Bridging the Gaps’ Protocols for New Residential Clients

Residential Protocols:

How we are keeping our residential clients safe

The following protocols are intended to ensure the health and safety of the Bridging the Gaps’ community in our residential treatment center in Virginia.  The introduction of a new member to the Residential House represents a host of therapeutic opportunities towards sustained recovery while also representing a measure of risk in spreading the Coronavirus.  BTG is committed to balancing these competing objectives with the imperative of the health and wellbeing of the entire community.

It is important to consider the means by which Covid-19 may be transmitted.  Covid-19 infection spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within approximately 6 feet) through respiratory droplets formed when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  The infection may also spread when individuals touch contaminated surfaces and then touch their face.  Significantly, a risk of contagion exists from individuals who remain asymptomatic despite having the virus.  Covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue, washing hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoiding touching one’s face are critical to protecting oneself and others.

The main symptoms of the infection are a fever of more than 100.4 degrees, a new cough within the last seven days, shortness of breath or a new sore throat within the last seven days.  Clients with any of these symptoms shall notify staff immediately.

Prior to entering residential treatment, we will provide you with a diagnostic test for Covid-19 (nasal swab). While waiting for the test results, we will have you stay in our residential house designated for quarantining.  While at this House, you will begin attending services via the Telehealth platform. Should the test come back positive, you would be asked to return home for the duration of the active illness for your personal comfort and the safety of the community.  During this period, we would encourage you to continue attending treatment via Telehealth services.  As soon as you are deemed no longer contagious by a medical professional, we will eagerly welcome you back into our residential program.

Upon the confirmation of a negative Covid-19 test, we would invite you to enter the House. As  a newly introduced resident at the House, we will support you in complying with the following procedures and protocols. 

  • Upon entering the House, please wash your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.  Continue to be mindful and perform frequent hand hygiene;
  • Your temperature will be taken and you will be requested to fill out BTG’s symptom screening form.
  • Your temperature will continue to be taken on a regular basis;
  • Please report to staff immediately if you begin to feel feverish, or have a headache, sore throat or dry cough;
  • You will be provided with a cloth mask for your exclusive personal use.  The mask should be laundered frequently.  We will provide disposable masks for you to wear while the cloth mask is laundered.  Please wear the mask whenever you are interacting with another client or staff member for the first five days of your residence at the House;
  • You will be assigned a private room with a private bathroom.  Please be mindful to remain at least six feet away from other clients and staff members;
  • Please refrain from sharing dishes, cups, utensils, towels, bedding, clothing and other objects with other residents in the House.  All of these items should be thoroughly sanitized after use;
  • Staff is available to assist you, but please wash on the day of arrival, all of the clothes you have brought with you for your stay.  Wipe down non-clothing items with sanitizing wipes.  Upon arriving at the House, take your belongings directly to your bedroom;
  • Please be prepared to remain in the residence other than staff coordinated exercise, hikes or other outdoor outings.  You are free to enjoy the yards on the House property but please remain within the confines of the property unless accompanied by a staff member;
  • In an effort to enhance your sense of community within the House, we would like to ensure you feel a sense of belonging.  Striking the balance between appropriate social distancing and community integration can be difficult, particularly with respect to meals.  For the first five days of your stay, you will not be asked to assist in meal preparation or clean up (express gratitude to your housemates!).  In addition, we will ask that you enjoy your meals at least six feet away from the nearest housemate at the dining room table.  If this is not logistically possible, we may use a “TV table” to ensure appropriate distancing during meal time;
  • Please note that for the time being, all outside visitors are prohibited.  You may have access to your cell phone for telephone calls, FaceTime, and video chats with your loved ones, sponsor, and sober support.

We are following all CDC protocols and the requirements outlined by the state of Virginia. To ensure your safety, our staff will be required to wear a mask while in the house. Staff is responsible for the daily sanitizing of surfaces after meals, breaks, and bedtime to minimize the spread of germs on surfaces.

We would be happy to answer any of your questions regarding our protocols. We can assure you that your safety is our priority. Please contact us if you are interested in what treatment options are available.

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