Bridging the Gaps has been transparent about the obstacles we have faced during the Coronavirus pandemic thus far. We recently wrote about our initial challenges with engagement on a telehealth platform and the increased rates of relapse that we are witnessing across the community. We have shared our experiences because we truly believe that we are providing the best services that we can while also keeping our clients and staff safe.
We, of course, would like to return to business as usual and open our doors to clients with our full range of services available. The reality is that we don’t know when we will be able to safely do that. The health and safety of clients and staff must be taken into consideration. The ramifications of a COVID outbreak within our program could be devastating, and it is not a risk we are willing to take. We are doing our best to put the health of our community first while providing the best therapy possible under the restrictions.
As the Governor of Virginia prepares us to move into phase one of reopening, we are making plans for what our next steps will be. The leadership team is working diligently to find the balance between necessary precautions to avoid an outbreak of Coronavirus while also providing much needed services for individuals struggling with addiction. Our plans remain fluid but we are hopeful that as testing becomes more readily available it will be easier to bring new clients into residential treatment.
In an ideal world, an individual seeking residential treatment would be able to first get a rapid response test. We are hopeful that this is the direction that we are heading. Just today we received a referral from a hospital for someone needing treatment post-detox, and learned that the hospital has begun to automatically test all patients. With a negative test for Coronavirus, we can more confidently bring an individual into our community while minimizing the risk of exposing our existing residential clients who have been in quarantine.
The rapid response tests have an error rate that allows for some margin of risk and uncertainty. Therefore, Bridging the Gaps feels it is essential to ensure proper hygiene protocols for a minimum of seven days, even with a negative test. Our protocols for new clients coming into the house include living in a private bedroom with a private bathroom for the first week. New clients will be asked to wash their clothes upon entering the house; to wear a face mask while in contact with their peers or with staff; to practice social distancing especially while eating; to use separate dishes and refrain from preparing food; and to practice good hand hygiene. Temperatures are taken twice a day by all members of the house and the staff.
The approach that Bridging the Gaps is taking is more conservative than some programs but we are dedicated to doing everything in our power to provide a safe environment for our clients and staff. Even as the state prepares to take the first step in opening, as Virginians we are still asked to telecommute when possible and restrict our gatherings to small numbers. We are all learning to live with the virus but we must take the first steps forward with care and consideration. At BTG we are eager to open up our residential program but certainly not at the expense of the health and wellbeing of those we serve.
If you are looking for treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, please reach out to our Admissions Director for more information about the services that are currently available. 540-535-1111