COVID-19 UPDATES

Letter From Tony & Patty

July 1, 2020

To all of our ACS family,

We hope you are all doing well. As the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to surge, we wanted to send out a reminder letter to continue to follow careful infection control procedures to assist in your family’s health and safety. We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone, including keeping updated with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ACS continues to be committed to the safety, health, and well-being of all of our families and our staff.

Beyond keeping updated with DSHS and CDC, we are also in contact with our regulatory agency, Health and Human Services (HHS), our state provider association, the local Health departments, and our various community partners. HHSC continues to strongly recommend that families do not send their loved ones to day habs and to keep them home as much as possible. They have approved the extension of in-home day hab through July 31st, as well as restricting face-to-face meetings with us, your Service Coordinator, or specialized therapists. They have also approved the extension of allowing PAS/HAB and respite to be provided by family members living in the same home (for those who have those services on their plan instead of host home or residential services).

In the meantime, we are continuing to ask for your patience and understanding in the way we do our business practices over the next month or so. As we have continued to do since May:

1. We are asking you to limit visits to our offices unless it is absolutely necessary. Most of our communication can be done via phone, email, or text. All checks will be mailed to your home instead of the option of being picked up at the office.

2. Our nurses and case workers will not be making home visits unless it is absolutely necessary. They have been doing most contacts via phone calls or emails. The nurses may make some home visits as necessary but will continue to contact families via phone, email, or FaceTime for telemedicine checks.

3. Please limit your own time in the community with your loved ones, especially if they already have a compromised immune system. If you do go out, please make sure everyone is wearing a mask and use social distancing.

4. We will continue taking the temperature of all individuals who visit our offices. Anyone who has a temperature of 99 degrees or above will not be allowed into the office. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we cannot afford to potentially infect the rest of our staff.

5. Please continue to take the temperature of your loved ones daily and write the temperatures down on their SDL notes or on a separate log.

  1. Please continue to screen all individuals you allow into your home, including family. You should continue to take their temperature, screen them for signs and symptoms of COVID - 19 and making sure they sanitize their hands, and if possible, wear a mask. We understand that there is still a shortage on sanitizer, so we ask that you do the best that you can to screen everyone before they enter your home. Please use the enclosed form to continue to screen guests coming into your home. The State may ask to see proof that you are taking daily temperature checks.

We know this might feel like an over-reaction or an intrusion into your private life, but please remember that while the State is concerned for everyone, they are especially interested in the health and safety of our consumers. So please, do the best you can with the limited supplies available.

These are unusual circumstances and we hope and pray that we will continue to develop better treatments and eventually, a vaccine. Until then, we ask for your patience and understanding as we adjust to the ongoing changes.

In addition, here are measures that you and your family can take to help reduce the spread of illness:

- If you or your loved ones are not feeling well and exhibit any symptoms of illness, please refrain from leaving the home until all symptoms have subsided.

- Remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Consider carrying hand sanitizer, with alcohol levels above 60 percent.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (if a tissue is not readily available use the upper part of your arm/sleeve).

* When going into the community, please wear face coverings, such as a cloth or surgical mask, bandana, or a face/neck gaiter. Please use social distancing.

We are continually evaluating the situation and will communicate any necessary changes to you as warranted. Do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or concerns. Please stay safe and well.

All of our warmest regards,

Tony and Patty

Additional Resources

Here are some quick links on how you can keep your family healthy:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

San Antonio Metro Health District:

https://www.sanantonio.gov/health

Texas Health and Human Services Commission:

https://hhs.texas.gov/

World Health Organization:

https://www.who.int/

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