August 10, 2021

COVID-19 Guidance 

Corona Virus Our goal throughout Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates is to provide our patients/clients/students and staff with the safest and healthiest possible environment. All of us at Seven Hills are monitoring the coronavirus situation hourly along with constantly updated guidelines outlined by the CDC. We will continue to update our own procedures as we receive regular notifications from the CDC as well as the Departments of Health in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Update: 

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services issued updated testing and mask guidance for Congregate Care and Day Programs. Please see the guidance below and let’s work together to keep each other and those in our care safe.

See Message From DDS Commissioner Ryder to Families and Visitation Guidance > 

Congregate Care Surveillance Testing Guidance

  • Effective August 12, surveillance testing regimen of weekly testing for 100% of staff, regardless of county positivity rates or vaccination status.
  • Previously positive staff must begin to be re-tested after 3 months from the original infection (instead of 6 months).

Congregate Care Guidance

  • Visitors will be required to wear masks indoors at all times, regardless of vaccination status in all counties in MA.
  • Removing exceptions to staff masking requirements. Staff will need to wear masks even in non-clinical spaces.
  • DDS will issue updated visitation guidance in the coming days, consistent with the changes above.

Day Program Guidance

  • Removing exceptions to staff masking requirements. Staff will need to wear masks even in non-clinical spaces.

These guidance documents have been posted online here.

We strongly encourage all staff who have not been full vaccinated, to do so now. Click here for free access to the vaccine in Massachusetts and click here for access in Rhode Island.

As more information is released, we will keep you updated. Please connect with your supervisor with any questions.

Massachusetts: Under the new CDC guidance, staff in Barnstable, Suffolk, Bristol, Nantucket and Dukes counties that currently have high transmission rates, with at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, must wear masks indoors, even if vaccinated. 

Rhode Island: As of right now, none of Rhode Island's five counties have enough COVID transmission for mask use to be federally recommended.

Learn more >

COVID-19 Vaccine Information & Resources

About Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19​​

June 30, 2021

Information about the characteristics of these variants is rapidly emerging. Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them.

About Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 >

Watch: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker commented on receiving his vaccine:

Watch: How does an mRNA vaccine work?

A clinician explains how these new vaccines safely and effectively protect you against COVID-19

Find a Community Vaccination Site

Find a location to get vaccinated if eligible:

Visit maimmunizations.org/clinic/search to find a clinic or search via the map below:

Vaccine locations for eligible and active priority groups and phases. 

  • Click the icon in the top left with the arrow to view a list of locations
  • Click on a map pin for hours, contact information, and sign up details
  • All sites require appointments.

When scheduling an appointment for your second dose, please be sure you are scheduling through the same vaccination site as your first dose and follow their process for signing up for dose two.

Download COVID-19 Vaccine Facts—Infographic

Vaccination Rollout Plans for Massachusetts

January 15, 2021

Starting the week of January 18, Seven Hills Community Services and Seven Hills NeuroCare staff and supported individuals will be scheduled to start receiving their first vaccine. As specific locations and times become available, you will be notified by you supervisor. Apothecare Pharmacy and Long Term Pharmacy Solutions will be providing next week’s vaccines at various Seven Hills locations. As other staff group categories open up in the coming weeks, we will notify you as soon as we hear from the state.

For more information on the state vaccine rollout plan, as well as community Covid-19 Vaccine locations for eligible and active priority groups and phases visit mass.gov.

Vaccination Rollout Plans for Rhode Island

January 15, 2021

Taking the vaccine is one of several things you can do to protect yourself and your household. Stopping this pandemic is going to require all our tools: handwashing, masks, social distancing, and vaccines.

To stay informed and up to date regarding the COVID distribution in Rhode Island, visit covid.ri.gov/vaccination.

Learn More about Rhode Island's Phase 1 Vaccine Rollout >

RI Vaccination FAQ >

Watch: NOVA Covid-19 Informational Video

Vaccination Information Sheet

Current COVID-19 Guidance Updates

WATCH: December 23, 2020 Update to Staff about COVID-19

December 23, 2020

Rhode Island COVID-19 Guidelines on Quarantining

December 23, 2020

Quarantine Requirements for Rhode Island >

RI COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance by Population >

To find out about all other recent COVID guidance for Rhode Island Residents please visit covid.ri.gov/covid-19-prevention

Governor Baker Moves all Mass. Communities Back to Phase 3, Step 1

December 9, 2020

Governor Charlie Baker has announced that the entire state will return to the first step of the third phase of the administration's reopening plan, with certain recreation businesses forced to close and restaurants facing a stricter limit on how many people can be seated at one table. 

The changes go into effect on Sunday, December 13.

Read the Phase III, Step I changes on Mass.gov >

Information and Guidance for Persons in Quarantine due to COVID-19

December 7, 2020

You are required to quarantine (separate yourself) from other people because you have been exposed to the 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) the virus that causes COVID-19. If you have COVID-19, you could spread it to people around you and make them sick.  

