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COVID-19 Response Resource

As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, we want to assure you we continue to prioritize the health of the people we serve, their families, and our workforce.

Let's work together to find creative ways to stay in touch with your loved ones. 

Virus & Vaccine News Update - 10/21/2021

With flu season ramping up, we're here to remind you - getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.

In order to protect those within EPI and our communities who are more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable illnesses and outbreaks, EPI recently offered a vaccination clinic to all employees to help combat influenza and COVID-19. All employees were invited to receive a flu shot and/or their COVID-19 vaccination if they had not yet received one.
 
Current Status:
Black Hawk County remains in a HIGH status.
 Flu shots are again important this year as researches are predicting a "twindemic". By getting the flu shot the hope is we can blunt the effects of the flu and avoid adding additional stress to our healthcare system as well as further compromising individuals at high risk.

Booster doses are available for individuals who received their second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago and meet at least one of the following qualifications as outlined by the CDC:

  • Over the age of 65
  • Age 18 - 64 with underlying health condition
  • Age 18 - 64 at high risk exposure because of occupation or institutional setting

More information is starting to become available for those who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.
  
EPI Response:
We remain committed to protecting the vulnerable persons we serve, our workforce, and our community. 

  • Face coverings/Masks = Following CDC guidance, face coverings/masks are required for vaccinated persons and is continued to be required for unvaccinated persons. 

Following the CDC, we will ask that you continue to:

  • Monitor your symptoms before arriving to an EPI office or home of a person served. Stay home if you are ill or showing any symptoms.
  • Seek testing when needed (tests are readily available consult with your healthcare professional or visit TestIowa.com for an at-home collection kit where you mail the sample using a prepaid UPS label to a lab.)
  • Remain strong in your efforts of taking general precautions such as avoiding crowds, washing your hands/don’t touch your face, heighten cleaning routines.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources:
Increasing the rates of persons fully vaccinated continues to be our best line of defense to protect the people we serve and yourself from this virus.

Flu Vaccine Resources: 
The flu shot vaccine not only reduces risk of illness but can prevent hospitalizations and death. Don't wait, vaccines are available in many areas.

  • Talk to your health care provider
  • Visit your local pharmacy
  • Visit one of the various urgent care facilities in the area

Thank you for your continued efforts each and every day. Together, we will come through this. 

  • Offices will resume pre-pandemic "open" to the public status.
  • Following CDC guidelines, we are asking everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear a mask upon entering.
  • In person meetings may return. The meeting host/originator will inform and discuss precautions for those invited to and attending the meeting.

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

Community Services - Day Habilitation Services

  • You'll see us continue to follow the guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health to ensure social distancing, increased hygiene practices and other public health measures while being creative in how we resume meaningful day activities. We will follow our return to service plan until further notice (please reach out if you need us to resend the full plan)
  • We will use two locations in Waterloo for our start/stop locations: River Plaza Building and our Deery Center located at 3675 University Avenue. Each location is large enough to allow increased social distancing for those who attend.
  • Social Distancing Required - Staff and persons served will maintain 6 foot distancing at all times.
  • Bring Cold Lunch - Persons served will need to bring a cold lunch to avoid kitchen use where people would be in close proximity.
  • Increased awareness of personal health:If experiencing symptoms (fever of 100.4 or greater, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) follow the CDC’s direction to stay home and contact your health care provider for further instruction; Please notify us right away if person served is being tested for COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Screening for Symptoms: Screening of participants will be conducted at the scheduled arrival times (see above). Upon arrival, participants should stay in their vehicle. A Day Habilitation team member will greet you and conduct the screening at your vehicle.If arriving after the noted arrival time, please ring the doorbell at the applicable entrance and wait for a staff member to assist you.
  • Reducing the Spread of Germs: Masks are required - Staff and persons served will be required to wear a cloth mask while inside (including vehicle) or when 6 foot social distancing cannot be achieved. If you do not have a cloth face mask, one will be provided for you;  Frequent Hand Washing - Persons served will be encouraged to frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available.
  • Following Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Steps: Surfaces, including vehicles, will be cleaned and disinfected frequently (especially frequently touched surfaces - remotes, light switches, door knobs).

Community Services - Employment Services

  • No change at this time.
  • Employment Services will continue to support persons in returning to their work in the community.

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

  • Follows office guidelines listed above.

Payee Services

  • Payee Services staff will serve clients in person.
  • 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.

Let's stay informed, together.

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