Friends and families,
As we are sure you have heard by now, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a public health emergency this week. At this time there are five confirmed cases of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, present in New Mexico.
Leaders of New Mexico’s Department of Health hosted a phone conference this week in which At Home Advocacy was a participant. These phone conferences will be held three times a week to discuss the support needs of those we serve, direct support staff needs, and protocol solutions to minimize disruption of services. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be feeling about this virus but know we are making every effort to stay informed. We plan to continue participating in these calls.
Our priority has always been to promote the health and safety of the families we serve and this situation is no different. We feel it is important to communicate At Home Advocacy’s plan to actively do our part in minimizing the spread of the virus.
The dates of 3/13/20 – 3/22/20 At Home Advocacy’s administrative offices and the Hangout Lounge will be closed to providers, clients, and visitors. Many of the population we support are vulnerable to this virus so we will be operating by appointment only to ensure your health and the individuals we support. This does not mean that we are not available. You will still be able to reach us at 505-340-3444 for any questions you may have but we hope you understand our decision to temporarily close the office and ask that you call well in advance for an appointment if a meeting is necessary.
As we participate in the calls hosted by the DOH we will soon get a better feel of how to proceed and will reevaluate our operating hours accordingly. We will be sure to communicate any changes and any information we come across that may be helpful to you.
To In Home Support providers:
We strongly encourage you take proper precautions. We don’t want to promote panic but we do suggest ensuring you have enough essentials such as prescription medications, hand soap, toilet paper, etc.
To Community Support providers:
We understand the strain this may put on your options for activities and it might be difficult to stay occupied for some time. We urge you stay away from heavy public traffic areas such as malls, movie theaters, etc. We suggest enjoying time at a local park and other outdoor activities where close contact with others can be easily avoided.
Providers are so important to the individuals we serve and now more than ever. We ask that you pay extra attention, minimize distractions, and make it the highest priority to ensure the individuals you support are practicing good hygiene and do not touch their face with unwashed hands. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus.
Below is a list of tips we urge you to commit to carrying out:
Ø Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently, especially before eating; use an alcohol based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are unavailable
Ø Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Ø Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Ø If you or someone you support has any symptoms of COVID-19 (Fever, cough, shortness of breath, contact with an infected individual) call 1-855-600-3453
Please be mindful and considerate as you discuss this health emergency with those we support and in areas where they could overhear conversations. This is a difficult subject to grasp and understand and has the potential to uncover a variety of emotions from all of us. Wash your hands!
Your friends at At Home Advocacy