COVID-19 Strategy Update (3/18/2020)
Thank you for your dedication to the people we serve.
I am so appreciative of your creative and flexible planning for schedules, your reassuring and positive attitude, and your focus on the health and safety of everyone.
This is a time that defines an organization, and I am not surprised by your willingness to give 150% to our mission. Your hard work to maintain programs and keep everyone safe and healthy is a testament to the character of an Easterseals employee. We are resilient and will, without a doubt, manage successfully through this challenge. People continue to depend on us, and we will continue to step up. If there is anything I can do to support you don't hesitate to ask, I am here to help.
Please know that our task force and program leadership have been working to ensure that we have the tools in place we need to continue our critical work. These strategies will look different for each program; however, the overall goal is the same, to deliver the life-changing programs we always have.
Over the next few days, you will hear program-specific strategies related to your area of the organization. In the meantime here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus), instructed to quarantine, test positive, or have been in contact with someone who has, please report this immediately to your supervisor and Laurel Taylor. You should not report to work until you have discussed your situation with someone in Human Resources.
- In response to the call for social distancing, we are limiting visitors to our sites, including offices, homes, and community-based partners to primary duties only. For specific information about your work location, contact your supervisor.
- Continue to clean and disinfect hands and environments regularly (see FAQs).
- Virtual meetings are an essential tool and available to you via Skype. If you must meet in person, limit group sizes to no more than 10 people while practicing social distancing. If you need assistance using Skype, ask your supervisor or contact the help desk.
- While supporting the individuals we serve, limit activities in the community to those that are essential. Consult the plan for the individuals you support for specifics. This is critical, especially for those at high risk (older population and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, etc.).
- We are going to have to make programming decisions in the best interest of those we serve. Any changes, cancelations, or temporary closure of programs or reopening will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Tec Chapman and Jeanne Marshall will make these decisions in consultation with the appropriate Director and Vice President. If you have questions about possible changes, please contact that program's director. Decisions will be made based on CDC guidelines and the availability of staff.
- Most administrative staff will work remotely. These decisions will be made by each department head and modified as needed. All administrative departments will be operating at normal capacity and will be available to you as usual. You may contact staff in Human Resources, Accounting, External Relations, Project Management, IT, Government Relations, Quality, and Training via Skype, phone, and email as usual. If you have any questions, please contact the Director or Vice President in that department.
- I am in contact with our funders. They are offering us support with flexibility in some requirements and additional funding. While I don't know the specifics yet, they have all said they are committed to ensuring our financial stability. Your supervisor will inform you of any changes.
- Easterseals National is closely monitoring actions taken by the federal government, such as financial assistance for individuals and businesses, Medicaid changes in requirements, and employer requirements for paid leave. I am receiving daily updates. As legislation is approved, they will share information about how it will impact you and Easterseals as a whole. If you have any questions about this, let me know.
We have been compiling your questions over the past few days and will be making them available on our website later today. For Staff FAQs visit: http://bit.ly/StaffFAQs
As always, our commitment is to support you and our programs with as little disruption as possible. We will continue to monitor the situation and will update you frequently. I don't have all the answers, but I am confident that if we work together, we will get through this and be stronger for it. Please remember to take care of yourself, and if there is anything I can do to help you, please don't hesitate to contact me. In the meantime, if you have any questions, simply reply to this message.
Chief Executive Officer