LADD families and loved ones,
Five additional COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at LADD, including two people supported in our Community Supported Living Program and three people who live at Geier Apartments. This brings us to six active and confirmed cases with a CSL employee still recovering. Others who previously tested positive have recovered and completed CDC quarantine guidelines.
The five individuals who tested positive this week are quarantining; staff continue to provide services in person with full PPE and virtually through remote support technology. Those who had close contact are also quarantining per CDC guidance and are currently reporting no symptoms. If you have not been contacted by LADD staff, your loved one has not been directly impacted.
This is a frightening situation for everyone, and certainly not how people planned to spend their holidays. But these individuals continue to demonstrate courage, positivity and resilience. And we are doing everything possible to make this easier for them while limiting spread across our community.
Please join me in keeping them in your thoughts this holiday week and remember to stay safe with masks, social distancing, handwashing and avoiding large gatherings.
Vaccine Distribution Update
Additionally, as we are learning more about vaccine distribution, we want to keep you informed every step of the way. Many questions remain and we are still waiting on final communication and guidance from the county and state, but below is what we know right now.
Many LADD staff and people we support qualify for the first round of vaccinations. Hamilton County Public Health, Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services (HCDDS) and Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) are working together on a plan to distribute vaccines to people with disabilities living in congregate settings (two or more people) and staff working at those sites.
When will we first start having access to the vaccines?
Vaccine distribution for residents and staff in congregate settings at LADD could begin as soon as mid-January.
Who qualifies for this first round of vaccines in our community?
LADD has been told that we will be able to review the list before it is finalized. We believe Find-A-Way and Geier Apartments will qualify for the first round of vaccine distribution. However, we have NOT seen the final list to confirm this. We are communicating closely with HCDDS to make sure everyone that qualifies is on the list.
We have been told that Ohio has allocated enough vaccines for both the people we support and staff who work directly with individuals in those settings. We are considering all staff who work at these as qualifying, including CCP, and will advocate for these employees to be included in this first round. Families and/or natural supports are not included in the first round of vaccinations.
How will it work?
LADD leadership will be contacted by Hamilton County Public Health or HCDDS when they have an idea of when vaccinations will take place. We are advocating that they come to our sites, but once we know when and where, we will communicate all the details. There is a good chance we may not be able to provide vaccinations at the site in which people live and work. However, we have requested for this to happen if it is possible.
Who exactly will be distributing and administering the vaccines?
The vaccines for our community will be distributed and administered by Hamilton County Public Health in coordination with HCDDS. We have been asked by the Hamilton County Public Health if we have nurses on staff who could help with the administering of the vaccines, for which we answered “yes.” However, we have received no indication as to whether or not we will be able to have LADD nurses administer them.
How will our loved ones give consent?
Anyone who receives a vaccine must give consent. If you are a legal or medical guardian for your loved one, we will reach out with a consent form when we have it and will need a prompt reply. Unfortunately, we can’t send these out far in advance because they are specific to the vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and we don’t know which vaccine we will have access to yet. Additionally, your loved one must still give their consent even if you, as a guardian, consent.
We will be using a plain language guide for the vaccines to inform and communicate with your loved ones. Additional FAQs about the vaccines are linked below.
When will those who live or work in non-congregate settings have access to the vaccines?
We continue to advocate for quick access to vaccines for the entire LADD community and will keep you informed as soon as we know more.
Additional information and frequently asked questions about the vaccines:
As we begin the countdown to a new year and start planning for vaccines, I’m filled with a sense of awe and deep appreciation for all the hard work, sacrifices and adjustments the entire LADD community has made to persevere this year and keep our community safe. I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season.