At Ferncliff Manor, our priority is the health and safety of our students, residents and our staff.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Ferncliff Manor continues to actively monitor the NYS Department of Health, Westchester County Department of Health, NYS Education Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities websites for updates, information and guidance documents regarding the coronavirus. On March 11, 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). There have also been confirmed cases of COVID-19 exposure in parts of Westchester County.
We are taking a very aggressive and proactive approach in preventing and, if necessary, defending against the virus through screening, education and awareness, and appropriate prevention and management. The following has been implemented since our last correspondence:
- Weekly administrative meetings to review and discuss any updated information or guidance from CDC, DOH, NYSED or OPWDD
- Implementation of preventive plans and policies concerning the coronavirus, modeled after the guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC, DOH, NYSED or OPWDD
- The Director of Facilities has met with our custodial staff to ensure that our buildings and school are being disinfected appropriately during this time – we have increased the work hours for the custodial staff for extra cleaning
- We have consulted with the Westchester Department of Health
- Increased cleaning and disinfection of high-contact surfaces as recommended by the CDC
- We have inventoried our cleaning supplies to make sure we have sufficient materials in stock
- We have ordered disinfecting wipes specifically for electronics and iPads
- Our Transportation vehicles are being disinfected on a regular basis
- All staff have been educated on infection control and preventative actions including adherence to hand hygiene and cough/respiratory etiquette
- A curriculum is being covered in school regarding proper hand-washing and cough etiquette with the students
- A Protocol has been shared with school and residential staff for guidance regarding COVID-19 and the signs and symptoms to report to the Nursing Department. Additionally, the Nursing Department has been provided directives how to further evaluate
- We continue to postpone non-urgent medical appointments and have suspended residential and school trips during this time
- Nursing will screen all staff for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection upon their arrival to work
As the corona virus spreads and the potential risk of exposure increases, so must our preventative measures. New preventative protections now in effect include further reducing potential exposures by: (1) discontinuing all outside and family visitation to our residential and school programs, including all home visitations until further notice. All visitation will be suspended effective 3/13/20 at 6pm. We ask that you comply with our request. We understand this will be difficult for our residents and their families. It’s not an easy decision to make, but Ferncliff must take every precaution to protect our residents and staff against the rapid advance of COVID-19.
We also understand that visiting with your loved ones is incredibly important. We are offering virtual visitation/electronic communication as a temporary replacement for in person visits. The residential department will facilitate virtual visits (via SKYPE, Face Time, etc.) so that families can see and speak with their loved ones. Parents/guardians should contact the residential department to schedule virtual visits. The Social Services department can help facilitate the virtual visits as needed. At this time, Ferncliff does not know how long the no visitation policy will be in effect, but will continue to reassess this safeguard on a weekly basis as we receive guidance and updates from the various agencies. You can speak to your social worker regarding taking child home for the duration.
We will continue to update families on all our efforts and on guidance from the CDC and Department of Health, and we will share relevant information in a timely manner. Be assured that Ferncliff is handling this matter with the utmost sense of urgency, and we are dedicated to educating students in a safe environment.
We thank you for your understanding and support.
There are many sources of information regarding the coronavirus, including local, federal, and at the global level. There is a lot of information being circulated online, in the news, and by word of mouth regarding the virus.
The following websites have reliable information from the medical community.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.