March 16, 2020 | 1pm
Programming still occurring, preventative measures in place, exercise caution.
At FamilyWise, the health and safety of the families we serve, our staff, interns, volunteers and other partners is our top priority. We want to share a number of updates about new health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19 [external link] as it affects our work with families in our buildings and out in the community.
What FamilyWise Is Doing
FamilyWise has updated our internal pandemic plan should someone associated with us have a confirmed case of COVID-19. We are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and regularly check the updates provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At this time, programming is still occurring. If you have a visit or your child is in our early childhood education center, assume that we are open unless you have been contacted by a FamilyWise worker cancelling your time together. Our doors will remain locked to restrict traffic through the building. Unless you have a confirmed appointment with a member of our team, please do not come to our sites. A large portion of our team is working remotely to help stop the spread of the virus. Mail, supply delivery and other services have been limited to allow for less staff in the building.
As a preventative measure, there has been increased cleaning/disinfection at our facilities. There has also been an increased presence of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, tissues, soap and other sanitation tools in our spaces. As an agency, we have also created an emergency sick leave policy to accommodate employees who may not have previously had enough saved sick time so that they may self-isolate in the event that they fall ill without worrying about their pay.
What We Advise Program Participants, Staff, Interns Volunteers and Other Guests
- If you or a member of your household have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, you should stay home. Staff, interns and volunteers should call/email their supervisor to inform them that they will be unavailable and that a plan needs to be made to fulfill any meeting or service with a client. Program participants and other guests should cancel any services or meetings with their worker or FamilyWise contact. Program participants, staff, interns, volunteers and other guests should stay isolated until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). If program participants, staff, interns, volunteers or other guests are sick with acute respiratory illness, we WILL NOT ask them to have their doctor validate their illness or document that they are able to resume services or other contact, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- If program participants, staff, interns, volunteers or other guests see a FamilyWise employee or guest who is showing symptoms of acute respiratory illness, they should alert a FamilyWise employee so that they may determine if the person(s) should be sent home.
- Practice respiratory etiquette and hygiene. Stay home when sick.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, or into the elbow if no tissue is available.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or with an alcohol based rub or hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers should be 60-95% alcohol.
- Routinely clean all frequently-touched surfaces such as tables, countertops, arms of chairs and doorknobs. Cleaning agents that are routinely used in those areas and directions on labels should be employed.
- If program participants, staff, interns, volunteers or other guests or a member of your household is confirmed to have COVID-19, they should inform their supervisor, worker or other FamilyWise contact of their possible exposure to COVID-19 so that we can take precautions. In the event that a FamilyWise program participant, staff, intern, volunteer or other guest has to disclose that they have come into contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, their confidentiality and identity will be protected.
There has been much news and panic over the spread of this virus. At FamilyWise, we believe prevention is key. We want to assure everyone that we are taking action to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the families we work with, our staff, interns, volunteers and other partners. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to FamilyWise.