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COVID-19 Updates

June 3, 2020

Coronavirus

Seven Hills Foundation and Affiliates Community: 

This website is your source for updates to our programs and services operations. We will update this site as soon as new developments occur.

Dr. David A. Jordan, President of Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates, has activated a COVID-19 Response Team, led by Dr. Kathleen Jordan, EVP/CEO, and includes senior leadership and staff from all affiliates and support functions. This Team is monitoring developments in real time from the World Health Organization, U.S. Department of State, CDC, as well as state agencies from both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Our goal throughout Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates is to provide our patients / clients / students and staff with the safest and healthiest possible environment. All of us at Seven Hills are monitoring the coronavirus situation hourly along with constantly updated guidelines outlined by the CDC. We will continue to update our own procedures as we receive regular notifications from the CDC as well as Departments of Health in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Current COVID-19 Guidance Updates

MA DDS Coronavirus Update to Individuals and Families

May 22, 2020

Download Here >

Recovering from COVID-19 and What it Means

Massachusetts

Concerning COVID-19 and Seven Hills ASPiRE! Program Closures

Aspire closure letter graphicJune 29, 2020

Members of the Seven Hills ASPiRE! Community:
We’re writing with an important update regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the plans to reopen Massachusetts. While phase three of Governor Baker’s plan to reopen Massachusetts begins on July 6, we do not yet have permission from our state funders to reopen, and do not yet have critical guidance on capacity, screening, staffing, or supplies requirements. As such all Seven Hills ASPiRE! service locations will remain closed through July 17th, and will not reopen any earlier than Monday July 20th. We may need to extend this date depending upon the guidance we receive, and what modifications are necessary in response. We are closely monitoring state guidance and will reach out once we are given confirmed dates and guidance to reopen.

Read More Here >

Returning to Work MA Employer Poster

May 20, 2020

Poster for Massachusetts Employer's Guidance to staff returning to work.

Download Here >

Poster for MA Employees Returning to Work

May 20, 2020

Poster for Massachusetts Staff outlining guidelines to return to work.

Download Here >

Massachusetts State Reopening Four-Phase Plan

May 18, 2020 

On Monday, May 18, Governor Charlie Baker released the four-phase reopening plan for Massachusetts. The plan provides guidance on the phased reopening of the economy and the gradual easing of social restrictions, while minimizing the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click Here for Massachusetts Daily Updates >

Find Out More About Massachusetts' Reopening Plans:

  

Rhode Island

Returning to Work RI Employer Poster

May 20, 2020

 

Poster for Rhode Island Employer's Guidance to staff returning to work.

 

Download Here >

Poster for RI Employees Returning to Work

May 20, 2020

 

Poster for Rhode Island Staff outlining guidelines to return to work.

 

Download Here >

Rhode Island State Reopening Plan

Governor Raimondo unveiled a framework for safely reopening the Rhode Island economy on May 13, 2020.

Click Here for Rhode Island Daily Updates >

Find Out More About Rhode Island's Reopening Plans:

Seven Hills' COVID-19 Initiatives

"Stay Healthy in Place" Staff Tell their Stories

May 4, 2020

Seven Hills Community Services and Seven Hills NeuroCare rolled out an initiative, “Stay Healthy In Place” (SHIP) that was designed to keep our staff and the individuals in our care safe and healthy by minimizing contact with different people.  This was a proactive approach that saw our staff volunteer to work 24/7 shifts for 14 days in a single residence.  SHIP was instituted in over 70 homes in Massachusetts and was extremely successful in reducing our exposure to COVID with just a 3% infection rate. Our Direct Support Professionals, all essential workers, are responsible for this incredible success. Here they share their stories:

350,000 N95 Masks Secured and Delivered to 126 Partners

April 27, 2020

Staff at Seven Hills Foundation today helped to distribute a little under 350,000 N95 masks to 125 other health and human services organizations throughout Massachusetts. The N95 Masks were shipped from China and arrived at Seven Hills Foundation this weekend and were sorted and packaged by members of our senior leadership team, preparing them for today’s coordinated distribution. 
 
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, it became obvious that masks were in short supply and needed to be located quickly.  Reaching out to government officials and members of the State Legislature, Seven Hills was directed to a local sales representative for a US company with factories in Shanghai China by State Rep. Joseph McKenna.  However, after communicating with this company about its need, Seven Hills Foundation learned that a minimum order of 50,000 masks was required for a purchase, Kathee Jordan, EVP/CEO of Seven Hills Foundation initiated an outreach program to other organizations who had similar needs for N95 masks.  126 organizations joined in this collaborative effort to secure PPE for their staff and clients.
 
