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What to Expect From EPI as Communities Open

posted by Katie Slade on Thursday, May 28, 2020

As our communities continue to lift restrictions, we want to let you know how EPI is responding.

We continue prioritizing the health of the persons we serve, our families, and our workforce.

Assessing Risk and Proceeding with Caution

Our approach, across all of our service areas, will be to assess risk and proceed with caution.

Why? The virus is not gone. At best we've slowed the spread and many of the people served by EPI are at higher risk for severe illness or complications as a result of COVID-19.  Public health officials still recommend staying home as much as possible and limiting close contact to reduce the likelihood of getting or spreading the virus.

We recognize risk factors and/or comfort levels will vary person to person. At the same time, one person's decision effects the whole. So, we must work together.

Here's an overview of our general approach with each person served:

  1. Assess individual risk factors related to the virus
  2. Discuss comfort level with individual and team
  3. Define the circle (broadly defined as the people in each other's living or working space)
  4. Reach agreements of measures to be followed in each circle and clearly communicate

In general, the person in the circle with the highest risk factors sets the pace. If no high risk factors are present in a circle, the person with the lowest comfort level would set the pace.

We Continue Exercising Extreme Caution with Persons at Higher Risk for Severe Illness

Persons over 65 or otherwise more medically vulnerable to this virus will continue to be strongly encouraged to exercise the following caution as communicated by public health officials:

  • Continue staying home/in own outdoor space as much as possible - only going out for essentials if necessary (groceries, medications, medical purposes)
  • Take all of the following precautions when out for essential purposes: Clean hands often, avoid high touch surfaces, avoid touching your face, wear a cloth face covering in public, cover coughs and sneezes. Practice social distancing.
  • Limit gatherings/visits. If visits are necessary, outdoor is preferable to indoor, significantly limit the number (no more than 10)

Managers and directors are available and ready to discuss what this approach means for you and your loved one. Please continue reading to know what to expect in all of services.

EPI offices will open by appointment only June 1, 2020.

  • Offices doors will remain locked. Your EPI meeting organizer will meet you at the door at the time of your appointment. Please call our receptionists if you cannot reach your meeting organizer.
  • Virtual meetings are preferred to in-person gatherings.
  • Please stay home if you are ill or experiencing any symptoms.
  • We require employees and visitors to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth.
  • We require maintaining a six-foot physical distance for employees and visitors.
  • We regularly clean and disinfect common areas and high-touch surfaces. Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations are readily available for your use.

Please Continue for Service Specific Updates

We continue to follow all guidance put forth by state and public health officials and will highlight a few of those measures below.

Agency-Owned Vehicle Transportation

  • Cloth face masks will be worn when riding in vehicles
  • Cleaning/disinfecting will be done after each trip
  • Persons who are ill must stay home unless seeking medical attention

 Bus/Route Based Transportation

  • Due to extended program closures bus/daily route based transportation will not return through the previously communicated date of June 30, 2020 and will be considered closed. Please secure alternative transportation.
  • EPI will continue offering field trip transportation. Contact us for more information.

Community Services - Day Habilitation Services

  • Governor Reynold's proclamation issued May 25, 2020 extended the closure of day habilitation services to June 17, 2020.
  • We've developed a reopening plan prioritizing the health of the persons we serve. We will begin sharing what that could look in the coming days in an effort to be prepared when services are permitted to return.

Community Services - Employment Services

  • No change at this time.
  • As more business begin opening, Employment Services will continue to support persons in returning to their work in the community.
  • We'll continue bringing other services back online in a safe and responsible way.

Community Services - Residential/Intermittent

  • We continue person and site based assessments to provide guidance.
  • We continue limiting visits inside of the home.
  • We continue with our enhanced precautions including, but not limited to: monitoring for symptoms, wearing cloth face coverings, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, isolating persons with symptoms, and more.
  • Persons who are ill must stay home unless seeking medical attention.

Health Equipment Lending Program

  • Resumes by appointment only.
  • Follows office guidelines listed above.

Payee Services

  • Payee Services staff will continue serving clients remotely.
  • Follows office guidelines listed above.

Vehicle Repair Services

  • Vehicle repair service welcomes repair work from the community as a way to give back. We offer very competitive pricing for oil changes, tires, and other auto repair needs.
  • Our garage gives us plenty of space to maintain social distancing.
  • Give our vehicle repair team a call at 319-235-9058.

Visit our COVID-19 Response Resource page for continuous updates.

About The Author

As the Executive Director of Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI), Katie believes in EPI's vision of - working together we will realize a future where all people are recognized and valued – encouraged and supported to live, work, and grow – in their communities. At EPI w ... read more