The virus is spread through respiratory secretions (mucous and droplets from coughing, sneezing and breathing) from an infected person. Many people can have the virus without ever showing any symptoms, however, it can cause serious illness such as pneumonia (lung infection), and in some rare cases, death. If you are infected, it is possible to spread the virus to others even if you don’t have any symptoms. 

This information sheet provides you with information about what to do and not to do while you are in quarantine. If you have questions after reading this, you can call your local Board of Health, or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which is available 24/7 at 617-983-6800.   

Find out how long you must quarantine by clicking here > 

OR by visiting Mass.gov

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) Partner Briefing

December 6, 2020

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), our partners across the State, and national public health officials continue to respond to COVID-19. As the situation evolves, we want to make sure that our communities and our healthcare system are prepared. Being informed is an important part of being prepared. For that reason, we intend to send regular Partner Briefings, such as this, to our community partners with updates and key information. Please share this briefing with your colleagues and networks.

View all Updates for the week of December 4th >

Or visit health.ri.gov/covid/

Seven Hills Rhode Island Letter to Our Families Regarding Suspended Holiday Visitation & BHDDH Guidance

November 23, 2020

We’re writing with an important update regarding COVID-19 and recommended precautions in our adult services residences. You have likely seen Governor Raimondo’s public request that Rhode Island residents only observe the Thanksgiving holiday with those who live in their household. In addition, the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, & Hospitals (BHDDH) has issued specific guidance recommending that we temporarily suspend visitation in congregate residential settings, including the 13 adult group homes operated by Seven Hills Rhode Island. Effective today, all visitation to and from SHRI residences is temporarily suspended.

Read Entire Memo > 

Download Guidance from BHDDH >

Seven Hills ASPiRE! Program Update for Winter Months

November 18, 2020

We’re writing with some updates on programming during the winter months, as well as some optimism that we are moving toward a world not overwhelmed by COVID-19. Please note that as of now we plan to offer a full schedule of classes via Zoom on any days where in-person attendance is affected by snow.

Read Entire Update > 

Watch COVID-19 Response Team Video Update from November 6th


Video Update from the COVID-19 Response Team:

Governor Baker Issues Stay At Home Advisory in Massachusetts Starting November 6th

November 2, 2020

Beginning on Friday, November 6, 2020, all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

COVID-19 case numbers in our state are rising and the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations and COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) census have more than doubled over the past 2 months.  Social gatherings are contributing to these increases.  Left unchecked, the current COVID-19 case growth poses a risk to our healthcare system.   Intervention is warranted to moderate case growth and preserve hospital capacity.  It’s more important than ever to follow guidance from local, state, and federal officials on how to stop the spread of the virus.

Read whole notice at Mass.gov 

An Update from Governor Raimondo on Rhode Island COVI-19 Guidance

November 2, 2020

We issued five new pieces of guidance in response to our rising COVID-19 case numbers:

1. We’re reducing the social gathering limit from 15 to 10, effective immediately.

2. We’re no longer allowing spectators at sporting events for the next two weeks.

3. Effective Monday, we’re closing all ice rinks and indoor sports facilities for one week.

4. We're asking faith leaders to bring back virtual services and proactively encourage congregants to use that option for the next few weeks.

5. We’re working with our nursing homes and hospitals to scale back on visitation.

These are important, necessary steps to turn our case numbers around. If we rally together to stop the spread now, two weeks from now we’ll be in a much better place.

Current State Guidelines and Resources for both MA & RI

October 8, 2020

Massachusetts COVID Guidance and resources:

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information

Rhode Island COVID Guidance and Resources:

https://health.ri.gov/covid/

Video Tutorial to complete the :30 second COVID Mid-Turbinate nasal swab test

How to Safely Wear and Take Off a Cloth Face Covering

July 28, 2020

All of us at Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates must follow the established guidelines, following CDC protocols to keep each other and the individuals we support safe and healthy. The proper use of masks are a vital part of slowing the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.

Dowload Flyer >

How to Protect others by wearing a mask:

  • Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms
  • Wear a face covering in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart
  • Wear a face covering correctly for maximum protection
  • Don’t put the face covering around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect​

COVID-19 Travel Guidance and Quarantine Requirements for Staff, July 24, 2020


 

 

 

Massachusetts Employees:

Effective August 1, Governor Charlie Baker has issued a Travel Order for all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts. The Commonwealth has made great progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and gradually re-open the economy, and all visitors have a responsibility to help us keep transmission levels as low as possible. This new order aligns with our Seven Hills Guidance issued on July 21.


Effective July 21, Seven Hills employees traveling from New England states will not be required to self-quarantine when returning back to work. This applies to people coming to Massachusetts and Rhode Island from

New York
New Jersey
Connecticut
Maine
Vermont
New Hampshire


If employees travel to any other states, they will be required to self-quarantine prior to returning to work for a minimum of 72 hours and test negative for COVID-19. Returning staff that do not get a COVID-19 test must self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to MA. Staff will be required to use their accrued personal or vacation time during the self-quarantine.