“Although it was a lot of work these past few weeks to organize, package and distribute the 350,000 masks,” commented Kathee Jordan, “Seven Hills Foundation was happy to be able to do it because we know so many of our fellow organizations desperately needed these masks. It the midst of this public health crisis, it is imperative that we all work together and we are happy to help lead that effort.”

Important Resources for COVID-19

Proper Hand Washing Guidance Sheet

Hand Washing Document ImageStop the spread of germs that mak you and other sick by making sure to frequently and properly wash your hands. Many illnesses are spread through touch. The single most important defense against spreading infection is proper hand washing. Hand washing is often taken for granted because it can be routine. Even if you think you have done a good job washing your hands, they are probably not as clean as they should be. Good hand washing stops contaminants from moving from your hands to other parts of your body or to surfaces you touch. Use these steps and recomendations for better handwashing. 

Download >

From the CDC on proper hand washing: Watch Video > 

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommendations

Environmental Cleaning Guide

 

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommendations Guide: Download >

Interim Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfection of COVID-19 in Residences: Watch Video >

How to Properly Use Disinfectants against COVID-19: Watch Video >

CDC Community Mitigation Strategy for MA

CDC’s recommendations for implementation of mitigation strategies for Massachusetts, based on current situation with COVID-19 transmission. 

 

Download >

Need Help, Cant Find Essentials? Call 211

Need Help, Can't Find Essentials & Don't Know Where To Turn?

Call the Mass 211 Hotline

211 logoDuring this pandemic, if you are struggling to find essential community services, care, food or fulfilling your pharmacutical/medical needs in Massachusetts- Dial 2-1-1. 
 
Mass 211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, nonprofit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources. Always a confidential call, Mass 211 maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies.
 
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Mass 211 is an easy way to find or give help in your community.

Learn More & Visit the Mass 211 Website >

Online Symptom Checker and Screening Tool: Bouy

 

Buoy is the online symptom checker and screening tool: bouy.com/mass

 

Download Here >

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this new virus?

This new coronavirus was first identified in December 2019. It was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States.

It is more contagious than the seasonal flu, and there appears to be no natural immunity among adults. The virus particularly affects the lungs.

The World Health Organization has named the disease caused by the virus “COVID-19”: ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, ‘D’ for disease, and ‘19’ for the year it emerged.

Link to CDC website for more information >

How dangerous is this virus?

Many people infected with this new virus experience mild symptoms that are like those experienced if you have the cold or flu – a fever, dry cough, headache or shortness of breath.

In about 15% of cases, however, the virus can lead to severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly lung diseases, appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

So far, studies show the virus is fatal in more cases than the seasonal flu, but less than other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS.

How is the virus spread?

This virus appears to spread like many other respiratory viruses: An infected person expels respiratory droplets by coughing or sneezing and those droplets land in the nose and mouth, or are inhaled into the lungs of people nearby. It may also spread from the hands of an infected person, making hand-washing especially important. And it can spread from surfaces, so it is important to wipe down shared desks, tables and other surfaces.

Should I be tested for this virus?

You should call your doctor if you have a cough, shortness of breath, or a fever and are concerned you may have COVID-19. It is important to call before you go to a doctor’s office, urgent care or emergency room for a COVID-19 test to avoid potentially infecting health care workers.

Currently, there are a limited number of testing kits and lab capacity in the U.S., but that is expected to change in coming weeks.

Those who do not have the flu but are hospitalized with severe acute lower respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, are currently more likely to be tested. People also may be tested if they are symptomatic and have traveled to countries with known cases, such as China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea or been exposed to a COVID-19 patient.

Is there a vaccine?

There is no vaccine that prevents this coronavirus. Researchers are working to develop one, a process that likely will take at least a year.

Is there a treatment for the virus?

There is no approved treatment for this virus. However, some antivirals are being tested on patients, and others are under development by researchers.

What precautions are in place to prevent the spread of the virus?

State labs are beginning extensive screening of people who may be at risk for COVID-19. Those who undergo testing are asked to stay at home until the result is received, in what is known as “self-quarantine.”

If a patient tests positive, state health officials begin an outreach effort to people who were in direct contact with the patient, and they also undergo a period of 14 days of self-monitoring for symptoms at home with public health supervision.

Physicians and hospitals are well trained in pandemic response, and are putting emergency procedures into place as needed.

The U.S. government also has taken unprecedented steps related to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this virus. The CDC has issued a Level 3travel advisory for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, advising travelers to avoid all nonessential travel to the four countries. The centers issued a Level 2 advisory for Japan, recommending that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel.

