April 29, 2020
As the pandemic unfolds all around us, so too does the Spring! We hope that you are all able to find moments to enjoy the sight of flowers blooming and sun in the sky. It has been a number of weeks like none other. We are grateful that we have remained united in our resolve to push through the weeks ahead. It has not been easy for our staff or our families, but we are encouraged every day by the strength people are showing.
You have likely heard by now that Governor Charlie Baker has extended his stay-at-home advisory and his non-essential business closures until May 18th. In the interest of the safety of our staff and the people we support, our offices will also remain closed until then, at which time we will review the current status. Please know that even though our physical offices remain temporarily closed, our dedicated teams remain very active in providing support. Though physical contact has been minimized, our staff are still available in a variety of virtual ways. Our agency feels a gratitude beyond measure for the dedicated people who continue to work diligently during this crisis.
As time unfolds, we will continue to monitor the status of this pandemic and will continue to keep you updated with regard to our re-opening plans. In the meantime, please also know that The Arc of Massachusetts website is a great resource for many COVID19 related topics. You can connect with them at https://thearcofmass.org/covid19.
Also, it would be great to remain connected with you in real time on our Facebook page, which you can access at https://www.facebook.com/ArcGHN/.
Until we meet again, stay well and stay connected! We look forward to resuming a more familiar way of relating when the time is right!
Chief Program Officer
April 3, 2020
Hello All –
We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well! Our teams here have been hard at work, keeping our agency’s mission alive and well! We miss being able to interact with you in the “old fashioned way” but we are equally impressed with how everyone has adapted to our new virtual relationships!
As a brief update, our offices will remain closed to visitors until April 30th, at which time, we will re-evaluate the situation. However, please know that we are not far away and will remain available via email and phone! Our team of dedicated Care Coordinators, Nurses, Field Staff and Support Supervisors will continue to be actively engaged in our programs and services.
We are sending all of our Arc of GHN community much love and positive thoughts at this time.
Chief Program Officer
March 20, 2020
Hello Arc of GHN Community,
This week has moved very quickly for us here at The Arc of GHN. We are hoping that you and your families are healthy and staying positive.
As of March 17th, The Arc of GHN team remains active but our offices are closed to visitors until April 6th. We will continue to monitor this timeline and it may change in the coming days or weeks. Field staff or Caregivers who need to access our office are asked to email or call their Arc of GHN program contacts for further guidance.
As many of you know, we made the decision to modify some of the duties and hours performed by our field staff in order to protect their health and that of the people we support and their families. That said, please know that we remain available to assist with any pressing issues and offer support in other ways. I am proud of our teams of Nurses, Care Coordinators and Support Supervisors who have been working hard to stay in touch with the staff, families and people we support. The behind the scenes people have been working super hard to make sure we continue to function as an organization, too; it’s great to feel the teamwork!
Below are some resources that may be of use to you or your family. If you come across any community updates or resources that you’d like to share with others please send them to me at Abigail.email@example.com and we’ll include them here.
Please stay well and keep in touch!
Chief Program Officer
Lawrence General Hospital (they are doing community COVID-19 screenings): 617-946-8409.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health: 617-983-6800.
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/
Local Gift Card Incentive: http://haverhillchamber.com/haverhill-4/
Stay at Home Activities (Thank You to Terry Gilvarry at MV DDS for sharing!):
A social story to explain COVID-19 and its impact: https://www.flipsnack.com/KeshetChicago/coronavirus-social-story/full-view.html
New England Aquarium Virtual Visits: https://www.neaq.org/visit/at-home-events-and-activities/
Natural History Visits: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour
Google Arts and Culture: https://artsandculture.google.com/
March 13, 2020
To All of our Arc Family and Friends,
Like you, we have become increasingly concerned about the current COVID-19 crisis that is unfolding around us. We would like to reassure you that we have been working all week to stay informed, gather information, collaborate with state agencies and determine our next steps. These past several days have been uncharted territory for us all. Our unity and collaboration at this time is essential and we are committed to remaining in contact with those we support and their families and staff during the coming weeks.
Please check our website on a regular basis for-up-to date information on how The Arc of GHN is responding to this current health crisis. We feel that our website is our good community resource for staying in touch. We also encourage you to check our Facebook page regularly for updates.
At this time, we have determined that it is in the best interests of the people we support, their families and our staff for us to convert to a skeleton crew here at the office. As such, our Support Supervisors, Nurses and Care Coordinators will not be making home visits for the next two weeks. This will begin as of Monday, March 16th. We will remain in contact and conduct the usual visits via phone or video conference instead. Please know that you are not alone at this time and our staff will remain available via email or phone.
We are continuing to assess the necessary protocols to support our field staff in their direct care work so at this time, we have not made any changes to their work activities. However, we are taking precautions to ensure that our staff are making safe choices for both themselves, their families and the people we support. To that end, we will be screening all staff and families to assess if anyone may be displaying symptoms of illness and working together to identify the appropriate measures. We are asking for your cooperation in reporting if you or a household member is symptomatic and/or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are also asking that you inform us if you or anyone in your household has engaged in international travel.
In addition, there is a statewide shortage of supplies such as hand sanitizers, face masks and disinfecting wipes. We are asking our field staff to please wash their hands thoroughly before leaving their home, upon arrival at the home of the person they support and again before they leave. We are also asking that you utilize your own hand sanitizer as needed. We have limited supplies here at the office and will need to reserve those for the people who are the most at risk. However, the moment more supplies become available we will disseminate those as necessary. For more information please read our additional attachments.
Lastly, we are all in this together! Please know we have been thinking about you and will continue to think about you as we move forward. On behalf of The Arc of GHN we thank all our staff, individuals and families for all of your resilience and cooperation at this time.
Chief Program Officer