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Dear Families, 

April 1, 2020 

Since we last spoke, North Carolina implemented a Stay At Home Order that went into effect on 3/30/2020 at 5pm. This declaration did not catch us by surprise. CooperRiis has been following a Stay At Homeplan since 3/12/2020. All three programs remain buttoned up pretty well. We have adjusted our staffing model such that we are “platooning” groups of staff, who spend a week at a time in our level A programs (the Farm or 85Z) and are limiting the to/from to our ACP Houses as much as possible. I know that Stephanie Stewart, Asheville Community Program Director sent the ACP parents a very detailed note the other week explaining the measures being taken at our ACP houses. The focus of our collective efforts has been as follows: 

  • Maintaining a predictable, treatment-oriented routine. We continue to provide individual, group, and psychiatric services. Some therapy is happening through tele- health technology. We have had a few technology related issues, but the IT team is all over it. We have offered to increase the availability of individual sessions during this time. The goals have been to keep things as typical as possible. The power of the community to support one another through this time has been quite evident to me. 
  • The Corona Care Teams have been formed and trained. It’s a training we don’t want to have to use, but we know that it is likely that the coronavirus, despite our best efforts, will likely make its way into one of our facilities at some point. We have specially trained teams prepared to take care of anyone who becomes sick, quarantine those effected, and protect the rest of the community. This will be a big moment if/when it happens, but I feel as though we have what we need (supplies and knowledge) to manage a situation should it arise. 
  • The local health departments declared on 3/31/2020 that all employees in facilities like CooperRiis must take their temperature twice per shift. Our staff began this today. Nursing reviews temperatures and will send anyone home with a fever. Our preventive education efforts have been good in this area. Staff know not to come to work if they are sick. Further, we have implemented a protocol for staff to call one of our Nurse Managers before coming to work if they are not sure. 
  • Regular and predicable staffing. The CooperRiis staff is amazing. Committed, dedicated and present. They continue to constantly demonstrate that “programs are people”. 

I apologize for the “wall of words”. I want to give you all as much information as I can during each of these bi-weekly updates without repeating myself too much. I appreciate the anxiety of being apart from your loved ones especially during a time like this, but please hear me that CooperRiis is committed to providing excellent care and community and we do not take the impact of this moment for granted at all. I am separated from my family as well. I feel it. I get it. I have received many kind notes and words of comfort and appreciation from many of you in the past weeks. Please keep those reassuring loving thoughts coming to your family member who is here. I know that it means a lot. It has meant a lot to me. 

Eric A. Levine, Ed.D President & CEO CooperRiis 

A Message from Dr. Eric Levine, CooperRiis President & CEO
March 23, 2020

CooperRiis continues to be open for business and providing treatment and recovery services to our community. However, out of an abundance of caution CooperRiis has made the decision to pause the admission of new residents to our program. The information emerging about the spread of COVID-19 dictates the importance of focusing our efforts on taking care of our current community. The CooperRiis Admissions Team will continue to work with referral sources and interested families regarding treatment for their clients and loved ones, with future admission dates in mind. We will revisit this decision on April 20th, 2020. In the meantime, please call us if you have any questions about our programs or services. We acknowledge that daily changes to program and/or facility access can be confusing, but given the ever changing information being published about the COVID-19, we will continue to make adjustments as necessary to protect our communities.

A Message from Dr. Eric Levine, CooperRiis President & CEO
March 16, 2020

Dear Community,

CooperRiis continues to closely monitor daily updates from the CDC, WHO, state and local health departments related to the Coronavirus. Our primary focus here is to educate, communicate and keep our community safe. CooperRiis is open for business and believe our communities are safe places. We have put some restrictions designed to manage community spread and exposure. While we fully expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) to make its way to Western North Carolina, so far there have been no confirmed cases. Our plan is to limit exposure as best we can, take prudent action if/when there has been an exposure, and take care of one another along the way. Please consider the following:

  • Remember the symptoms of the virus include: fever 100.3 or greater, stuffy nose, and respiratory issues.
  • Staff who you had a fever of 100.3 or greater are not to return to work until the fever has been gone without the aid of medicine for 24 hours.
  • In the event that a resident develops symptoms of coronavirus, we will implement a quarantine protocol, isolate them from the community and will be in touch with local health department officials.
  • Outings for residents may still happen with the exception of crowded places of 50 or more people. Staff are encouraged whenever possible to accompany residents on hikes and other outdoor excursions
  • Outings will avoid theaters, flea markets, shopping malls, or other crowded places until further notice.
  • Postponement of all non-essential medical appointments.
  • Practice “social distancing”
  • Visitors will be screened and anyone who meets the criteria for medium or high risk for exposure will not be allowed in any CooperRiis property (See exposure risk categories )
  • Resident Leave of Absences to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • All professional travel (overnight business, conference attendance) is cancelled until further notice.
  • Staff are being encouraged limit personal travel. The management of secondary exposure and spread of the virus is very important.
  • Staff are asked to clean and disinfect work area (computer, phone, desk) twice per day. Common areas are being disinfected three times per day by housekeeping, maintenance, and overnight staff.
  • Clorox wipes have been used for disinfectant purposes. Housekeeping and maintenance staff will make wipes available to staff as needed.
  • Keep washing your hands and practicing good hygiene.

The CooperRiis Leadership team is in the process of developing a contingency coverage plan in the event of an area wide exposure that necessitates programming accommodations. The Executive Team of the Board is meeting weekly and more frequently as needed to review plans and updates to the situation.

Dr. Eric A. Levine
Dr. Eric A. Levine

Previous Coronavirus updates from our blog:

Safety and the Coronavirus

At CooperRiis we take the health and safety of all residents, employees, and visitors very seriously. We are in constant contact with the local health departments and are checking in with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) websites daily to make sure that we are up-to-date with information related…

Continue Reading Safety and the Coronavirus