All inbound flights from China are routed to certain airports. No flights from mainland China are landing at Logan International Airport. Some airlines also have canceled flights from the U.S. to countries that have been especially affected by the outbreak.

The Trump administration has imposed temporary travel restrictions that bar entry into the United States by any foreign national who has traveled to China or Iran in the past 14 days. Any U.S. citizen who returned from the Hubei province of China within the past 14 days will be quarantined for up to 14 days.

Read about travel information on the CDC website >

Where can I get the latest information about the virus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring this situation and is regularly updating its webpage: CDC Website >

Check your state's Department of Public Health website for current information:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health >

Rhode Island Department of Public Health >

Past Guidance 

A Message Video from Dr. David A Jordan, President of Seven Hills Foundation

Watch a video message from Dr. David Jordan, President of Seven Hills Foundation and Affiliates, to valued staff, clients, patients, students and their families about what Seven Hills is doing about COVID-19.

Watch Video >

Seven Hills ASPiRE! Program Closures in Massachusetts

April 27, 2020 

We’re writing with an important update regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Governor Baker has asked that all Massachusetts schools work remotely for the remainder of the school year, and that non-emergency childcare remain closed through the end of June. We anticipate similar guidance from the Department of Public Health for adult programs and services like those at ASPiRE!. As such all Seven Hills ASPiRE! programs and service locations will remain closed throughout the month of May, and likely into the month of June. We are closely monitoring the Governor’s updates and will send another letter once we know more.

Please read the following letter written to the entire Seven Hills ASPiRE! community from Vice President, Dr. Jay Hayston, LP.D, MBA and for any questions contact him at 508.796.1503 or jhayston@sevenhills.org.

 

Download >

March 2020 Updates

March 31, 2020 - COVID-19 Guidance Update from Massachusetts

March 31, 2020 – The Baker-Polito Administration announced several updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak including extending the non-essential business emergency order and guidance for Executive Branch employees until May 4. The Department of Public Health’s Stay-At-Home Advisory remains in effect. The Administration also updated the “COVID-19 Essential Services” categories for businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that are permitted to operate brick and mortar facilities during the emergency.

 

https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-extends-non-essential-business-closures-and-executive-branch

March 25, 2020 - DDS COVID-19 Update from Commissioner Jane Ryder

An update for individuals and families on the response to COVID-19 from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

 

Download >

March 23, 2020 - Emergency Child Care Provider List

Two of our child care programs have been approved by the Department of Early Education and Care to open as Emergency Child Care Programs and have slots open to any essential personal that is looking for emergency child care. If you or someone you know that meets the essential personel qualifications and has exhausted all options, please refer them to us.

Emergency Child Care Programs are for when all other non-group-care settings have been exhausted and families have no other options. Visit the EEC Website with full listing of available Emergency Child are programs. 

Our two available programs are open with a first-come-first-serve admission after approved screening. Both sites are adhering to the DPH recommended cleaning protocols and will be conducting daily health screenings for both staff and children in the programs.


The Early Learning Center
505 Pleasant St #3210
Worcester, MA 01609

Opens this Thursday, March 26 and will remain in effect until April 6, 2020 and may be extended as needed.
Ages: Infant to 7 years.
Monday - Friday, 7:30am to 5:30pm 
First Come First Serve Basis - Parent/guardian's please call Karen Ludington, Vice President of Children's Friend at 978.660.4915


Child Enrichment Center
Children's Aid & Family Services 
1480 John Fitch Highway
Fitchburg, MA 01420

Opens tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25 and will remain in effect until April 6, 2020 and may be extended as needed.
Ages: 2-9 years old
Monday - Friday, 6:30am - 5:30pm
Contact: Linda Hache, Program Director at 978.602.8665

Download >

March 23, 2020 - Response to a Single COVID-19 Case/Like Illness

If there were to be a single case of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in any program, follow these response guidelines. 

 

Download >

March 20, 2020 - COVID-19 Seven Hills Family Services Programs Update

In summary, Seven Hills Family Services:

•  We will not be supporting any overnight respite at this time.

•  Community-Based hourly Respite will not be provided at this time.

•  Home-Based hourly DSP/PCA will not be provided at this time; except for critical cases determined by risk assessment and approved by Vice President of SHFS. 

•  Two website pages have been established and are being updated hourly on our staff.sevenhills.org site and our public sevenhills.org website.

•  Affiliate-specific “social distancing” protocols are being developed to reduce the exposure of Seven Hills staff or patients, clients, students, to potential threat.

