Report symptoms, travel flagged by the CDC/exposure at (585)340-2050. LEARN MORE

Updates from HCS

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We have set up an HCS Coronavirus Hotline – (585) 340-2050 – to give everyone a place to get more information and make it easier for our staff to communicate about symptoms, travel and exposure to an infected person.

CDC Links  |  County Links   |  Cleaning and Hygiene Tips   |   Ways to Minimize Exposure   |   More Links  |  For Expressive Beginnings Families

 

A Message from Marisa Geitner, President & C.E.O.

I thank you sincerely for your prayers and support during this difficult time. My heart is heavy at the sacrifices being made, especially among those of us who are unable to see our loved ones face-to-face. But I’m inspired by the commitment of frontline staff and managers to keep us connected and updated. The trust and support of those we serve mean so much to us as we work to protect people from COVID-19.

I want to take a moment to update you about critical areas we’ve been working on.

One particular challenge has included shortages of food and supplies.

  • In April, we started food delivery directly to the homes for 400 people.
  • We have organized regional inventory locations. This lets us gather and deliver much-needed health, medical and cleaning supplies to those in agency homes and customized options.
  • With this effort, we’ve eliminated the need for anyone to have to go out and shop for essentials.

We’re limiting exposure to COVID-19 by having fewer staff members in and out of the homes.

  • We have quickly redesigned our schedules. But less staff rotating through the homes means, in many cases, longer shifts. It also means that some staff willing to work will need to wait for an opportunity. We’ll need them, but we don’t need them all right away.
  • All staff members who are providing direct care, whether actively working or waiting to work, are completing health self-screenings twice a day, every day. In addition, our coronavirus hotline is staffed 24/7, giving employees a central and trusted place to discuss any symptoms, questions or concerns they have.

We are blessed to have the dedicated employees, strong systems and solid financial footing to pivot quickly in this time of tremendous need. Your support through the Heritage Christian Emergency Fund has been essential in allowing us the resources to increase the wage to our frontline employees and gather the medical and health equipment we need.

If you’ve been able to make a donation, we are grateful. If you know someone else who can, please share HeritageChristianServices.org/EmergencyFund, or, our Venmo account @HeritageChristianServices.

The difficulties of each day are a tremendous strain on everyone. I hold close our frontline support professionals and the many others who are making daily sacrifices so that we can serve the people we care so deeply for. At every opportunity, please praise and recognize the Heritage Christian staff. They are our community heroes. Consider sending them encouragement in the form of a High Five by visiting www.heritagechristianservices.org/HighFive.

Once again, my heart is with you all. I’ve relied heavily on prayer to guide important – and difficult – decisions. Let’s continue to be there for each other and to connect, especially during difficult times. For today and always, we are stronger together.

 

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CDC Links

CDC How COVID-19 spreads

CDC’s national contact center

CDC – COVID-19 page  

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County Links

Monroe County Department of Public Health

Erie County Department of Public Health

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Cleaning and Hygiene

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping electronic devices clean is key to helping stop or slow the spread of COVID-19.  To clean your desktop monitors, laptop screens, smartphone, smartwatch and tablet screens use isopropyl alcohol.

  1. Shut down the computer; phones can remain on.
  2. For laptops, disconnect power to the laptop or monitor.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution (isopropyl alcohol) to the microfiber cloth (Do not pour the cleaning solution directly on the screen).
  4. Gently wipe the screen with the cloth containing the applied solution.
  5. For laptops, hold the center of the back of the laptop screen with your opposite hand so as not to bend and damage the screen while cleaning.
  6. Gently wipe the screen with a dry cloth.
  7. If any marks remain, moisten the cloth with your cleaning solution, and then gently wipe the cloth across the display in one direction, moving from the top of the display to the bottom.
  8. Be sure the LCD screen is completely dry before closing the laptop lid or powering the laptop or desktop monitor on.

To clean your keyboard and mouse:

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Apply the cleaning solution to the microfiber cloth (Do not pour the cleaning solution directly on the keyboard or mouse).
  3. Gently wipe the keyboard and mouse with the cloth containing the applied solution.
    1. Be sure to not catch the edges of the individual keys on your cloth. Doing so will pull the key caps off of the keyboard. Move slowly and take your time.
    2. If your laptop has one, be careful not to pop the point stick cover off while cleaning your laptop keyboard. Should this pop off during cleaning, turn it over to visualize the its shape and return it to the point stick by gently pressing it down on the point stick.
  1. Gently wipe the keyboard and mouse with a dry cloth.
  2. If any marks remain, moisten the cloth with your cleaning solution and wipe again.
  3. Be sure the keyboard and mouse is completely dry before closing the laptop lid or powering the laptop or desktop on.

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The way to avoid the coronavirus is the same as avoiding colds and flu:

  • Stay as healthy as you can.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash. If you can’t, sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Or, use a greater-than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Consider greeting others with a friendly wave, fist or elbow bump instead of shaking hands or hugging.

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More Links

COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities 

COVID-19 In Plain Language

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Expressive Beginnings Families

Area schools have closed until further notice as a proactive measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. We understand families need child care coverage while parents have employment responsibilities. While we are evaluating this on a minute by minute basis, at this time, our centers are open for those who have no immediate solution. We ask that you maintain close contact with our center directors related to your attendance. Please notify us immediately if you do not plan for your child to attend.

As a reminder, call the hotline at (585) 340-2050 if parents or children have:

  • a fever of 100 degrees or higher, cough, sore throat, body aches or shortness of breath;
  • been to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan or Venezuela in the last three weeks;
  • or know that you’ve been in contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 Coronavirus.

When experiencing any of the aforementioned, stay home with your children and contact your health care provider or the county health department before reaching out to us on the hotline. Should we discover any exposure to COVID-19 within our staff or the families we support, we are prepared to follow any guidelines from the CDC or Department of Health.

As for additional proactive measures, please note the following:

  • Families should limit visits to our child care.
  • We are postponing all building tours for prospective families who want to enroll.
  • We are not starting new families at Expressive Beginnings during this time.
  • Full day school age attendance will be limited to children who attend before or after school.
  • We are constantly reminding our staff and families to report symptoms and exposure; help to keep things sanitized; and to wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.

If you have questions, please reach out to your child care director.

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