Effective this past Monday, 16 March, and through at least Friday, 27 March, our MOST programs in Maryland and Virginia are closed. We will re-assess and announce updates by Monday, close of business, 23 March.

Our office at 1500 East Jefferson Street in Rockville is closed to visitors. Only authorized staff and vendors may enter the building. We have moved to a hybrid tele- and office-based work environment. Meetings are either being re-scheduled or shifted to electronic platforms. Should you have a need to visit our office, we ask that you be in touch with your primary contact in order to make alternative arrangements.

For our community living group home and In-Home Supports programs, we strenuously urge friends and families to discontinue taking folks supported by JFGH out of their homes for family visits or any group activities. We are seeing implementation of government-imposed full restrictions on any such activities in other parts of the country. While we recognize how important it is for all of us to stay connected, we respectfully ask that we consider the risks inherent to ‘home visits’ as outweighing any benefit. At this moment, being together means staying connected via the various technological mechanisms available to us: FaceTime; Google Hangouts; Zoom; Skype.

We also implore you to adhere to our visitor policy. Out of an abundance of caution and based on expert healthcare professional advice, only the people who live in JFGH owned homes and our staff will be permitted to enter their homes .This pertains to visitors, volunteers and family members, and we cannot make exceptions. For the health and safety of each person, we urge family members not to pick up and take out their loved ones for any reason. Each person encountered outside of the home brings an avoidable risk to everyone in the home upon their return. The 14-day incubation period makes it impossible for us to guarantee the health of the person re-entering, despite increased efforts to assess their health. Thank you for considering the health and wellbeing of your fellow humans. 
Effective immediately, we are adding a brief health assessment, including the taking of temperatures, for anyone receiving our supports in our group homes who leaves their home with non-JFGH staff for any reason before the person re-enters the home. Should we encounter a symptom of COVID-19 in the course of this assessment, we will immediately seek professional healthcare support (e.g., JFGH Nurses and/or the person’s primary care physician), which may include, as appropriate and determined by our nursing staff, using Emergency Medical Services (e.g., using the 911 system). Once again, we strongly urge families not to visit/pick up their loved ones for any reason . This is not intended to cause undue concern, but is a reasonable precaution that is consistent with CDC guidelines.
Finally, a brief note of our thanks to all of you for your concern and willingness to adapt to a rapidly shifting landscape. As I said in a video I posted to all JFGH staff earlier this week, we are in this together. As a community, we find strength in our interdependence. For your support, and on behalf of all of us, I thank you.

We will be in touch again next Friday, or sooner as circumstances warrant. In the meantime, you may reach out to Donyale Hobson-Garcia, Chief Programs Officer ( dhobsongarcia@jfgh.org ) or me ( dervin@jfgh.org ) with any questions. 

-David
David Ervin, JFGH CEO