Residential Practice in COVID
Reopening and Envisioning the Future
Reopening will gradually occur based on guidance from city and state governing bodies that results from careful consideration and tracking of data in different regions of the state. For example, in New York during the COVID-19 pandemic, the data for reopening included several different metrics reviewed on a daily basis, such as: the decline in total hospitalizations, decline in deaths, number of new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, intensive care unit capacity, diagnostic testing capacity, and contact tracing capacity, which includes the number of individuals tested, the percentage of positive results, and the infection spread rate.
For an essential services agency such as a residential program for children in foster care, reopening includes the loosening of some restrictions that were put in place during the peak of the pandemic. This includes closing a quarantine or isolation cottage of previously sick children, increasing recreational and group events outside, slowly opening up indoor recreational rooms with a limit to how many people can be in them at once. Reopening will also include an increase in cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
It is important to remember that following a pandemic, life will never be the same and with this comes various forms of trauma and secondary trauma. Children, families and staff will continue to display heightened worry and anxiety around the pandemic and the drastic changes made to daily life, even as the numbers of those infected falls and the gradual reopening begins. Due to the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on people of color, whom are represented in both clients and staff, conversations around race equity as they relate to socioeconomic status and public health, should continue over time and be integrated into the structure of the agency itself moving forward.
Any outlines to add from recent SLT PowerPoints?