“Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.”
Helping persons with disabilities to find happiness in their own homes, in their personal relationships and as contributing members of their community.
For more than 30 years, CSI has focused on helping people to find happiness and be active, contributing members of their community. Behind the scenes we also focused on assisting each person to maintain optimum health and to be safe in their home and community.
The CSI focus has shifted and the rules have changed, for now. I believe we will return to the world where having fun, building relationships and contributing to our communities is our priority, but for now health and safety are our total focus. Our actions are directed by our priority to assist each member of the CSI family to be healthy of mind and body.
CSI has tried to stay ahead of the threats and risks. Our Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) developed in 2007, guided how we have responded during this pandemic. We need to stay the course and not allow increased risks based on decisions that are not based on data and science.
There are a few states that have started to lift their restriction in response to economic concerns. These decision do not follow the guidance of the president, the CDC and World Health Organization. The states opening businesses do not have a comprehensive plan of testing nor have they met the first criteria of consistent declining new cases. The expert recommendations to “reopen” start with 14 days of declining new cases before identifying infrastructure to move to phase one, then another 14 days of declining cases before considering phase two. At CSI we need to continue to follow the stay at home order until the mandates change in MA, DE, VA and CT and then only change policies if the state’s changes follow the expert’s recommendations.
CSI is in the process of developing the indicators that will signal our time to transition out of the self-quarantine/stay at home mode. Once these standards are set we will share our plan.
At CSI, we are responsible for people’s lives, it is imperative that our standards are cautious and based on data and guidance from the experts. Missteps here could be tragic. All of the CSI family has worked cooperatively and diligently to reduce the potential for exposure to the virus for those we support, our staff and our families. We have trained staff to be diligent with hand washing, quarantine, disinfecting and checking for signs and symptoms of COVID. There are very few people entering the homes, therefore very few opportunities for exposure to the virus. Those who change shifts in the homes are screened first.
CSI is also committed to support the emotional needs of the people supported. It is a very confusing time, routines have changed, relationships are limited, and many of the activities people love are absent. Our staff are working to maintain the “new normal” in a way that provides routine, structure and consistency for positive outcomes.
The availability of needed supplies has been an issue that has received significant attention in the press. I wanted to share with you where CSI stands with supplies.
CSI has available to the staff and people CSI supports an ample supply of cloth masks, disposable masks, thermometers, gloves, hand sanitizer and hand soap. Oh, and don’t forget the most valuable TP!!! In the event of a possible positive case of COVID 19 we have over 8,000 N95 masks. We also have plenty of gowns and oximeters. Our supplies are being increased daily. CSI has policies on mask use, hand washing, and the process if a person we support or a staff person tests positive. I believe we have developed exceptional policies, processes and trainings that are being consistently followed.
CSI has in place protocols for when staff cannot work and the standards if a staff person tests positive or is exposed to someone who is positive for COVID. The standard includes the criteria that determines when a person can return to work.
Our CSI staff are doing an exceptional job to keep exposures to a minimum, focusing on keeping the more than 600 people we support and 1200 employees safe. CSI has experienced three positive cases of COVID in the people supported, one person in MA and two people in DE. There have been five CSI employees with positive cases of COVID, four of them had been out of work for more than a week prior to their diagnosed due to having a second job or working remotely. It is imperative we continue to follow protocols closely and not let our guard down. Limiting exposure continues to be our best defense.
CSI will finalize our policy to identify how we will determine when it is safe to lift some restrictions and how that will occur. I do not believe that lifting restrictions is in our near future as three of our states have mandated the stay at home orders at least through the middle of May and some into June. All four states continue to have significant number of new cases of COVID every day.
Many of our CSI families have made generous donations to help in this crisis. Your generosity is deeply appreciated and is extremely helpful as the cost for our “new normal” continues to escalate. Our deepest gratitude to those who thought of us at this critical time.
Thank you to all who have shown their support to CSI in so many ways in this highly critical time. Your support and positive encouragement is deeply appreciated. The CSI staff who are in our homes, working long days or living in are an amazing group of people whose compassion, integrity, perseverance and innovation have earned them the highest level of respect and appreciation! There are no words to express how deeply thankful CSI is for their commitment and dedication to those we support. s
Be safe, stay home….