JFGH Families, Friends and Supporters:
As we all are aware, the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has impacted virtually all of us in one way or another. At JFGH, we are monitoring news, credible sources of information, healthcare outlets and other resources to keep ourselves fully informed and adjust our supports as needed to preserve healthy and safe environments for the people we serve and our staff. Our focus is to take steps to minimize risks of exposure and decrease the spread of the virus. We have activated protocols that address our staffing needs, our medical and related supplies, access to information, training and communication needs.
We are in this together. Governments, businesses and families are all having to make difficult decisions that preserve community health and are in the best interest of their constituents. We are preparing for various scenarios, and have developed contingency plans that address, should it happen, a COVID-19 infection in one of our programs. Given that our plans may contain sensitive information specific to the people we support, these will not be made public.
Out of an abundance of caution and based on expert healthcare professional advice, effective immediately and until further notice, only the people who live in JFGH homes and our staff will be permitted to enter their homes.This involves all visitors and volunteers.
We understand that this is a lot to ask, particularly for family members, and we don’t come to this decision lightly. However, we base this protocol on guidance from a host of reliable sources, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Because of incubation periods of as many as 14 days, it is simply not possible to know, even if we are feeling well, if we are unwitting carriers of the COVID-19 virus.
We are fortunate to live in a time when in-person meetings are not our only option to stay connected. We are working to ensure that all of the people we support in our homes have access to technology such as FaceTime and Skype so that you may still openly communicate with them. We know you want to hug them and keep them close, but at this time, being in close quarters is being discouraged as unnecessary risk.