In response to the state of emergency declared by Governor Cuomo, Goddard Riverside is taking steps to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. We are in touch with state and city officials every day and continually updating these measures to protect the community.
Under our current virus protocol, everyone who enters a Goddard building is required to sign in and is asked about recent travel, whether they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, and whether anyone in their household has been quarantined. People who answer yes to any of these questions are asked to leave as a precaution. We have also adopted enhanced cleaning procedures at all our facilities as recommended by the state Department of Health. Our staff has been asked to minimize in-person meetings and to work from home if they come down with symptoms that could be connected with the virus.
The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will continue taking steps to protect the many people we are in contact with every week.
Youth and Aging
- Star Learning is closed.
- After School and Early Childhood Education programs are closed.
- Our TOP Clubhouse is on a reduced schedule.
- The Resource Center is available only by phone.
- Top Opportunities intake will be by phone only.
- Home Delivered Meals will continue as usual. We are working to ensure every precaution is taken at the point of food preparation. We are attempting to keep distance between the delivery person and the person receiving the meal.
- Activities at the senior centers have been canceled and all meals will be bagged to take away.
- Spring break youth programming at the Bernie Wohl Center and Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center will likely be cancelled. For now, we are asking parents to secure alternate care during this period. The final decision will be communicated no later than 3/24/20.
- The Beacon program has cancelled all large group activities and Spring Break travel. However, the program remains in operation.
- The Options Center is conducting all training and counseling activities via phone or internet.
We have closed all outside access and cancelled performances through the end of March. We will be working to reschedule as many of the performances as possible at a later date. The weekend programming for youth will continue. We will be conducting interviews for the summer Performing Arts Conservatory by telephone and then screening all of those who must come into the building. Interviews will be done one on one.
Housing and Homeless and Mental Health
- The Law Project is not accepting walk-ins. All contact will be done by telephone.
- Our Homeless Outreach teams will limit face-to-face contact where possible.The staff will continue to keep appointments for housing interviews and placements. However, we are limiting the transportation of clients in Agency vehicles.
- The Green Keepers will continue to operate, but their activities will be staggered to prevent the groups from being together in close proximity.
- The ACT team will limit face to face contact and will not attend client meetings at hospitals, nursing centers, etc.
- TOP will continue to operate with precautions.
- All buildings have implemented visitor screening. The buildings have been deep-cleaned and staff are doing hourly spot checks and cleaning the halls, elevators, and bathrooms regularly.
- All common areas across all buildings have been closed except for the laundry rooms.
- All buildings are still preparing their meals for tenants as scheduled (if applicable). Tenants have been notified that they must come down to pick up their meals and take them back to their units.
- All external and internal groups are suspended until further notice. We have instructed tenants to reach out to their social worker for assistance setting up home delivery for groceries and mail order medicines.
Questions and Answers: Goddard Riverside Coronavirus Preparedness
1. How has Goddard Riverside adjusted its safety protocols to reduce the spread of coronavirus within our network of programs?
Goddard Riverside has instituted a screening protocol at all program locations and supportive housing buildings for every person who enters that location. We have also stepped up our cleaning protocols (see next question). All locations have added additional hand sanitizer stations and we have posted signage about universal precautions individuals can take to stop community spread of the coronavirus. We have minimized all in-person meetings to those that are absolutely required until further notice and we have restricted gatherings and community events for the foreseeable future. We have also restricted the use of our facility by external groups and limited volunteers and visitors across our programs.
2. How has Goddard Riverside adjusted its cleaning protocols to account for potential community spread of coronavirus?
We have stepped up our hygiene and cleaning practices, including the frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, handrails, and tabletops, as well as regularly deep cleaning and sanitizing public/community spaces and offices with a combination of alcohol-based and hospital-grade cleansers.
3. Under what circumstances would the agency close a program?
Goddard Riverside provides essential services to New Yorkers. The decision to close any of our programs will not be taken lightly. It will be a joint decision made by Senior Leadership and the Executive Director with guidance from our funding and oversight agencies, local health authorities and other stakeholders. Information about program closings will be posted on our website and communicated to our participants. Several of Goddard RiversideÍs programs provide critical services on a 24/7 basis (including our supportive housing residences) and we do not anticipate closing these under any circumstances. The decision will be communicated by the appropriate Senior Leader to the Program Director. Even if a funder directs GRCC to close a program, only the Executive Director and the Senior Leader have the authority to make the decision. At the time the decision is made, the Senior Leader will communicate to the Program Director what the procedures are or should be related to closing. Information for the public about closings and changes to program schedules can be found at www.goddard.org/coronavirus.
4. What will Goddard RiversideÍs protocol be in the event that a staff person, program participant or community member is found to test positive for coronavirus?
Goddard Riverside is prepared for such a circumstance. In the event we are notified that a person associated with one of our programs has tested positive, we will close that program until a deep cleaning can be completed and notify all staff, participants and other relevant parties. We will use the screening information for all sites to determine whether any other program site has been impacted and act accordingly. If the individual in question is a resident of one of our supportive housing buildings, we would follow internal protocol which is in line with the CDCÍs guidelines to support immediate self-quarantine. Additionally, we are prepared to assist in providing daily essentials (food, medication, hygiene supplies, etc.) and to connect them to a medical professional and the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. We will work with health officials to determine if any other steps need to be taken to protect our residents and staff. Those who have been in direct contact with said individual will be notified. We are following DOH guidance on persons who have been in contact with individuals found to have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, and those who are considered to be a ñcontact of a contactî.