UPDATE IN AFFECT AS OF 08/23/2022:
As the CDC guidelines change with regard to COVID-19 restrictions, we want to address how these impact Waves, Inc. policies. As always, we encourage staff and program participants to self-report positive cases so that we can keep all staff and program participants healthy. In the event of a positive case within the Adult Day Program (staff or person-supported), Waves will alert other program participants and their families who may have been exposed. The CDC recommends that quarantine is not required after an exposure event, and we respect the decisions of caregivers in the event of an exposure. We do ask that if a family member has tested positive and the person-supported at Waves is not able to consistently wear a mask, that the person-supported remain at home until the family member tests negative. This precaution is to ensure the health and safety of our other persons-supported and staff.
With the spread of COVID-19 in Williamson County, Waves is closely monitoring the situation while keeping constant communication with staff members on proper precautions. Waves administration is following the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Department of Health. As the situation evolves, protocols and precautionary measures will be updated.
Staff members are encouraged to stay at home if they are feeling bad. Staff and service recipients are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds throughout the day. Social distancing is also encouraged to all staff and service recipients.
IMMEDIATE CHANGES IN AFFECT:
Both Day Centers in Franklin and Fairview will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17 until the end of the month. At this time, Waves administration will determine a reopening date based on the safety of health of service recipients. During the closure of the Day Centers, full-time staff members will be given the option to work shifts in the residential program.
VOCATIONAL/INDEPENDENT LIVING/SEMI-INDEPENDENT LIVING
Services provides through Employment Communities First (ECF), Vocational Rehabilitation, and Department of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) will continue as needed and assessed on a day-to-day basis. ECF recipients will continue outings based on the preference of the families. Some employees have been instructed to stay at home, and are doing so, at the director of their employer. Community Integration outings are being conducted with caution to the location of the outings at the digression of the families.
Direct Support Professionals are practicing social distancing with service recipients living in Waves residences. Visitors inside the homes are being limited to essential staff. Each person entering a home must take their temperature and record it. Additional cleaning supplies have been delivered to each residence.
Per guidance from TN Early Intervention System (TEIS), all face-to-face visits are suspended, including home visits, visits to childcare centers/homes, and visits for completion of Assessment, Evaluation and Programming System (AEPS) assessments. Early Interventionists will shift development therapy sessions to HIPPA/FERPA compliant teleconferencing with families in order to continue to deliver services and reduce the risk of exposure for both staff members and families. As more information is available from TN Department of Education, guidelines and precautions will be followed.
Letter from Executive Director, Lance Jordan, to service recipient families dated May 1, 2020:
Dear Friends and Families,
Please allow this correspondence to provide an update on the status of services at our Waves Day Programs in Franklin and Fairview. While we understand the “Safer at Home” orders for the State of TN have technically expired, we must also maintain best practices while keeping the health and safety of our service participants, their families, and employees in mind. With those factors in mind, the agency will be responding to the current status of the pandemic with the following plans:
- Our Day Programs in Franklin and Fairview will continue to be suspended until guidance is received from the Centers for Disease Control, the TN Department of Health, and other regulatory authorities pronounce that it is once again safe to congregate in groups. While this is unfortunate for all of us (we miss seeing our friends!), we are being conscientious of the facts that that many of our attendees may have difficulty keeping a mask on all day, and that understanding and following the concept of Social Distancing may be challenging, especially those who are typically very affectionate and those who need a high level of personal care. This suspension is considered to only be temporary, and we look forward to opening the doors soon. To prepare for the reopening, the agency will use this time to accumulate the additional equipment needed for these programs to reopen safely, such as No-Touch thermometers, masks, gloves, and disinfectant cleaners. Once the Day Programs open back up, we will be following new screening guidelines for employees and participants who are entering the building to ensure and remind folks that the health and safety of everyone in the building is of utmost importance.
- Vocational services, Semi-Independent and Independent Living services provided through our ECF, Vocational Rehabilitation, and DIDD programs can resume as needed and assessed on a day-to-day basis, as these are typically provided either individually or in groups of two. If you and/or your family member are electing not to participate in a planned activity, please contact your assigned staff member as soon as possible to delay or reschedule. As always, we will request that staff and participants follow TN Dept. of Health self-care guidelines whenever out in the community, in both recreational and vocational settings.
- Our Early Learning program has successfully transitioned to providing services using available technology and will continue to use their best judgment for site visit. They remain in close contact with the families and children receiving their services and are definitely appreciated.
- Unless otherwise noted, our Residential Program will continue to follow the request of DIDD to remain in their homes as much as possible. If a community outing does occur, please know that this would be for a necessary activity such as a physician’s appointment or outdoor exercise and would not involve participating in a large group activity. If additional guidance should come from the State of Tennessee during this period, we will be in a good position to act immediately.
While we all know a bit more now about the pandemic than we did 2 months ago, we also know this continues to be an evolving situation, and we want to be considerate of everyone’s health and safety, including program participants, their families, and our employees. Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and we will continue to adjust our planning and execution of services based on the status of the COVID-19 outbreak here in our state. Here’s wishing everyone is and remains safe and well.
Waves, Inc. Executive Director
Letter from Executive Director, Lance Jordan, to service recipient families dated March 16, 2020:
Dear Friends and Families,
Please allow this correspondence to ensure everyone that the Waves Day Programs in Franklin and Fairview have and will continue to follow Center for Disease Control and Department of Health guidelines, as well as any specific requirements established by TennCare and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities on how we provide support to the persons enrolled during this uncertain period of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are also continuing to educate staff as additional precautionary information becomes available. Keeping the idea of precaution in mind, the agency will put the following plan in place:
- Our Day Programs in Franklin and Fairview will be suspended for the remainder of the month of March, starting on Tuesday March 17th and hopefully returning to services on April 1. This will allow us the opportunity to do a “deep clean” of the facility while also reviewing additional guidance from the Health Departments of both state and federal agencies, particularly those departments that deal directly with the population we serve. Upon the return of this service, we will initiate a “no visitors” policy to limit the number of people with unknown health status interacting with participants (i.e. tours, volunteers, etc.)
- Vocational services, Semi-Independent and Independent Living services provided through our ECF, Vocational Rehabilitation, and DIDD programs will continue as needed and assessed on a day-to-day basis, as these are typically provided either individually or in groups of two. If you and/or your family member are electing not to participate in a planned activity, please contact your assigned staff member as soon as possible to delay or reschedule.
- Our Early Learning program will attempt to make family visits and assessments as safely as possible, using techniques such as televisits and monitoring the health of anyone in the homes they visit. We await further direction from the State of Tennessee Department of Education and will implement such when notified.
- Unless otherwise noted, our Residential Program will follow the request of DIDD to remain in their homes as much as possible. If a community outing does occur, please know that this would be for a necessary activity such as a physician’s appointment or outdoor exercise and would not involve participating in a large group activity. If additional guidance should come from the State of Tennessee during this period, we will be in a good position to act immediately.
I know we are all aware that this is an evolving situation, and we want to be considerate of everyone’s health and safety, including program participants, their families, and our employees. Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and if there is change and/or an extension to this plan based on the status of the COVID-19 outbreak here in Tennessee, we will definitely keep everyone informed. Here’s wishing everyone is and remains well.
Waves, Inc. Executive Director