Flinthills Services, Inc. COVID-19 Updates

JUNE 4, 2020 UPDATE

Flinthills Services, Inc. Reopening Plan Summary

Flinthills Services, Inc. places the health and safety of our clients and our employees as our top priority. As such, we have watched the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic closely realizing that in many respects, each individual we serve could be considered “high-risk” to acquire the coronavirus, and our environments could be considered “hot spots” should even one client or staff member who was infected possibly spread the virus to those around them. We closed our day programs on March 17, keeping all clients living at our group homes sheltering-in-place, prohibiting outside visitors, encouraging frequent, thorough hand hygiene, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of all areas, and requiring staff to wear masks while working. As the situation has progressed, we have paid close attention to guidance made available by the As Astra: Plan for Reopening Kansas, KDHE, and the CDC in order to keep our clients and staff members safe, and to plan for the gradual reopening our day programs.

Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the As Astra: Plan for Reopening Kansas provides us with common sense guidelines and we have applied these to our plans to return clients to day service settings.

Phase 2 (scheduled to start May 26):

DSPs and other employees:         

Temp checks at the beginning of each shift. Anyone over 100.3 will be sent home and referred to health care provider.

Weekly COVID-19 questionnaire – asking standard questions about exposure and the presence of symptoms – anyone with a positive response to questionnaire will be sent home and referred to health care provider.

All DSPs at all times, and admin staff when outside of the confines of their individual office required to wear cloth masks. Extra masks will be available at all locations.

Frequent hand hygiene is encouraged.  Song lyrics are posted in bathroom and sinks around building as a reminder to wash hands for 20 seconds. Additional hand sanitizer is available throughout our locations  for use by employees and clients.

All DSP’s will have scheduled meal breaks in order for them to remove their masks and eat without exposing clients to air droplets.

Should a staff member test positive; they will remain away from work until cleared by health care provider to return to work. Contact tracing and testing, as appropriate will take place.

RN will provide video training on proper use and removal of masks for all employees.

Clients:                  

Client temp checks daily before leaving group homes and getting on vans.

Small groups (individual group homes) will return to day program at El Dorado site (LEC) starting Tuesday, May 26.

Clients will remain in designated areas identified by colored tape on the floor and colored tape on their name tags – to encourage staying in one area to avoid cross- contamination.

Clients will receive training on COVID-19 precautionary measures and what their day programs will look like when they return.

Clients will be allowed to wear masks per their choice.

Client’s daily activities will be altered to include less community inclusion to lower risk of exposure.

Environmental:

Starting May 26, small groups of clients (those living together at group homes) will start returning to the LEC. During this phase, client continued training on precautionary measures and evaluation of our reopening plans will take place.

Colored tape will be laid throughout building to guide clients to designated areas where they will remain for day services to avoid cross contamination and encourage social distancing, intended to limit mass gatherings.  In some instances, physical barriers such as tables, or room dividers will be used to separate areas.

Traffic paths will be laid throughout the building to guide entering, exiting, and bathroom access to avoid cross-contamination and encourage social distancing.

6 ft. markers will be laid out in each separate group area to help remind clients of social distancing, with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

Frequent handwashing ( x3 daily) and hand sanitizing (x2 daily) will be announced over PA systems. This will be turned into a “competition” between color coded groups with prizes for groups that have the best record of compliance.

All client areas, and commonly used surfaces such as keyboards, doorknobs, handrails, light switches, chairs, table coverings, bathrooms, and vehicles will be disinfected daily, or more often as needed.  Disinfectant fogging to occur in all areas weekly.

Lunch will be served in each separate area, clients will not gather in the large dining room at this time.

Supplies:

Additional temporal scanning and no-touch thermometers have been purchased.

Face masks have been donated, and we have made several in-house to ensure staff have an adequate supply to wear when needed.

Additional cleaning and sanitizing supplies, PPE, and thermometers have been ordered and local grants have been sought to offset the cost.

Plastic table coverings have been purchases and fashioned for use in our day programs.

Colored tape has been purchased to designate safe traffic paths, group colors, and social distancing.

Funds for additional games, arts/crafts supplies are requested, since community inclusion activities will be limited.

Communication:

Communicate visitor policy: no visitors in group homes settings, with the exception of compassionate care for client in hospice.

Communication and scheduling of controlled visits over Memorial Day weekend at LEC: only 2 family members, must wear masks, answer questionnaire, temp check, hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing – to be scheduled in advance with management, limit to one hour visit.

Communication with all admin staff  – must wear masks when outside confines of office.

Phase 3 (scheduled to start June 8):

All measures outlined in Phase 2 will continue throughout Phase 3. Additional measures for Phase 3 are as follows:

Clients:

All clients enrolled in FSI day programs will return, with the exception of those with letters of medical necessity.

Clients living at home or at other agencies may return to day services. Caregivers will be required to complete COVID-19 questionnaire each Monday before client returns to services.

Clients will be placed in small groups throughout the LEC and Andover sites.  Some clients will use community sites such as local churches for day service areas during this phase. This is to allow for fewer client under one roof.

Weekly COVID-19 questionnaire done Monday mornings prior to picking up clients living at home.

Communication:

Communicate to families of clients living at home when all day services will reopen via email, phone calls, social media and FSI website.

Communication and scheduling of visits to LEC and group homes: only 1 external stakeholder (CDDO, DCF, VR, etc.) and only 2 family members, must wear masks, answer questionnaire, temp check, hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing – to be scheduled in advance with management.