Download >

March 18, 2020 - COVID-19 Seven Hills Family Services Programs Update

Seven Hills Family Services provides services in the following programs:

  • Adult Family Care (AFC- statewide) 
  • Family Support Centers (Sturbridge, Worcester & Fitchburg) 
  • Shared Living/Placement Services (Central/West - Northeast & Southeast) 
  • Agency-with-Choice (AWC) (Central/West - Northeast) 
  • DESE (Central/West - North East) 
  • Individual Supports (Southbridge/Milford)    
  • S-QUAL Services   
  • Adult Companion / Hourly Respite    
  • Flexible Funding     

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SHFS has taken decisive actions that reflect our commitment to help slow the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of our community. The measures here will remain in effect until further notice.  

All case management, nursing & clinical staff will be conducting remote visits beginning Wednesday March 18th.   This includes screening & tracking of any issues being reported to DDS area offices.

For any scheduled hourly respite (AC), Overnight respite, DSP staff will not be scheduled unless the Team (DDS, Guardian, Agency Staff, medical professional) deem it necessary at this time for essential care of the people we support.  The Team will discuss and determine the Risk/Benefit for each case.

Family Support Center staff at the Fitchburg, Worcester and Sturbridge locations are working remotely, and a system will be in place to route calls to the centers to Family Support Specialists in real time. 

Family Support Specialist staff will be a point of contact for any DDS family looking to access Information & Referral and/or resources, including COVID-19 specific resources. 

All essential medical appointments that FSS staff have provided transportation to will still be completed post phone screening.  

We are also working on both safety packs for staff who may need to work in community homes and response team for families needing care packs & emergency supplies, assistance. 

Thank you for your guidance, patience and assistance as we navigate these unprecedented situations.  

Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions,

Thanks,

Leslie Courtney MPA, LEND

Vice President Family Services

Seven Hills Foundation 

508-796-1866

lcourtney@sevenhills.org

March 17, 2020 - Seven Hills COVID-19 Updated Protocol

COVID-19 Protocol Poster


Seven Hills Foundation has updated the following to our Policy as of March 18, 2020 and until further notice:

To protect the health and safety of your loved ones, all visitation is now prohibited to all residential group homes. Families will also not be allowed to take their loved ones home, unless they are going to take them for the duration of this COVID-19 policy update.

Download >

March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 Child Care Centers Closures

Due to the COVID-19 situation and guidance from the State of Massachusetts, the Child Enrichment Center of Children’s Aid & Family Service in Fitchburg and the Early Learning Center at Children’s Friend in Worcester will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17th.  Seven Hills and both affiliates will watch the situation closely and re-evaluate in a few weeks.  Parents/guardians will be notified with updates as they occur.  We appreciate the understanding of our child care community and please know we have the best interests of our children and families as our guiding force.

March 15, 2020 - COVID-19 Seven Hills Rhode Island Program Closures

As a result of a directive from the Department of Behavioral Health Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals(BHDDH), All BHDDH funded day services will be closed until further notice beginning next Tuesday,  March 17th. Day staff will report to residential programs. For questions contact Melissa Charpentier, Area Director Seven Hills Rhode Island at 401.309.7839 or mcharpentier@sevenhills.org.

Adult Day Health Services will remain open at this time. 

 

Cliff R. Cabral, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC

Vice President

Seven Hills Rhode Island

March 15, 2020 DDS Commissioner's Guidance Update to Families

To individuals and families/guardians supported by the MA Department of Developmental Services; DDS Commissioner, Jane Ryder, has asked that Seven Hills share this March 13th updated guidance in regard to COVID-19.

Download >

Letter from Dr. David A. Jordan

Letter from DAJMarch 11, 2020

As we face local, national and international challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) our primary focus remains on the well-being of our patients, clients, students and employees. In addition to monitoring the situation closely, we have continued to consult with health authorities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in order to thoughtfully and appropriately refine our response plans.

Download >

Informational Links:


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Stop the spread of germsSymptoms Coronavirus


Thank You Funding Partners

Seven Hills Emergency Response Fund - Support Our Dedicated Staff and the Community We Serve

Emergency Response FundYOU can make an immediate difference in helping us continue to provide essential services to people in our community most at risk. 100% of funds will target the urgent and increasing needs of our clients and frontline staff members.

 

Thank You Funding Partners

Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates is grateful to our local funding partners for providing critical grant support that helps us respond to the immediate and emerging needs of the people we support. We applaud their efforts and VALUE their trust and partnership during this difficult time. See Our Partners >

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