Information from Atlanta Addiction Recovery Center about COVID-19
With the increased information and questions circulating about COVID-19 (previously referred to as the Novel Coronavirus), we want to provide updated information and recommendations that we received from state and federal health agencies, as well as recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information to guide our policies and procedures.
It is important to know we do not have any reports of confirmed exposures within our AARC community. Should there be an impact to our patients or families, AARC will send out communications to patients, families and employees as soon as possible.
This is what AARC is doing:
- The Nurse Manager will monitor the health of our patients and staff. Patients and staff have been instructed to remain at home if they have a fever, have symptoms of a respiratory infection, have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, the flu, or any communicable disease, or if they have recently traveled to a high risk area as identified by the CDC. Also, staff have been trained on transmission, recognition, and treatment of this virus.
- Information regarding flu protocol has been provided to all staff and patients as COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the flu spreads – through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes. We are working to ensure our facility is properly stocked with necessary supplies. Patients and staff have received instruction on proper handwashing technique and respiratory etiquette.
- At our facility, staff have been directed to pay extra attention to cleaning “high touch” areas, such as doorknobs and handles.
- We are monitoring reported absence rates of staff and patients due to colds and flu and will take action if we see a pattern of high absence rates or illness at the facility.
- Our intake staff will be screening potential admissions and including questions regarding recent illness, exposure risks and travel outside the US.
- Our leadership team has been and will continue to make preparations if the disease were to become widespread throughout our county and/or district. Leadership topics include making sure staff and patients continue preventative measures (washing hands, staying home if not feeling well, etc.), preparing for extreme deep cleaning of the facility, and planning ongoing communication to patients and families.
- We have cancelled all public events and meetings held in our facility until further notice, including Family Day, 12-Step meetings, and our Open House.
- There has been a restriction on employee business travel, as well as attending business community events to reduce exposure and comply with social distancing. Staff have been discouraged from personal travel and may be required to self-quarantine before they can return to work if they do travel.
Our leadership team and staff continue to work together to ensure safety measures are in place and are well prepared to respond to any needs. We assure you that patient and staff safety is our number one priority. Thank you.
Catherine Baer, MS, MS, LPC, CPCS
Clinical Director/Atlanta Addiction Recovery Center