MA Travel Guidence

 

Rhode Island Employees

Effective immediately, If you are coming to Rhode Island from one of the states listed here with a positivity rate of COVID-19 greater than 5%, you will either have to self-quarantine for 14 days while in Rhode Island, or produce proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. If you receive a test after arriving in Rhode Island and get a negative test result, you can stop quarantining. Returning staff that do not get a COVID test must self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to RI. Staff will be required to use their accrued personal or vacation time during the self-quarantine.

RI Travel Guidence

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 rising and falling cases across the country and current hot spots, please click here.

An Update from Seven Hills Family Services on COVID-19

July 6th 2020, An Update from Seven Hills Family Services on COVID-19

As we continue to face local and national challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), our primary focus remains on the well-being of our individuals, caregivers, and employees. Seven Hills Family Services (SHFS) appreciates your continued patience and flexibility.  We truly understand that the COVID 19 Pandemic, and all the challenges that comes along with it, has been difficult. Your efforts are truly appreciated. 

Downlowd Update Message>

Seven Hills ASPiRE! Program Closures in Massachusetts

July 13, 2020

We’re writing with an important update regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the plans to reopen Massachusetts. While phase three of Governor Baker’s plan to reopen Massachusetts began on July 6th, we are encouraged by our funders, DDS and MassHealth, to continue outreach in July and prepare to reopen in August. As such all Seven Hills ASPiRE! service locations will remain closed through July 31st, and will partially reopen on Monday, August 3rd. Please note that not all persons served will be able to return at once, due to capacity and other health and safety restrictions.

 

Download >

Recovering from COVID-19 and What it Means

Guidance Frequently Asked Questions for Staff

HR Frequently Asked Questions

April 17, 2020

COVID-19 Response Team Update:

Frequently Asked Guidance Questions

Download >

Massachusetts

Travel Guidance Update - June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

In Massachusetts, if you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, visit vaxfinder.mass.gov.

COVID-19 Travel | Mass.gov >

Update Reopening Plan for Massachusetts - April 27

April 27, 2021

Governor Chalie Baker today released an update to the reopening plan for Massachusetts.

Read more here >
 

Massachusetts Day Program Reopening Guidance - Phase 3

Day Program Reopen Guidance - thumbnailJuly 2, 2020

In developing the requirements contained within this document, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has sought to keep the health and safety of the Commonwealth’s residents and program staff at the forefront. EOHHS has sought to build upon existing guidance from leading health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Download Document at Mass.gov >

Business and Personal Travel Guidance for Massachusetts Staff

June 3, 2020 

Business Travel: 

  • All business travel remains suspended until further notice. Employees should consult with their Vice Presidents for further information. 

Personal Travel: 

While Seven Hills is discouraging domestic and international travel, we recognize that we cannot restrict employee travel. If employees do travel outside of Massachusetts or Rhode Island they may be required to self-quarantine per state guidelines upon their return. Employees will be required to use accrued time (vacation or personal) during the self-quarantine period.

Massachusetts: The 14-day quarantine remains in effect in this state. This will be updated as we progress through the phases outlined by Governor Baker.

Personal Days Rollover for Massachusetts Employees

June 3, 2020

Personal Days: 
 
Massachusetts Employees: Due to the COVID pandemic and the need for changes to our staffing patterns in many of our programs, many employees have not been able to use their personal days. As you are aware, unused personal days expire on June 30th of every year. This year, in recognition of your dedication to the individual’s and families supported by Seven Hills, we will allow staff to carry over unused personal days to the next fiscal year. Any unused personal time as of June 30, 2020 will be added to the 3 personal days employees will receive on July 1st.*
 
*Does not apply to SHRI or YOU, Inc employees. 
 

MA DDS Coronavirus Update to Individuals and Families

May 22, 2020

Download Here >

Returning to Work MA Employer Poster

May 20, 2020

Poster for Massachusetts Employer's Guidance to staff returning to work.

Download Here >

Poster for MA Employees Returning to Work

May 20, 2020

Poster for Massachusetts Staff outlining guidelines to return to work.

Download Here >

Massachusetts State Reopening Plan

May 18, 2020 

On Monday, May 18, Governor Charlie Baker released the four-phase reopening plan for Massachusetts. The plan provides guidance on the phased reopening of the economy and the gradual easing of social restrictions, while minimizing the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click Here for Massachusetts Daily Updates >

Find Out More About Massachusetts' Reopening Plans:

  

Seven Hills ASPiRE! Program Closures in Massachusetts

April 27, 2020

We’re writing with an important update regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Governor Baker has asked that all Massachusetts schools work remotely for the remainder of the school year, and that non-emergency childcare remain closed through the end of June. We anticipate similar guidance from the Department of Public Health for adult programs and services like those at ASPiRE!. As such all Seven Hills ASPiRE! programs and service locations will remain closed throughout the month of May, and likely into the month of June. We are closely monitoring the Governor’s updates and will send another letter once we know more. 

 

Download >

Rhode Island 

Travel Guidance Update - June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

Review the CDC’s guidance on US travel if you are thinking about traveling away from your local community. Details about reopening guidelines and restrictions are available on Reopeningri.com.

