Participant Safety Guidelines
*All Participants Will be Asked to Sign before Entering*
Exponents wants to insure that it has put systems in place to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. As a valued member of Exponents, we appreciate the trust you place in us and want to inform you about how we are addressing this challenging situation. We have also outlined some steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Please note that on site services are by appointments only.
Please know that our office is following all recommended guidance from public health authorities, including best practices for hygiene and infection control. We feel confident in our ability to provide you with a safe and clean environment. Exponents will be cleaned twice a day, following the recommended guidelines. Our highest priority is to keep all of our participants and staff as safe as possible.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is mainly spread through droplets expelled when someone breathes, talks, sings, coughs, sneezes, etc. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes that close contact such as face-to-face contact is believed to be responsible for spreading the virus when an uninfected individual breathes in the droplets from an infected individual. You can obtain more information on COVID-19 by reviewing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website [www.cdc.gov]. Close contact is when a person is within 6 feet of another person for a long period of time. COVID-19 can also spread when a person touches a surface where droplets have settled and then touches their nose, mouth or eyes. That is why social distancing is recommended to reduce the potential for COVID-19 infection.
Exponents developed a safety protocol that everyone, including staff, participants and visitors will be required to follow, based on some of the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined, to help maintain a healthy environment:
- Wellness checks upon entry to Exponents for visitors, staff and participants to ensure that no one exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (fever >100.4 F, cough, recent shortness of breath or difficulty breathing).
- Participants will be required to bring to Exponents upon their scheduled appointment, verification that they took the COVID-19 test and the results were negative or that they administered the COVID-19 antibody test and the results were positive.
- All visitors, participants and staff will be required to participate in a Wellness Check. An Exponents’ representative will be stationed at the entrance of the facility, to conduct a four-question survey and to administer a temperature check, before being allowed to enter Exponents’ premises.
The survey will ask the following questions please answer “Yes” or “No”:
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19 by nasal swab or saliva sample in the past two weeks?
- Do you currently have a fever, new onset or worsening cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell?
- In the past two weeks, have you had a fever, new onset or worsening cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell?
- Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19?
- Have you been in or live in an area with an ongoing spread of COVID-19?
Response of “Yes” to any or all questions will result in the participant being denied access to the facility if he/she/they do not have a letter from their practitioner verifying that they have tested in the last 5-7 days for COVID-19 and results were negative or tested for the COVID-19 antibodies test. Results of the test must be within the last 5-7 days, prior to returning to Exponents. If the test results are from more than a week prior to your visit to Exponents, you will be required to take another exam before you will be allowed on the premises.
- Installation of Plexiglas Partitions
Exponents has in installed Plexiglas partitions at the receptionist desk and in the behavioral health department. This helps to reduce the risk of exposure to you and the staff by repeated interaction with the reception staff. Partitions help to intercept possible respiratory droplets that are thought to transmit the virus. It helps to re-enforce distancing requirements and reducing the need to solely depend on the facial mask to provide protection.
- Required Wearing of Facial Mask at All Times
Exponents will require that staff personal and participants wear protective equipment such as face shields, masks and gloves. Wearing a cloth face covering protects you’re your counselor and other staff. When staff wear a face shield they are protecting you. Cloth face coverings also help to remind you not to touch your face with unwashed hands. All staff, participants and visitors are expected to wear face shields at all times, while walking throughout the premises. In case of an emergency, Exponents will provide them with a face mask. Failure to comply with the use of face shields at all time will result in the removal of the visitor or participant from Exponents’ premises.
- Implement of Telehealth Services
To help reduce the potential for exposure to COVID-19 by using public transportation and exposure to crowed platforms, Exponents developed telehealth services. The Center, Recovery support including drug treatment, have developed telecommunication services that can be accessed via computers and cell phones. You are able to join recovery services from the comfort of your home. Recovery services are available Monday through Saturday. A copy of the recovery sessions are included for your review.
- Meetings and Individual Sessions Made Virtual
While the city works on Access to staff via conference call, e-mail and telehealth sessions Exponents staff are available via phone calls and emails. Staff will schedule times to meet with you via Zoom or Staff will also schedule appointments for you to come in to meet face to face as needed. Appointment will be issued so that only a small number of participants are in the office at any given time.
- New Limits on the Number of People Allowed to Gather in Rooms, Conference Rooms, and Communal Areas at One Time
The capacity in the waiting area, classrooms and breakout rooms have been reduced by fifty percent so that we are compliant with social distancing guidelines and space the seating area, six feet from each other. Group sessions will not be held until further notice. Group and individual sessions will be held via telehealth sessions through Zoom.
- More Frequent Cleaning and Sanitizing of All Common Areas
Janitorial staff will conduct thorough cleaning of all the common areas, including the bathrooms and hallways, door knobs, elevator buttons, etc., twice a day. Intensive cleaning of the entire facility will occur twice a week.
The Facility Director will oversee all of the cleaning and sanitizing of the facility to ensure that it’s in accordance with the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning surfaces regularly, disinfecting surfaces with soap and water or EPA-registered household disinfectants (including bleach and cleaners containing at least 70% alcohol,) helps to prevent transmission from droplets that may have settled on surfaces or have transferred to commonly used surfaces through touch, such as door handles and light switches.
- Practice Social Distancing – Keep Your Distance
Exponents has located destination signs and social distancing markers, throughout the facility to assist everyone in identifing when they are at least six feet away from others. Staying six feet away (about 2 arms’ length) apart to helps participants stay out of range from possible respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezing. Protect yourself by staying out of range.
- Access to Hand Sanitizer Throughout the Workplace.
Automatic hand sanitizer dispensers will be located throughout the office space for easy access at all times. The touchless dispensers will eliminate the need for you to touch the dispenser to release the dispense the sanitizer. The dispensers are activated trough hand motion. During daily cleaning and sanitizing of the facility, janitorial staff will check to make sure that all of the dispensers are full. Hand sanitizing is a simple yet affective way to prevent the spread of infection.
- Monitor Your Health
Exponents wants make the office a safe and healthy space for all. We ask that if you are not feeling well, please remain home and/or consult with your practitioner, if you have a fever and/recent coughing or shortness of breath. Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or upper arm.
- Pay Attention to Personal Hygiene
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol -based hand sanitizer. Hand hygiene is the very best weapon to use against contagious disease. We touch our face multiple times throughout the day. We may touch a contaminated surface and then, inadvertently, touching your mouth, nose or face. It’s important that we wash our hands frequently throughout the day to reduce the possibility of infecting ourselves by failing to stay abreast of our personal hygiene and not cleaning our hands.
- Access to 24-Hour Crisis Hotline
If you have any questions about the Exponents’ guidelines or would like further clarification, please contact your primary counselor or call Exponent’s hotline (917) 681-8531, where someone is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to speak to you.