COVID-19 Response

March 13, 2020 at 10:23 pm

At UCP, we take the health and safety of the people we support and our employees extremely seriously, so a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 outbreak is currently our top priority. We are constantly reviewing guidance from the CDC and other public health experts on the most effective ways to remain safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Using that information along with internal conversations with key team members, we’ve implemented a flexible, comprehensive response for all employees on preventing community spread of this contagious virus.

In the event the virus spreads in or near communities where UCP operates, we are fully prepared to make changes to the way we manage our response. This page will be updated as the situation changes.


April 1, 2020

We at UCP hope you and your loved ones have been staying safe as the COVID-19 virus has increasingly altered the way we live and work. Today’s updates follow:

Administrative office and day programs will remain closed through April 30, 2020, in accordance with new federal social distancing guidelines. As we approach that date, we will announce plans for either reopening or extending closure as the situation warrants. Our administrative team remains fully capable while working remotely, and will continue managing regular operations in April as they’ve done for the past two weeks. 

From a broader perspective, UCP remains in close communication with the state authorities that govern our work to ensure the health and safety of the people we support. We are working hard to secure access to all applicable COVID-19 relief initiatives available via the newly signed CARES Act, Medicaid funding, and other systems. 

On the day-to-day operations front, the best Direct Support Professionals around continue to work tirelessly in support of our mission. Like all organizations in the country, we are finding it challenging to maintain supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves. The same is true for household cleaning supplies and toilet tissue. We are very appreciative to those who have reached out to donated supplies and funds. If you’d like to join that effort, please contact Anne Rhodes to find out how.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out via our Contact Us page with questions. We are focused on our mission and our communities as we work through these challenges together.


March 27, 2020

As we continue to navigate the uncharted territory of this COVID-19 outbreak, our resourcefulness and resolve have been tested. But we’re proud to report that UCP of Georgia is operating strongly after a swift transition to a different way of working in this new landscape. While day programs remain closed and administrative teams continue to work from their own homes, the daily work of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities continues to flourish in different and uplifting ways. Special thanks, as always, to the Direct Support Professionals who are steadfast in their commitment to maintaining meaningful connections to the people we support!

Here are this week’s updates:

  • As of this writing, there are no confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 for those supported in our homes or on staff.
  • We continue to actively screen employees for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms before beginning work each shift, to ensure their safety and the safety of the people we support.
  • One recent challenge is maintaining a stock of supplies for homes. Our regular commercial vendors do not have items in stock that we usually order for routine operations. If you have access to any of the following items and would like to donate them, please contact Anne Rhodes to arrange drop off or pick up. Right now, we are seeking:
    • Toilet paper
    • Household disinfectant cleaners
    • Disposable ear thermometer covers
    • Cash donations to offset the cost of additional supplies

Even though some of our UCP family are now distanced from colleagues, we are staying in touch and leaning on each other for strength through this crisis. We will get through this, there is no doubt. In such challenging times, our work to serve the mission of UCP of Georgia becomes even more crucial.


March 20, 2020

UCP of Georgia operations remain strong, thanks to our extraordinary team which is steadfastly dedicated to our mission. Direct Support Professionals, in particular, are the backbone of our organization, and their perseverance and hard work is why we are doing so well. Here are the most recent updates:

  • As of this writing, there are no confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 for those supported in our homes or on staff.
  • The main office in Chamblee, and statewide day programs will remain closed at least until March 31. We will reassess as that date approaches and make a decision on reopening at that time.
  • Employees are being actively screened for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms before beginning work each shift, to ensure their safety and the safety of the people we support.
  • We continue to recruit and interview candidates to fill current vacancies and ensure our workforce remains strong.
  • In-person training is only being conducted for critical new-hire topics so that new hires can begin work, and only in groups of fewer than 10 people with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

March 13, 2020

Public health organizations have made it clear that we can take preventive steps now to slow community spread. While there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases at UCP, here are some of the proactive steps we are taking:

  • On March 16, 2020, the UCP of Georgia administrative office in Chamblee will close, but agency operations will continue. Administrative staff will be actively working remotely from home, and community living support services in UCP homes will continue (with alternate staff schedules in some cases). We will reassess in weekly increments to determine when it is safe to reopen.
  • On March 16, 2020, all UCP Day Programs in Georgia will close. We will reassess in weekly increments to determine when it is safe to reopen.
  • We are monitoring the wellness of the people we support in community living situations very closely, including identification of those whom the CDC deems at high risk due to age or existing medical condition. We have temporarily ceased travel and community activities for everyone we support, and are strictly limiting visitors in order to minimize risk of infection.
  • We have implemented a new cleaning protocol in addition to our daily cleaning regimen which includes frequent disinfecting of shared surfaces and frequently touched surfaces (such as light switches, door handles, faucets, etc.) in all UCP homes.
  • We are reemphasizing the importance of observing Universal Precautions and frequent, thorough hand washing to staff and those we support.
  • We are closely tracking incidences of employee illness to confirm they have access to care and will remain away from work until they are well.

Resources

In addition to our internal response, we urge you to stay updated on the progression of the COVID-19 in Georgia and its impact on people with disabilities:


How Can You Help?

UCP of Georgia is a lifeline for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As we prepare to cover extra staffing, extra food, extra medication, and other supplies to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we ask that you consider donating to help us sustain quality support of those who rely on us.


Questions or Concerns

We are grateful for the continued support of our communities. Please do reach out if you have specific questions about our COVID-19 response.