Travelers must continue to wear a mask in transportation hubs like airports and stations and on public transportation like planes, buses, and trains. Learn more about Rhode Island's masking guidance.

Rhode Island Travel Information >

Rhode Island Resumes Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

April 27, 2021

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is announcing that Rhode Island will resume the administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week.

See Press Release Here >

RI New Phased Restriction Reductions - May 7 & May 28

April 27, 2021

Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee and announced two upcoming dates of new phased restriction reductions, May 7th and 28th.

See May Guidance Here >
 

Business and Personal Travel Guidance for Rhode Island Staff

June 3, 2020

Business Travel: 

  • All business travel remains suspended until further notice. Employees should consult with their Vice Presidents for further information. 

Personal Travel: 

While Seven Hills is discouraging domestic and international travel, we recognize that we cannot restrict employee travel. If employees do travel outside of Massachusetts or Rhode Island they may be required to self-quarantine per state guidelines upon their return. Employees will be required to use accrued time (vacation or personal) during the self-quarantine period.

Domestic restrictions are largely lifted in RI. The 14-day quarantine is only in place for people returning to Rhode Island from an area still under stay-at-home order or another similar type of restriction.  A list of states and locales by stay-at-home order can be found here.

Returning to Work RI Employer Poster

May 20, 2020

 

Poster for Rhode Island Employer's Guidance to staff returning to work.

 

Download Here >

Poster for RI Employees Returning to Work

May 20, 2020

 

Poster for Rhode Island Staff outlining guidelines to return to work.

 

Download Here >

Rhode Island State Reopening Plans

Governor Raimondo unveiled a framework for safely reopening the Rhode Island economy on May 13, 2020.

Click Here for Rhode Island Daily Updates >

Find Out More About Rhode Island's Reopening Plans:

Seven Hills' COVID-19 Successes

Staff in our "Stay Healthy in Place" Program tell their Stories

May 4, 2020 

Seven Hills Community Services and Seven Hills NeuroCare rolled out an initiative, “Stay Healthy In Place” (SHIP) that was designed to keep our staff and the individuals in our care safe and healthy by minimizing contact with different people.  This was a proactive approach that saw our staff volunteer to work 24/7 shifts for 14 days in a single residence.  SHIP was instituted in over 70 homes in Massachusetts and was extremely successful in reducing our exposure to COVID with just a 3% infection rate. Our Direct Support Professionals, all essential workers, are responsible for this incredible success. Here they share their stories:

Dr. David Jordan's COVID-19 Staff Briefings 

May 20, 2020

April 22, 2020

April 15, 2020

April 8, 2020

April 3, 2020

March 24, 2020

Resources for Staff During COVID-19

Coronavirus Visual Tool for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals

COVID CardMCDHH has created a Coronavirus Visual Tool to assist Medical Professionals and deaf and hard of hearing individuals communicate better during medical appointments. Click the link below to visit and download both the pdf and instructions on mass.gov's website.

Mass.gov COVID Card

Guidance regarding the Economic Stimulus Payments

April 15, 2020 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has helpful information regarding the Economic Impact Payments:
 
For Tax Filers see: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
 
For non-tax filers see: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) & Your Retirement

April 10, 2020

Seven Hills Foundation and Affiliate Employees:
 
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which was enacted on March 27, 2020 contains relief provisions directly applicable to retirement plan administration, including Coronavirus-Related Distributions, and increased loan limits. In order to help our employees relieve some of the financial stressors caused by COVID-19, Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates and Transamerica are partnering to implement these provisions for your 403(b) retirement plan.
 

Effective immediately and through December 30, 2020, our plan will allow for COVID-19 related plan distributions if:

  • You are diagnosed and test positive for the COVID-19 virus;
  • Your spouse or dependent have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus;
  • You experience “adverse financial consequences” as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, program, school or daycare closures.   

 
Also, effective immediately and through September 22, 2020, eligible plan participants may take out a loan of up to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of the participant’s vested account balance.
 
Lastly, if you currently have a loan through your Transamerica retirement account and would like to suspend repayment for up to one (1) year, please contact Transamerica.
 
For more information or take advantage of these changes please visit sevenhillstsa.trsretire.com or call Transamerica Retirement Solutions Customer Service: 800.755.5801

Download >

Online Symptom Checker and Screening Tool: Bouy

April 8, 2020

Buoy is the online symptom checker and screening tool: bouy.com/mass

Download Bouy FAQ Here >

COVID-19 SNAP Benefits & Cash Assistance Programs for MA & RI

Emergency Child Care Provider List

March 23, 2020 

Two of our child care programs have been approved by the Department of Early Education and Care to open as Emergency Child Care Programs and have slots open to any essential personal that is looking for emergency child care. If you or someone you know that meets the essential personel qualifications and has exhausted all options, please refer them to us.

Emergency Child Care Programs are for when all other non-group-care settings have been exhausted and families have no other options. Visit the EEC Website with full listing of available Emergency Child are programs. 

