To: All Full Life Employees, contractors, participants and family members:

This information was adapted from a State of Hawai‘i DOH memo received on 3/13/2020. We are currently in communication with DOH-DDD in requesting flexibility in order to maintain Waiver Service compliance and keep everyone safe. The situation is rapidly changing and there will be regular updates. We are working on implementing a weekly Zoom conference call for all employees, participants, and family members to provide updates and to hear questions and concerns so that we can take those questions back to the DOH.
 
We are expecting more specific guidance regarding waiver services from The State of Hawaii Developmental Disabilities Division for additional contingency planning. We will update you as soon as this guidance is received.
 
Full Life encourages all employees, partners, participants, and families to utilize resources listed below to get updated information related to COVID-19. These resources provide information about how individuals and programs can stay prepared and take steps to prevent spread of the virus. We encourage everyone to take reasonable precautions and stay informed. We all play a key role in preparedness.

Here’s what you can do to plan and prepare now:

Stay updated:
Visit the below link about COVID-19 from the DOH website. This page is updated on a regular basis. Please also note the additional resources below, including fact sheets in multiple languages.

Additional resources:
  1. Hawaii County has opened a call center to answer any of your questions concerning coronavirus in operation 7-7 daily at 935-0031.
  2. Department of Health website at www.health.hawaii.gov or;
  3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.
  4. You may also call the Department of Health at 974-6001 or after-hours at 211

Practice everyday protection:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Sanitize and sanitize often. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wear a mask if you are sick to prevent spreading illness to other people
  • Prepare a 14-day emergency kit in case you need to self-quarantine. Please ensure participants have 14-day emergency kits to include medications, water (if needed), food, and necessities. Prepare a kit similar to those used during hurricane seasons. For more information, visit this site: https://health.hawaii.gov/prepare/protect-your-family/prepare-an-emergency-kit/.


Stay home/go home if you feel sick:
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or have traveled to an area of sustained exposure (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Most European Countries) within in the last 14 days, please stay home and call your doctor.

Call your physician:
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or have traveled to an area of sustained exposure (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Most European Countries) within in the last 14 days, call your doctor to determine if you need to be seen and follow their instructions.


FOR FULL LIFE EMPLOYEES:
 
The health and safety of our staff and participants is our utmost priority. Thus, Full Life is closely monitoring the latest developments of COVID-19 and has begun to prepare for all possibilities. We all play a role in preparedness and to reduce the possibility of the spread of illness, we ask for your help to:

  • Report to work as usual but practice everyday protections. Our services are important to the overall health and safety of participants.
  • Wash your hands frequently (e.g., after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, before preparing food) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick: Stay home and contact your doctor
  • Call your supervisor
  • If possible, assist your supervisor in finding emergency coverage for participants
  • If a participant is sick: for participants without 24 hour supports:
  • Notify your Program Coordinator of the participants illness.
  • Participant/family should call their doctor. PC or RN can support with calling doctor if needed.
  • PC will inform the DSW if there are no services due to participant illness.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., door handles, lobby area, countertops, vehicles after use) daily.
  • Encourage participants to participate in the same everyday protections. If participants are scheduled to meet at Full Life offices, call to remind them of the meeting in advance and ask them to reschedule if they are sick, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have traveled to an area of sustained exposure in the past 2 weeks.
  • Limit CLS services to locations that are not densely populated. Follow social distancing guidelines by avoiding crowed areas. New guidelines request limiting exposure to gatherings of 10 people or less.
  • Monitor participants for signs of illness. Report to your supervisor if participants are ill.
  • Share this memo with all participants and families and familiarize yourself with the information.

SUPERVISORS AND ADMIN STAFF
  • Ensure that you have emergency contact information for all employees and participants with you. Full Life will rely on a phone tree where we will ask all supervisors to contact the employees they supervise and the family members on their case if there is a need for expedited communication
  • Full Life will rely on program coordinators and office managers to relay important information to DSWs, participants, and families.
  • Alert staff that the state has developed responses for various labor-related issues associated with COVID-19
  • Encourage staff to ask questions and respond to the best of your ability.
  • Talk with staff about COVID-19 updates as they arise.
  • Continue to practice and promote basic prevention and protection guidelines described in this memo such as staying home if you feel sick and calling your doctor.
  • Work to maintain a balance between taking necessary precautions and maintaining calm about the situation.
  • Set up and join meetings (e.g., team meetings, community meetings, workgroups) by phone or Zoom when possible and appropriate. Encourage other participants to do the same.


FRONT OFFICE STAFF:
  • Please post a “COVID-19 Door Sign” (such as attached example) to the exterior of your main office door. The sign should politely ask that visitors/clients who are experiencing flu symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have traveled to a community with sustained exposure within the past 14 days to call the front desk. Assist callers by transferring them to the relevant staff member and help visitors/clients to reschedule as soon as possible.
  • Post relevant information and instructions shared staff space (e.g., staff bulletin board).
  • Continue to share informational resources:
  • Department of Health’s issues and advisories for COVID-19: https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/
  • Center for Disease Control’s resource on managing mental health and coping during COVID- 19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html
  • Child Mind Institute’s resource on talking to kids about COVID-19: https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

FOR PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR FAMILIES

Your health and safety are very important to us. Full Life is closely watching the latest updates of COVID- 19 and has begun to prepare for all possibilities. Because each of us plays a role in being ready and to prevent the spread of illness, we want to let you know about some changes that you can expect:

  • Please call your DSW and/or program coordinator if you are sick.
  • If you are scheduled for an appointment or meeting at any of our offices, we will call to remind you of the meeting and ask you to either reschedule or attend by phone or video conference if you are sick.
  • Meetings and appointments held by phone or video conferencing wherever possible will become more routine in the coming weeks.
  • We are looking into video options for supervision visits (if it works for you).
  • We will be posting a sign on our office doors asking visitors/clients who are experiencing flu symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), who have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have traveled to an area of sustained exposure within the past 14 days to call our front desk. We will assist those callers by transferring them to the relevant staff member to reschedule appointments as soon as possible.
  • If participants or their family members are sick, we are asking program coordinators to reschedule visits. Program Coordinators may offer video visits instead if participants are sick


Mahalo for your flexibility and understanding. We will be sending out regular updates and will notify you as soon as we schedule a teleconference. Please understand that we have limited control on disruptions the COVID-19 situation may cause. We are doing everything we can to limit disruptions, but please prepare now for absenteeism and disruptions in services.


Jim Kilgore
Executive Director