staff members is of the utmost importance and in the forefront of our responses during this global crisis.
No matter what the circumstances, Opengate has a comprehensive plan which covers details for any type of disaster. We review procedures for sheltering, supply lists, notifications and responses as well as reinforce staff training on all aspects for this specific situation.
From the first indications of COVID-19 in our area, Opengate upgraded our routine virus/flu prevention measures by adding further recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as OPWDD guidelines, which we monitor and comply with on a daily basis.
Recently, Opengate had a visit from Westchester County Department of Health representatives who conducted a walk through of our Somers campus. Along with our Director of Residential and Director of Nursing, they reviewed our procedures and reported they were very impressed with the added precautions we are practicing.
Although our day services are temporarily suspended, our staff will continue to work with individuals with the least amount of disruption possible. For those individuals in a family home, action plans are provided and families are encouraged to maintain work on valued outcomes until we resume normal operations.
We are aware that social distancing is crucial to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and presents a challenge in communication. Thankfully, we live in an age of technology that allows residents and loved ones to stay in touch through phone calls, emails, and video chat. We encourage as much communication as possible through these methods for peace of mind until personal visitation is once more allowed.
We recognize that these changes can be difficult, and look forward to resuming our usual operations as soon as the situation allows. We would like to thank you for your assistance and understanding during these unprecedented times.
-Kristen Elkins, Chief Operating Officer
Opengate staff members have been exemplary in supporting efforts to best care for each of our individuals during this crisis. Everyone stretched beyond expectations to ensure responses are carried out safely and in a timely manner. Opengate Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are essential employees, our lifeline, and deserve our complete gratitude and appreciation.
As we experience the hardships caused by COVID-19, we must look to safe, simple pleasures for self-nurturing. Spending time in nature, regular exercise, meditation, reading, or sitting outdoors when possible will enhance our ability to face the disruptions to our daily lives with positivity.
Opengate joins the world in hope and anticipation that this crisis will pass quickly.