Our two available programs are open with a first-come-first-serve admission after approved screening. Both sites are adhering to the DPH recommended cleaning protocols and will be conducting daily health screenings for both staff and children in the programs.


The Early Learning Center
505 Pleasant St #3210
Worcester, MA 01609

  • Opens this Thursday, March 26 and will remain in effect until April 6, 2020 and may be extended as needed.
  • Ages: Infant to 7 years.
  • Monday - Friday, 7:30am to 5:30pm 
  • First Come First Serve Basis - Parent/guardian's please call Karen Ludington, Vice President of Children's Friend at 978.660.4915


Child Enrichment Center
Children's Aid & Family Services 
1480 John Fitch Highway
Fitchburg, MA 01420

  • Opens tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25 and will remain in effect until April 6, 2020 and may be extended as needed.
  • Ages: 2-9 years old
  • Monday - Friday, 6:30am - 5:30pm
  • Contact: Linda Hache, Program Director at 978.602.8665

Download List of Other Emergency Child Care Providers for Essential Employees >

Colonial Subscriber's Short-Term Disability Information

March 20, 2020

For employees that have purchased short-term disability through Colonial, please see the linked guide below for Colonial subscribers. The COVID-19 is considered an illness under the disability policy, if you actually contract the virus and are out of work.  If an employee is just in quarantine but has not tested positive for the virus, they are not covered.

Please contact Colonial directly with your questions at 1.800.325.4368.

Colonial Subscriber's Guide >

Past Guidance Updates 

March 2020

March 31, 2020 - COVID-19 Massachusetts Guidance Update

March 31, 2020 – The Baker-Polito Administration announced several updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak including extending the non-essential business emergency order and guidance for Executive Branch employees until May 4. The Department of Public Health’s Stay-At-Home Advisory remains in effect. The Administration also updated the “COVID-19 Essential Services” categories for businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that are permitted to operate brick and mortar facilities during the emergency.

 

https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-extends-non-essential-business-closures-and-executive-branch

March 30, 2020 - Rhode Island Guidance Update

Rhode Island Updates:

As always, important to note that travel is unrestricted for those living in MA and working in RI as essential employees or vice versa.

As of March 27, Rhode Island has 203 cases (including presumptive positive cases. This is preliminary data). Thirty-eight new cases were announced on March 27. For Rhode Island COVID-19 data, please visit the RIDOH COVID-19 website.  

On March 27, Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced that certain orders and directives would be extended.


The State’s Declaration of Emergency has been extended to May 8.

Also extended until May 8:

  • The suspension of the provision of the Open Meetings Act that prohibits meetings taking place by phone or video conferencing.
  • Health insurers must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care, and mental and behavioral healthcare.
  • Law enforcement has 30 days (instead of 7) to complete a background check for a gun permit.
  • The following Executive Orders have been extended until April 25:
  • Anyone returning to Rhode Island from domestic or international travel by plane must quarantine for 14 days.
  • Anyone returning to Rhode Island after traveling to New York State by any mode of transportation must quarantine for 14 days. 

The following Executive Orders have been extended until April 13:

  • All gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • Anyone who can work from home is required to do so.
  • Dining establishments must be closed to onsite dining service. Take-out and delivery are permitted. Establishments are allowed to sell wine and beer with take-out orders.
  • Public recreation and entertainment businesses (e.g., theatres, bowling alleys, museums, and zoos) and close-contact businesses (e.g., hair salons, spas, tattoo parlors, gyms, and yoga studios) must close in-person operations.

Businesses and consumers

  • Grocery stores, markets, and large retailers have been directed to allow no more than 20 percent of state fire capacity in the store at a time. Staff are required to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store. The related press release can be found here.
  • If you are a business with, or manufacturer of, medical supplies and are able to donate supplies to the State’s efforts, please visit https://bit.ly/covid19-msd to see how you can help. 

Families and child care

  • Rhode Island has received approval from the federal government to distribute additional emergency benefits to many SNAP-eligible Rhode Islanders. Eligible households will receive additional SNAP dollars on April 1. The State expects this increase to benefit about half of all families that receive SNAP.
  • In addition, the State is delaying the recertification deadline for families due to reapply for SNAP or cash assistance in March or April. For these families, there is a six-month extension to ensure access to benefits during this critical time. Please visit the Department of Human Services website or the related press release for more information.
  • Rhode Island has partnered with Care.com to increase care access for frontline workers responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and others.
  • Care.com has a portal specifically for Rhode Island families and caregivers in Rhode Island. Families looking for child care can visit www.care.com/rineed to find a local caregiver. Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit www.care.com/rigive to find a local caregiver. The related press release can be found here.

 
RI Response to COVID-19

  • The response is focused on increasing capacity for testing and contact tracing, building supply of personal protective equipment, ensuring compliance with and support for quarantine and isolation, preparing for hospital surge, developing protocols for enhanced screening and surveillance, and ensuring we have the actionable models and data needed for decision-making.

