To All of the CSI Family,
I want to ensure everyone is informed on the next steps at CSI, what will happen as the world round us starts to reopen. It may get very confusing over the next few weeks. You will be hearing things in the news, and through other channels of changes in mandates. Governors will be allowing some businesses to open, and restrictions to be reduced. CSI will continue to focus on limiting exposures and keeping the people we support safe and keeping our staff safe.
For now our intent is to continue the stay at home in the same manner we currently in place, continue alternative staffing schedules and continue the no visitor or visits outside of the home policy.
Please, do not assume that because something in your community may re-open, that CSI has lifted its restrictions. Any directions you receive to lift restrictions will be in writing and clearly outlined. CSI will also become more state specific as the government mandates change and the number of cases and hospitalizations decrease.
The CDC recommendations for a state to enter phase 1 of reopening is to have 14 consecutive days of decreased hospitalizations. I want to point out that there may be a reduction in a state’s overall numbers, but increases in specific region of the state. CSI needs to be more localized in our data review and decisions.
Each CSI location will be evaluated for the number of active cases, the number of deaths, and the hospitalization in the specific region of the state. We will look at the total picture and make decision that are best to keep people safe and healthy. A number of states that chose to reopen some services last week (with and without meeting the 14 day decrease in hospitalizations) have stepped back because of marked increases in the disease.
We do not anticipate anything changing for at least another month. CSI must remain steadfast to its responsibility to keep people safe.
As some states increase testing and testing people without symptoms, the number of case are climbing. This is showing the number of people who are positive for COVID with no symptoms. They still are very contagious. Remember, if you have positive COVID (with or without symptoms) and you come in contact with 10 people in a day, and each of them comes in contact with 10 people that day, there are now over 100 people exposed.
CSI took a very different approach to how we dealt with the pandemic than the majority of providers of group homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Most providers developed their plans around what to do when people got sick, and what to do when staff shortages occurred due to staff getting sick and how to deal with people supported and staff dying.
CSI focused on preventing exposure to the virus and keeping people healthy. Every person in our organization contributed to that focus. Some of you by moving into group homes, some by inviting someone you support to move into your home, some by working remotely, some by staying home because your hours were reduced and some by staying home because you were high risk or exposed. Everyone at CSI has pulled together to help keep the people we support and our fellow staff safe. So far, these efforts have had incredibly effective results. I thank you for the efforts and sacrifices!!
Your efforts have led to CSI having very low numbers of positive cases of COVID. In all four states, other agencies are reporting high numbers of positive cases and significant numbers of death for both people supported and their staff. The numbers, when you hear them break your heart.
CSI is proud to say the effectiveness of our plan has protected you the staff and the people who live in the homes we support! Your hard work, flexibility, compassion, integrity and commitment to doing the right thing has made a huge difference!! We CANNOT let our guard down and risk bringing this virus in. Not after so many have done so much for everyone’s protection.
CSI Positive Cases of COVID for people supported
Across the four CSI’s there have been less than 10 total cases of employees with positive cases. All but one, had already been out of the homes working remotely. The majority of the people with positive cases were tied to exposure at other jobs before the CSI mandate of no outside employment.
In Virginia at providers meeting this week there were reports from three other providers of the number of cases (CSI is one of the largest providers in the Northern VA area). The other three providers collectively had more than 50 cases and 5 deaths including a staff member. Washington, DC has had 150 people with ID/DD with positive COVID and 28 have died. CT has had a staggering number of people in our network sick and many die as has MA and DE. CSI has not!!!
Each state is reporting significant number of positive cases and deaths. Your hard work has driven our protections to all in the CSI family. Now we need to stay the course. We have spent 2 months committed to being safe, if we start increasing exposure too soon, it could be disastrous.
The message here:
Nothing is changing at CSI right now. CSI’s reopen will be cautious, thoughtful and driven by localized data. Our agency will remain focused on preventing anyone from getting sick.
CSI has committed to support our staff to stay healthy physically and emotionally. The staff who were taken off schedules because they were high risk, had childcare issue, for schedule reductions and for potential exposure have continued to get paid for their base hours. CSI recognizes the schedule changes and the overall pandemic has still lead to financial hardship for many staff. CSI will address that in a memo coming out later today. We are looking at ways to help!!
Again, thank you for the great effort put forward that has led to our successfully results. We need to stay focused on preventing even one more COVID case. We need to stay cautious!
With my deepest thanks and appreciation,