STAR Institute Response to Covid-19
5/15/2020 - UPDATE
STAR Institute is dedicated to the health, well-being and safety of its staff, clients, and client families. In keeping with the most current Public Health Orders from state and local health authorities, STAR Institute, as a healthcare provider, is able to maintain in-person and telehealth services for its clientele.
These mandatory guidelines are designed to protect YOU, our staff and the medically vulnerable clients that are seen for essential services at STAR Institute.
Telehealth services are available to any and all of STAR Institute’s clients and families and are the preferable means of delivery therapy at this time. Services include (but are not limited to) one-to-one treatment sessions, parent education meetings, group sessions, and consultations. Families are encouraged to contact a STAR Institute Lead Therapist to develop a telehealth program to meet the client’s and family’s needs.
email@example.com for Speech and Language Therapy
firstname.lastname@example.org for Mental Health & Feeding services
In-person services are reserved for specific situations and determination of qualifying for these services must be agreed upon in collaboration with STAR Institute and the client/client family. Situations that would support in-person services include (but may not be limited to) medical necessity, overall health and well-being of the family unit (including emotional well-being and occupational well-being), and/or disruption of the intensive and potent sensory/sensory-motor modalities used during in-person sessions is deemed to significantly undermine the client’s overall health and well-being causing undue distress, behaviors, or dysfunction.
For situations where in-person services are deemed necessary, STAR staff, STAR providers, STAR clients and STAR client families participating in in-person services agree to strictly follow social distancing guidelines in totality at all times while not at STAR - please review the following and you will be asked to sign in acknowledgement.
Unfortunately at this time if any member of the household is working in frontline services with direct contact with those with covid19 we are unable to provide in-clinic services and can only offer care via telehealth. You MUST disclose if a member of your household might be considered to be ‘frontline’.
The following are reasons a session may be cancelled.
If the STAR provider, client or family member is exhibiting any signs of illness (temperature, congestion, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, vomiting, sore throat, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, new loss of taste or smell) prior to the session, the session must be canceled** ✝
If the STAR provider, client or family member has come into contact with anyone who reports a confirmed case of Covid19 in the last 14 days the session must be canceled*
If the STAR provider, client or family member has travelled to a high incidence area in the last 14 days / on an airplane the session must be cancelled*
Upon arrival at STAR, check the temperature of everyone who will be entering the building. If any individual has an elevated temperature above typical for the individual, the session must be canceled.
STAR staff, providers, clients and client family members will adhere to and maintain social distancing (recommended 6 feet) before and after service delivery, as well as during sessions (as appropriate and reasonable for effective service delivery).
STAR staff, providers, clients and client family members wash hands, for at least 20 seconds, immediately before and after service delivery, and as often as necessary during service delivery.
Onsite at all times STAR providers and parents will wear facial masks (and gloves if necessary). Children will wear masks if tolerable.
STAR staff and providers will clean all client areas, treatment areas, and equipment following each treatment as outlined by STAR Institute administration. Equipment that is waiting to be cleaned will be placed to the side and considered out of service.
* Treatment can resume after 14 days quarantine has been observed
** See note on resuming services following suspected Covid19 below
✝ Even if you suspect allergies or other benign causes
Please avoid flights and drive to STAR Institute wherever possible. If you or anyone in your house does fly (internationally or domestically) then please inform your team.
After an international flight or flight from a ‘hot spot’ within the USA you must quarantine for 14 days and can only return to STAR if you remain asymptomatic after this time.
You are responsible for maintaining these standards throughout your treatment program at STAR Institute and must inform your team if you are unable to do so for any reason.
If any member of the household is suspected to have Covid19 onsite treatment can only resume after:
Resolution of fever with the use of fever-reducing medications and
Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) and
At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared OR
Negative results of an FDA approved Covid19 test are received and shared with treating therapist
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