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Presbyterian Home for Children releases updated COVID-19 response

Presbyterian Home for Children COVID-19 Response Update, August 2021

As the state and nation are seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, the Presbyterian Home for Children and Ascension Leadership Academy are monitoring developments and adjusting our response accordingly. As always, our top priority is the safety and well-being of the children and families we serve as well as the health of our dedicated staff.

The Home has had a Pandemic and Influenza Plan in place for many years as a requirement of our State Department of Human Resources contracts and has updated it regularly as part of our accreditation process. This has served as our guide for action in this unprecedented event.

We also refer to the CDC’s guidelines released this month that says vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic, and we encourage our staff and eligible residents to get vaccinated.

Following are major safety steps the Home and Academy have taken.

Residential Programs

Currently, residents in all programs are able to travel and are encouraged to practice healthy associations, wear masks and practice social distancing. Residents who visit family or friends for an extended period of time must take a COVID test and isolate until the results are known.

New residents in all residential programs are required to take a COVID-19 test and must have a negative COVID-19 test. Transitional Housing new residents or current Transitional Housing residents who must quarantine must successfully complete an isolation period as appropriate following CDC guidelines.

Staff in these programs continue to work their normal work schedules and have been provided the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to maximize their safety and that of others.

Provisions have been made for a potential infirmary or isolation living quarters if they are needed.

Employee Safety

All employees have returned to campus and work on site in their assigned areas. Normal work functions are implemented with safety modifications:

  • Air purifiers are in all public buildings and resident cottages.
  • Employees and guests wear mask when two or more individuals gather in an office.
  • Social distancing is exercised when two or more individuals gather inside buildings or outside.
  • Professional Staff continue with the ability to provide service to clients via telemedicine and telementalhealth which includes Zoom, FaceTime and similar technology.

Ascension Leadership Academy

Ascension Leadership Academy is meeting in person and following CDC guidelines released this month. Classes are continuing with daily support from administrators and teachers through ZOOM, telephone and messaging contact. Student progress of assignment completion is monitored daily and, as needed, contact is made with the student or parent.

Thrift Store

The Thrift Store remains open with additional cleaning and sanitizing of merchandise and shopping carts, PPE for employees, and a maximum of 10 people in the store at any given time.

Looking toward the future

The primary business of the Presbyterian Home for Children and Ascension Leadership Academy, caring for homeless and at-risk children and their families, is continuing during this pandemic. Families are being served, children are learning, and needs are being met. We appreciate the support of dedicated staff, Board, volunteers, donors, and the community who make this possible, even in the most difficult of times.

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