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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
- Our Early Childhood programs are now operating both onsite and online while taking appropriate measures to keep children and adults safe.
- Our children’s and youth programs are offering online activities, conducting telephone check-ins with families, providing learning materials for parents to do at home, and sharing resources remotely with participants and their families.
- Senior Center activities are closed. The NYC Department for the Aging is delivering meals to members. The senior centers are checking in on members by phone as well as carrying out case management and case assistance by phone.
Community Arts and Community Strengthening
- Community Arts has moved its programming online.
- The Resource Center is available and able to connect families to resources via phone.
Housing, Homelessness and Mental Health
- The Law Project is continuing all counseling and support by phone.
- Our Homeless Outreach teams are continuing to provide 24/7 services to people living on the streets. They are operating reduced shifts and will limit face-to-face contact where possible. The staff continue to keep appointments for housing interviews and placements.
- The Green Keepers are continuing to operate, but their activities are staggered to prevent the groups from being together in close proximity.
- The ACT team is conducting activities by phone but continuing to see clients in the field and at their office as necessary.
- Our TOP Clubhouse has been meeting outdoors as well as online through the summer and fall.
- TOP Opportunities is connecting to members remotely.
- 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.
- We are delivering meals to tenants in all our buildings.
- 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
If you, someone in your family, or a client are experiencing symptoms, please contact the New York State Coronavirus COVID-19 Hotline at 888-364-3065.
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 Riverside’s 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 Riverside’s 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 CDC’s 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
“contact of a contact.”