STAR Institute Response to Covid-19
This news post is a synthesis of three previous emailings and blog posts about the continuously evolving Covid-19 situation.
At STAR Institute the safety and health of our community is our top priority. This post is to let you know what we are doing to keep everyone safe during this season of concern regarding Covid-19.
In early February STAR began increasing our hygiene and sanitization practices and these continued to be reviewed on a daily basis. Last week we increased frequency and depth of cleaning in our gym spaces further and on March 11th we expanded these procedures again.
All clients and their families are asked to wash hands upon arrival at STAR. We also ask that clients with a fever, runny nose or cough do not attend their sessions and cancel with as much notice as possible.
At present we have cycling teams cleaning and disinfecting the gym and treatment spaces throughout the day. We have removed all soft furnishings that we are unable to sufficiently launder (including puppets and many soft toys) and are no longer using play-dough and other tactile modalities communally. We will be providing home-made 'single use' play dough packets that children will take with them after the session. All swings and equipment are being disinfected after every use and only placed back into circulation once cleaning is complete. Supplies for respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette are available: tissues, 70% alcohol-based microbial hand sanitizer, no touch receptacles for disposal, and face masks for coughs.
All staff, students, mentees and clients:
- Wash your hands and your child’s hands as soon as you arrive at STAR and prior to your treatment session.
- If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with your elbow – we recommend the DAB approach!
- Fist bumps instead of high fives
- If soap and water are not available use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
- After you touch your face or your nose, especially if you blow your nose, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Face masks are recommended if you are sneezing or coughing due to hay fever,* as they are good for preventing your droplets from impacting those around you (they are much less effective for protecting you from other people’s droplets).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Strictly follow the well child, well adult policy (see below)*
*If you are sneezing or coughing for reasons other than hay fever and you might be sick please stay home.
The only large group meetings we host are part of our education programs and these are all being moved to online. Our small groups for children are being limited to no more than 6 children.
There are no additional recommendations at the clinic level from public health authorities at this time.
How to wash your hands
Washing your hands is easy and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community - from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.
Follow these five steps every time:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
*STAR Well Child Policy:
If your child is sick with a temperature of 100° or more, a cough, or has vomited in the past 24 hours, call and cancel your child’s appointment. Your child will not benefit from therapy if he or she is ill. Our gym must be germ-free to maintain the health of our clients and staff. If your child is not well enough to go to school, he/she is not well enough to attend therapy. If you arrive for a session during which the OT determines your child is too sick to participate in treatment (coughing, feverish), your session will be canceled and you will be charged at 50% of your therapy rate.
We have a working group focused on monitoring the situation in real-time and relaying information from Tri-County, the CDC, Colorado Dept of Health and World Health Organization to the executive team and organization staff.
As Arapahoe County residents Tri-County is our official source for up-to-date COVID-19 information (https://www.tchd.org). You can access this site for the latest factual information for our area.
STAR Institute will proactively monitor the situation and continue to send information, resources and updates and keep you posted as the situation changes.
Urgent appeal - Help us maintain services and accessibility!
The ongoing restrictions around travel and group gatherings are having a significant impact on STAR Institute. Many of our families are not able to come for treatment services at this time, and several of STAR Institute's educational programs have had to be canceled. This is a time of crisis for STAR and our ability to keep our work going given the sharp curtailing of income for the Institute.
Please know that STAR Institute is doing everything it can to proactively address the situations. For example, we are attempting to put as many educational programs on line as possible through the Education Department, and our clinicians are using video conferencing as much as possible. You can also read about the precautions we are taking onsite to keep everyone safe here. Even with these measures, STAR Institute finds itself in a precarious position.
Please consider donating $20, or whatever you feel comfortable with, to STAR Institute today to help us keep true to our mission of support and accessibility to families and professionals worldwide during this Covid-19 crisis.
As Arapahpoe County residents Tri-County is our official source for up-to-date COVID-19 information (https://www.tchd.org). You can access this site for the latest factual information for our area.
Center for Disease Control Website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Website: www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
Colorado Department of Education Resources: www.cde.state.co.us/communications/saferschools