Client home visits will be allowed, family members will be asked to read, sign, and adhere to Flinthills Services Compliance Agreement for Residential Program Community Integration.

Environmental:

Designation of responsible staff member for entering and leaving community sites where day services will be provided. (keys, security systems, area of buildings for use by clients, cleaning and sanitizing)

Cleaning schedule in place for community church sites.

Supplies:

Cleaning and activity supplies in place for community church sites.

Additional information

Should a client exhibit symptoms and/or test positive:

Client will be assisted to see their medical provider immediately. All physician orders for treatment will be carried out by FSI nursing department and communicated to department coordinators, site leaders, and DSP’s.

Client will be kept in separate bedroom and use separate bathroom, if possible.

Staff working directly with client will use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the client’s room.

Increased cleaning and sanitation will take place in all areas where the client comes into contact.

No visitors will be allowed.

Client will eat in their bedroom, dishes and utensils will be sanitized in dishwasher on high-temp setting.

All staff working with directly with infected client will wear PPE; face masks, gloves, and protective gown. PPE will be thrown out in lined trash container and staff will wash hands right away.

Client laundry and bedding will be washed separately warmest setting and dried on hot, if possible.

Client will be kept home from day programs, family visits, and community outings, and will remain in isolation  until given the ok from the local health department to return to regular activities. Clients’ individual medical providers may order longer periods of isolation, but are not able to release the client earlier than the local health department.

Clients, guardians, and employees will be informed of a COVID-19 positive case at FSI, without disclosing PHI or violating HIPPA laws.

Clients and employees will be tested, as deemed necessary by local health department guidelines, and individual medical providers.

MAY 1, 2020 UPDATE

Flinthills Services, Inc. is extending the closure of our day programs closed through June 1 in accordance the Plan to Reopen Kansas issued by Governor Kelly on Thursday, April 30, 2020. In this plan, specific phases of reopening Kansas communities and business are outlined. After careful review of the plan, we have determined that is it in the best interest of our clients’ health that we refrain from bringing clients back to our day programs until Phase 3 of the plan is enacted. Phase 3 will to into effect no sooner than June 1, 2020. It is at this point that the state will deem it safe for high risk individuals to come into community settings, while still avoid socializing in person with groups of more than 90 individuals in both indoor and outdoor settings, especially in circumstances that do not allow for a physical distance of 6 feet or more between individuals or groups with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

We will also continue observe a “no visitors” policy with the exception of essential medical personnel or immediate family members granted a compassionate care exception for clients receiving hospice care. An exposure questionnaire, temperature check, and use of PPE are required for these individuals.

In addition to the governor’s guidance, we have also considered that while not all of our clients fall into a “high-risk” category, it would be difficult for many clients to maintain social distancing, adequate hand washing, wearing face masks, and other precautionary measures that are recommended to lower the risk. These realities further reinforce our decision to delay opening day services until Phase 3 of the state’s plan is in place.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We know this has been a challenging time for you all. If you need additional assistance caring for your loved one while day services are closed, please contact your case manager or MCO care coordinator.

To read the plan issued by Governor Kelly, please click here.

Flinthills Services takes the COVID-19 outbreak very seriously and are doing all we can to protect our clients and our employees. Since we provide essential services, we have had to modify our operations to reduce the risk exposure or spread of COVID-19. The following measures remain in place at until further notice.

  • No day services are held at the El Dorado and Andover centers, effective March 16.  
  • All clients living in our residential settings have observed “stay-at-home” practices since March 16. Clients enrolled in day services who live at home or at another agency have been asked to stay home.
  • Client outings have been suspended and visitors to our facilities are not allowed. No visitors’ signs are posted on all doors.  Deliveries are to be left outside buildings.
  • Families that have chosen to take their loved one home for the time being are being asked to keep them home for at least two weeks, and possibly longer.
  • Employees that exhibit symptoms or at considered at risk according to KDHE guidelines are not allowed to come to work and must provide documentation from their healthcare provider regarding their condition and guidance regarding their need to quarantine.
  • All sites are on a twice a day cleaning schedule which involves wiping down all commonly accessed services with disinfectant solution. Additionally, all sites are fogged with a disinfectant solution designed for congregate settings such as cruise ships and airplanes.
  • Good handwashing is emphasized at all sites for employees and clients. The lyrics to several songs are posted at all sinks, as a reminder to wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • All clients are being monitored closely for symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Should a client exhibit these symptoms, our nursing department contact the client’s physician immediately.
  • We are working closely with our health care providers and pharmacy to ensure we maintain all medications for our clients, including insulin, breathing treatments, etc.
  • Grocery shopping is limited to management staff only to ensure all sites have plenty of nutritious food. Due to fluctuating inventories at local stores, we are also ordering food from Sysco, our bulk good supplier.
  • We continue to follow our policies on infection control, including universal precautions. PPE is available at all sites.
  • Should be need to isolate clients or collapse settings due to staff shortages, we have provisions already established in our emergency preparedness plans to either shelter in place or relocate clients to other group homes or the Life Enrichment Center in order to continue to safely support them.
  • We are in close communication with Kansas Dept. on Aging and Disability Services and Kansas Dept on Health and Environment regarding exceptions to our funding and service delivery models in order to meet the needs of our clients in this ever-changing environment.
Flinthills Services Info on COVID-19