What you can do

  • Please remember that if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath), isolate at home and recover safely there. Please wait for three symptom-free days (without use of medications) before leaving isolation.
  • If your symptoms are severe, call your doctor or an urgent care center before showing up at a facility. This will give the facility time to prepare to meet your needs while protecting healthcare workers.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, and you are self-isolating, the people that you were in contact with while you were sick should also quarantine themselves and monitor for symptoms.
  • Protect yourself:
    • Please keep in mind that most people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean (remove dirt, dust, soil, organic matter) and disinfect (using a chemical product to kill pathogens) frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Protect your community:
    • Stay at home if you are sick.
    • Call first. If you are concerned that you may be sick with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider before going to the facility.
    • CDC recommends that facemasks and other protective equipment be reserved for those who are ill and the healthcare workers who are caring for them.
  • RIDOH has activated an information line for COVID-19. For general COVID-19 questions, please call 401-222-8022 or email RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov.
  • For clinical questions about COVID-19, please email RIDOH.ProviderQuestions@health.ri.gov.
  • For COVID-19 information and employment questions, please call the Department of Labor and Training at 401-462-2020, or email dlt.covid19@dlt.ri.gov.
  • People experiencing a behavioral health crisis can call BH Link at 401-414-5465.

Resources

March 25, 2020 - DDS COVID-19 Update from Commissioner Jane Ryder

An update for individuals and families on the response to COVID-19 from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

 

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March 23, 2020 - Response to a single COVID-19 Case or Like Illness

If there were to be a single case of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in any program, follow these response guidelines. 

 

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March 20, 2020 - COVID-19 Seven Hills Family Services Programs Update

In summary, Seven Hills Family Services:

•  We will not be supporting any overnight respite at this time.

•  Community-Based hourly Respite will not be provided at this time

•  Home-Based hourly DSP/PCA will not be provided at this time; except for critical 

Cases determined by risk assessment and approved by Vice President of SHFS 

•  Two website pages have been established and are being updated hourly on our staff.sevenhills.org site and our public sevenhills.org website.

•  Affiliate-specific “social distancing” protocols are being developed to reduce the exposure of Seven Hills staff or patients, clients, students, to potential threat.

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March 18, 2020 - Staff Travel Guidance and Protocol

Thank you to our Seven Hills Foundation and affiliates staff members for your continued diligence in providing care and support to the individuals we support through your various job categories.  Our collective response to-date has been remarkable because of your efforts.

An UPDATE to previous travel guidance:

Remember that anyone that has traveled internationally to a high-risk country or has been on a cruise, must remain out of work for 14 days after their return home.  If you travel internationally to other countries, you will be required to remain out of work for 72 hours.  High risk countries can be found at: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

We are also seeking your cooperation and ask that you limit domestic travel.  Currently, we are seeing different levels of COVID-19 exposure across the United States. States with high risk of exposure are New York, Washington and California.  Please avoid all travel to these three states. Remember that this changes daily, as more states are reporting cases of COVID-19 cases to CDC. 

The high-risk states and number of confirmed cases in the US are updated daily by the CDC.  For more information see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html.

All employees should engage in self-screening to ensure they do not expose others to the virus. If you are feeling sick (fever, difficulty breathing, cough), please call your primary care doctor and notify your supervisor before returning to the program. You will be given further direction when you speak to your supervisor. 

March 18, 2020 COVID-19 Seven Hills Family Services Programs Update

Seven Hills Family Services provides services in the following programs:

  • Adult Family Care (AFC- statewide) 
  • Family Support Centers (Sturbridge, Worcester & Fitchburg) 
  • Shared Living/Placement Services (Central/West - Northeast & Southeast) 
  • Agency-with-Choice (AWC) (Central/West - Northeast) 
  • DESE (Central/West - North East) 
  • Individual Supports (Southbridge/Milford)    
  • S-QUAL Services   
  • Adult Companion / Hourly Respite    
  • Flexible Funding     

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SHFS has taken decisive actions that reflect our commitment to help slow the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of our community. The measures here will remain in effect until further notice.  

All case management, nursing & clinical staff will be conducting remote visits beginning Wednesday March 18th.   This includes screening & tracking of any issues being reported to DDS area offices.

For any scheduled hourly respite (AC), Overnight respite, DSP staff will not be scheduled unless the Team (DDS, Guardian, Agency Staff, medical professional) deem it necessary at this time for essential care of the people we support.  The Team will discuss and determine the Risk/Benefit for each case.

Family Support Center staff at the Fitchburg, Worcester and Sturbridge locations are working remotely, and a system will be in place to route calls to the centers to Family Support Specialists in real time. 

Family Support Specialist staff will be a point of contact for any DDS family looking to access Information & Referral and/or resources, including COVID-19 specific resources. 

All essential medical appointments that FSS staff have provided transportation to will still be completed post phone screening.  

We are also working on both safety packs for staff who may need to work in community homes and response team for families needing care packs & emergency supplies, assistance. 

Thank you for your guidance, patience and assistance as we navigate these unprecedented situations.  

Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions,

Leslie Courtney MPA, LEND

Vice President Family Services

Seven Hills Foundation 

508-796-1866

lcourtney@sevenhills.org

March 17, 2020 Seven Hills COVID-19 Protocol/Screening Tool Update

COVID19 protocol poster

 

Seven Hills Foundation has updated the following to our Policy as of March 18, 2020 and until further notice:

To protect the health and safety of your loved ones, all visitation is now prohibited to all residential group homes. Families will also not be allowed to take their loved ones home, unless they are going to take them for the duration of this COVID-19 policy update.

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March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 Update from Dr. David A. Jordan

An update to the Seven Hills Foundation community: 

As of today, there are no known confirmed cases of COVID-19 anywhere within Seven Hills’ extensive system of care. In addition to our website links and information on COVID-19 (see staff.sevenhills.org) we are in the midst of posting links to several useful video clips on COVID-19 intended to offer staff further information about this particular novel coronavirus.

 

 

Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates is announcing the following:

  1. Closure of our “Children’s Friend” and “Children’s Aid & Family Service” day care centers effective on Tuesday, March 17.
  2. Closure of our ASPiRE! day programs effective Tuesday, March 17.
  3. Usage of telehealth for counseling and psychiatry as appropriate.
  4. Continued use of robust screening tools at all of our locations.

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March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 Child Care Centers Closures

Due to the COVID-19 situation and guidance from the State of Massachusetts, the Child Enrichment Center of Children’s Aid & Family Service in Fitchburg and the Early Learning Center at Children’s Friend in Worcester will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17th.  Seven Hills and both affiliates will watch the situation closely and re-evaluate in a few weeks.  Parents/guardians will be notified with updates as they occur.  We appreciate the understanding of our child care community and please know we have the best interests of our children and families as our guiding force.

March 16, 2020 - COVID 19 and Corporate College Trainings and Schedules

Corporate College offers trainings on a modified schedule. 

Cancelled classes are indicated on the Corporate College calendars at https://staff.sevenhills.org/corporate-college/calendars/

The Corporate College Hotline also has an updated list of the current week's events and cancellations: 508.983.1388

Continue to use eAcademy to sign up for trainings. eAcademy also has a current training schedule. 

Corporate College plans to hold new employee orientations as scheduled. New employees should check with recruiters and hiring managers to confirm. Coffee and lunch may not be available depending upon the location. 

American Red Cross FA-CPR-AED training and recertification are offered on a regular schedule. 

Safety-Care training at Seven Hills is suspended until further notice. 

Ethics of Touch is suspended until further notice. 

All MAP testing and training at Seven Hills Massachusetts locations is suspended until further notice. Employees with an upcoming MAP test appointment will not be charged a no-show fee by D&S. Check the D&S website at https://ma.tmuniverse.com for more information.

March 15, 2020 - COVID-19 Seven Hills Rhode Island Program Closures

As a result of a directive from the Department of Behavioral Health Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals(BHDDH), All BHDDH funded day services will be closed until further notice beginning next Tuesday,  March 17th. Day staff will report to residential programs. All day staff should check in with their immediate supervisor for more information.

Adult Day Health Services will remain open at this time. 

 

Cliff R. Cabral, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC

Vice President

Seven Hills Rhode Island

DDS Commissioner's Guidance Update to Families

To individuals and families/guardians supported by the MA Department of Developmental Services; DDS Commissioner, Jane Ryder, has asked that Seven Hills share this March 13th updated guidance in regard to COVID-19.

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March 13, 2020 Town Hall Teleconference - COVID-19 Recording

Dr. David A. Jordan hosted an open dialogue conversation via live town hall teleconference on COVID-19 to discuss SHF's response and strategy to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you were not able to attend the teleconference you can listen to the recording of the meeting:

Listen Here >

Letter from Dr. David A. Jordan, 3-11-20

Letter from DAJAs we face local, national and international challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) our primary focus remains on the well-being of our patients, clients, students and employees. In addition to monitoring the situation closely, we have continued to consult with health authorities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in order to thoughtfully and appropriately refine our response plans.

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A Message Video from Dr. David A Jordan, President of Seven Hills Foundation

March 11, 2020

Watch a video message from Dr. David Jordan, President of Seven Hills Foundation and Affiliates, to valued staff, clients, patients, students and their families about what Seven Hills is doing about COVID-19.

Watch Video >

COVID-19 Guidance, 3-11-20

COVID-19 GuidanceWe are writing to keep you updated on new developments in Seven Hills’ response to the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We expect to update this guidance in real time, so please check sevenhills.org frequently. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to report that the immediate risk to the general public in Massachusetts and Rhode Island remains low.

Despite the low risk, we are working with state and local officials to prepare for various scenarios in case the risk level rises.

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Seven Hills Foundation Important Downloads

COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guide

This guide from the CDC instructs you on how to properly put on PPE. 

