Our Response to COVID-19
The mission of Vodec remains the same – providing services to people with disabilities so they can reach their full potential. Our procedures, though, have changed – all to protect the health and safety of our consumers, visitors, and employees. We’re all in this together, so we appreciate your patience and cooperation.
WHAT WE’VE DONE
Vodec has made changes to the physical layout of each development center:
- Signs/posters are located in each development center on washing hands, social distancing, not shaking hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you are sick.
- Visuals have been posted on tables, floors and in restrooms indicating six feet of distancing.
- Signs are placed near restroom doors that explain how many people can be in the restroom at one time.
- Vodec has installed sneeze guards at the front desk of each Vodec facility, in vehicles and on tables.
- Microwaves have been moved to designated areas and/or spaced at least 6 feet apart from each other.
- Lunches and breaks are staggered. Appropriate spacing of lunch tables has been created for social distancing.
- Air purifiers were purchased and placed at the V1 and V12 development centers and in employee training rooms.
- Individualized tables were purchased for some areas to assist with social distancing.
- No-touch hand sanitizer stands and wall mounts, soap dispensers and water fountain/bottle fillers were purchased and placed around all development centers.
- UV sanitizers were purchased and are used to sanitize small craft items.
- Vodec purchased and has available masks*, gowns, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometers, and disinfectant wipes and/or spray.
- Vodec’s Nebraska location had a vaccination clinic provided by Kohll’s Pharmacy for consumers, employees, shared living and respite providers Jan. 14 and Feb. 12.
- Vodec’s Council Bluffs location was able to send residential employees, host home and respite providers to Pottawattamie County vaccination clinics Jan. 16, Feb. 13 and March 6.
- Vodec’s Urbandale location was able to start sending employees, host home and respite providers to local pharmacies to receive vaccinations Jan. 12.
In addition to our physical changes, we’ve also introduced new policies that govern the behavior of all people inside our development centers:
- Vodec is recording temperatures and respiratory symptoms of all visitors upon arrival. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above or who is experiencing respiratory symptoms is sent home from services at the development centers. Any visitor having a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above or who is experiencing respiratory symptoms is asked to leave Vodec.
- Employees, visitors and consumers are required to wear a mask* when they are in all Vodec development centers.
- Consumers will wear and/or employees will encourage the wearing of masks* and/or face shields when attending a Vodec development center.
- Vodec follows CDC and state guidance on the number of people who can gather in one room at the same time.
- All shared surfaces are disinfected daily.
- Vodec is providing facial tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in all conference rooms and throughout the building.
- Front office areas, lobbies, conference rooms and all consumer program areas are disinfected throughout and at the end of each day.
- Every consumer is expected to wash hands at arrival, break, lunch and before departure. Employees assistance is provided as needed. Consumers can also wash hands at any time during the day, but it is expected at the specified times above.
- Consumers do not share equipment, devices, materials etc.
- Consumers may bring personal items to place in their own lockers. Lockers are disinfected at the end of each day at V1 and V11.
- Vending machine areas are being monitored by employees to ensure social distancing.
- Weekly and monthly employee meetings and consumer meetings are conducted via team preference of either in person or virtual.
- Travel limitations between Vodec’s development centers are imposed on employees who are less than two weeks past receiving their second of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or the first dose of a single-dose vaccine per a separate travel restriction policy that exempts certain employees.
- Employees and consumers are encouraged to stay home if they are sick.
- Employees and consumers in Vodec vehicles are required to wear a mask*.
- Employees disinfect a Vodec vehicle’s interior after each transport.
- Vodec is limiting the number of consumers in each vehicle to reduce the amount of consumer interaction.
- Route drivers are taking their temperature before and after shift and monitoring for symptoms.
- Route drivers are wiping down and disinfecting the interior of each vehicle after each transport with consumers.
- Sneeze guards have been added in the vehicles where applicable.
- All consumers who ride in a Vodec vehicle are monitored for symptoms, and employees are taking temperatures at the beginning and end of each day. If a consumer has a temperature, he/she will be given a mask* and transported back home. If transportation is not available immediately, the consumer will be required to sit in a designated area/room with an employee until transportation is available.
RESIDENTIAL GROUP HOME CHANGES
- Group home procedures were created using a phase 4 guideline from closing to visitors to re-opening in a safe manner with safety protocols that need to be followed.
- Employees will wear masks* when working in a residential group home.
- Employees will take their temperatures at the beginning and end of each shift and monitor for symptoms.
- Consumer temperatures are taken in the morning and afternoon each day and monitored for symptoms.
- Employees are encouraged to stay home if they are sick.
- Employees wear N-95 masks*, face shields, gowns and gloves when working within 6 feet of a consumer who has tested positive for COVID-19. All personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided to them.
- Consumers are encouraged to keep a 6-foot distance from other consumers who live in the same group home.
- Consumers are required to wear a mask* when on a community outing or activity.
What You Should Know
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to a Vodec location for services or to visit, here’s what you need to know:
- You will have your temperature taken and recorded each day. Employees will monitor you for respiratory symptoms throughout the day.
- You must wash your hands when you arrive, after breaks, at lunch and before you leave for the day in the bathroom/sink in your area.
- You will need to wear a mask* and/or face shield when you are in all Vodec development centers.
- The vending machine areas are being monitored by employees to ensure that consumers are social distancing.
- There is a limit on the number of people who can be in the restroom at one time. Please check the sign on your restroom door before you enter.
- You will take your break time and lunch time in a small group.
- The consumer’s team will determine which community activities are appropriate to attend.
- You may be asked to leave Vodec if you are not respecting the six feet social distancing rule or wearing a mask*.
- All visitors have their temperatures taken and symptoms recorded during check in at all Vodec locations. If your temperature is above 100.4 degrees or if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, you will be asked to leave.
- All visitors will be required to wear face *masks. If you don’t have one, Vodec will provide you with one.
*Masks SHOULD NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. (www.cdc.gov)
*Mask requirements for individualized circumstances other than the above will need to be discussed with your program manager.
Vodec Western Iowa Services Operations Director was one of hundreds of Vodec staff and consumers who received COVID-19 vaccinations in February 2021.