COVID-19 update 3/13/2020.
Based on guidance from Governor DeWine, Carroll Hills School will be closed starting Monday March 16th to April 3rd, tentatively scheduled to return to classes on April 6th.
Previously scheduled Spring break on April 9th and 13th will now not happen and Carroll Hills School will be open.
For any questions about staff schedules or for more information, please call the board offices at 330-627-6555.
Also based on Governor DeWine’s Statements, plus guidance from the Ohio Department of Health, we will be enacting the following:
❗️All Special Olympics events are cancelled for the month of March, this includes Cougars Basketball, Friday Bowling and the Family & Friends Bowling on March 16th.
❗️DD Awards and Recognition Banquet on March 26th will be postponed until April 28th, New deadline for buying tickets is April 17th.
❗️If you have home visit and/or meeting scheduled in the near future, you will be contacted to see if anyone is experiencing cold/flu like symptoms or other illnesses and your meeting may be rescheduled.
The Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) has been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak with the guidance of the Carroll County Health Department, including information from the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Health authorities have indicated that the situation is evolving, and we need to do all we can to inform those we serve and ourselves of measures we can take to prevent the spread of the virus. To date, we have sent communication via letter and one call now to individuals served, family, staff and providers. We will continue to follow the guidelines from the Carroll County Health Department.
Symptoms of the Virus
Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness that can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. If a person has been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks and develops symptoms, they are advised to call their doctor.
Continued education on every day preventative measures, similar to flu prevention, is very important. It is important that we continue to focus our efforts on educating the individuals who have developmental disabilities, their families, staff and providers. Those measurers to stop the spread of germs are:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Stop handshaking – use other methods of greeting.
We encourage all staff to continue ‘Universal Precautions’ consistent with our training.
Surgical masks do not protect people from COVID-19, as it’s the type of virus that can enter through the mask or along the edges where there are gaps. Surgical masks are most effective at controlling the spread of the virus from a source or infected person. Surgical masks should not be used by healthy people for “protection” from coronavirus – it will not provide protection and will deplete the limited stock needed for use by sick individuals and to protect health care workers.
Our maintenance/janitorial staff at Carroll Hills School has already been cleaning and disinfecting daily due to flu and cold season. We will be stepping up these procedures at our Board offices to address doorknobs and other surfaces often touched. We are also stepping up cleaning procedures for buses and vans to daily. In addition, we ask individuals, families, staff and providers to also practice every day safe cleaning protocols in their homes, classrooms, work areas, etc.
We will continue to follow the Health Department’s guidance related to attendance at large gatherings. We will make decisions on individual events based on these guidelines. All Special Olympics events are cancelled for the month of March. This includes the Cougars Basketball fun games on March 16, 19, and 31st and AM and PM Bowling on Fridays along with Family and Friend Bowling on March 16. The Talent Show on March 24, The People First Meeting on March 11 at Ponderosa and Game Night on March 23 are cancelled.
We are postponing the DD Awards Banquet on March 26 but plan to reschedule in April. We encourage individuals to make the choice that is best for their own personal situations with consideration of appropriate social distancing. Attendance at large gatherings is discouraged.
If necessary, decisions to suspend early childhood or school classes will only be made after consultation with appropriate Health Officials. If classes are closed temporarily, families will be informed and provided alternative at-home educational suggestions. If make-up time is required, classes will be made-up in the summer.
Quarantine decisions will be made by the Health authorities. If a person has been exposed to someone, who has COVID-19 or thinks he/she has been exposed and ‘Self Quarantine’ is considered, we will consult with the Health Department. We would also consider allowance of a person to use sick or other leave for a self-quarantine period if a public health official advises you to stay home due to a possible exposure.
Certain staff are required to make home visits. To make home visits, staff are asked call your contact no more than 24 hours in advance to consider the following risk protocol questions:
· Does the individual served or family member have flu symptoms?
· Has the individual served or family member recently traveled to or been in recent contact with people who have recently traveled to China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy or Iran?
If the answer is yes to either of those questions, the visit should not be made at this time. Reschedule the meeting to at least 14 days later. Before attending the rescheduled meeting, follow the 24-hour call prior to meeting. If symptoms continue, schedule an additional 14 days out. Any rescheduled meeting MUST be reported to your immediate supervisor who will be keeping track of these occurrences in the event we need to report this information. We will consult DODD to determine how this may impact deadlines.
If there are other concerns or questions regarding home visits, staff are asked to direct the question to their Supervisor. Health authorities will be asked for their guidance.
Skype, Facetime, Conference Calls and other tools will be considered by staff with Supervisor approval with the understanding that HIPAA requirements will need to be followed.
Staff of CCBDD are fortunate that travel to other states or countries is not necessary. We will encourage staff and supervisors to use their judgment related to professional development conferences and we will discourage travel outside of Central Ohio in the immediate future.
Technology is a tool that will assist with business continuity, if necessary. Remote access through our Webmail, Mi-Fi and server will continue to be available. Priority will be given to essential positions that require remote access.
Recognizing that this situation is evolving, guidelines cannot cover every possibility. Individual circumstances and decisions will be required by individuals, staff and supervisors. We ask for everyone to continue to consider others and especially those we serve when making decisions that are in the best interest. Basic common sense is generally our best guide.
Mathual J. Campbell