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Download the Seven Hills App to Stay Connected

Proper Hand Washing Guidance

Stop the spread of germs that mak you and other sick by making sure to frequently and properly wash your hands. Many illnesses are spread through touch. The single most important defense against spreading infection is proper hand washing. Hand washing is often taken for granted because it can be routine. Even if you think you have done a good job washing your hands, they are probably not as clean as they should be. Good hand washing stops contaminants from moving from your hands to other parts of your body or to surfaces you touch. Use these steps and recomendations for better handwashing. 

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Watch Video >

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommendations

Enviromental cleaning guide

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommendations Guide: Download >

Interim Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfection of COVID-19 in Residences: Watch Video >

How to Properly Use Disinfectants against COVID-19: Watch Video >

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this new virus?

This new coronavirus was first identified in December 2019. It was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States

It is more contagious than the seasonal flu, and there appears to be no natural immunity among adults. The virus particularly affects the lungs.

The World Health Organization has named the disease caused by the virus “COVID-19”: ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, ‘D’ for disease, and ‘19’ for the year it emerged.

Link to CDC website for more information >

How dangerous is this virus?

Many people infected with this new virus experience mild symptoms that are like those experienced if you have the cold or flu – a fever, dry cough, headache or shortness of breath.

In about 15% of cases, however, the virus can lead to severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly lung diseases, appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

So far, studies show the virus is fatal in more cases than the seasonal flu, but less than other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS.

How is the virus spread?

This virus appears to spread like many other respiratory viruses: An infected person expels respiratory droplets by coughing or sneezing and those droplets land in the nose and mouth, or are inhaled into the lungs of people nearby. It may also spread from the hands of an infected person, making hand-washing especially important. And it can spread from surfaces, so it is important to wipe down shared desks, tables and other surfaces.

How can I protect myself?

To prevent the spread of viruses and other pathogens that can make you sick, physicians urge you to wash your hands often, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water are more effective than sanitizing gels.
Also:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your elbow.
  • Wash your hands as soon as possible after sneezing or coughing.
  • Clean commonly used surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well, especially if you have a fever.
  • Avoid people who show signs of being ill.

Remember, you currently are at greater risk of getting the flu than this new virus. You should get the safe and effective flu vaccine. It does not protect against the coronavirus, but it will protect you against having to battle two potentially dangerous viruses at the same time. And more people protected against the flu means more clinicians can focus on treating coronavirus patients.

Should I be tested for this virus?

You should call your doctor if you have a cough, shortness of breath, or a fever and are concerned you may have COVID-19. It is important to call before you go to a doctor’s office, urgent care or emergency room for a COVID-19 test to avoid potentially infecting health care workers.

Currently, there are a limited number of testing kits and lab capacity in the U.S., but that is expected to change in coming weeks.

Those who do not have the flu but are hospitalized with severe acute lower respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, are currently more likely to be tested. People also may be tested if they are symptomatic and have traveled to countries with known cases, such as China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea or been exposed to a COVID-19 patient.

Is there a vaccine?

There is no vaccine that prevents this coronavirus. Researchers are working to develop one, a process that likely will take at least a year.

Is there a treatment for the virus?

There is no approved treatment for this virus. However, some antivirals are being tested on patients, and others are under development by researchers.

What precautions are in place to prevent the spread of the virus?

State labs are beginning extensive screening of people who may be at risk for COVID-19. Those who undergo testing are asked to stay at home until the result is received, in what is known as “self-quarantine.”

If a patient tests positive, state health officials begin an outreach effort to people who were in direct contact with the patient, and they also undergo a period of 14 days of self-monitoring for symptoms at home with public health supervision.

Physicians and hospitals are well trained in pandemic response, and are putting emergency procedures into place as needed.

The U.S. government also has taken unprecedented steps related to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this virus. The CDC has issued a Level 3travel advisory for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, advising travelers to avoid all nonessential travel to the four countries. The centers issued a Level 2 advisory for Japan, recommending that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel.

All inbound flights from China are routed to certain airports. No flights from mainland China are landing at Logan International Airport. Some airlines also have canceled flights from the U.S. to countries that have been especially affected by the outbreak.

The Trump administration has imposed temporary travel restrictions that bar entry into the United States by any foreign national who has traveled to China or Iran in the past 14 days. Any U.S. citizen who returned from the Hubei province of China within the past 14 days will be quarantined for up to 14 days.

Read about travel information on the CDC website >

Where can I get the latest information about the virus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring this situation and is regularly updating its webpage: CDC Website >

Check your state's Department of Public Health website for current information:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health >

Rhode Island Department of Public Health >

Informational Links

 

For Massachusetts Employees: 

 

For Rhode Island Employees:

 

Need Help, Can't Find Essentials & Don't Know Where To Turn?

Call the Mass 211 Hotline

211 logoDuring this pandemic, if you are struggling to find essential community services, care, food or fulfilling your pharmacutical/medical needs in Massachusetts- Dial 2-1-1. 
 
Mass 211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, nonprofit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources. Always a confidential call, Mass 211 maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies.
 
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Mass 211 is an easy way to find or give help in your community.

Learn More & Visit the Mass 211 Website >

 


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