People traveling to New York from the following states are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
If you need services and supports from All About You Homecare, the Center for Disability Rights, or the Regional Center for Independent Living, please do NOT come to our office. You can call us and we are happy to assist you over the phone, through videophone or in virtual visit.
If you do come to our offices, you are required to wear a mask. We understand that there have been a lot of mixed messages about wearing masks so some people may be confused. That said, masks are required by law, and have been demonstrated to stop the spread of the virus.
Masks work! Research was recently released which found that when wearing a sewn, double-layered cotton mask, aerosol-size droplets expelled from a mannequin only travelled forward about 2.5 inches on average. That was better than the off-the-shelf-cone-shaped mask which allowed the droplets to travel about 8 inches. Early in the pandemic, Damita Peace started organizing a crew of volunteers to make masks. Those masks have been demonstrated to be the most effective simple and affordable form of face covering. In fact, our masks go one step further as they allow you to insert a folded coffee filter inside the mask which would significantly increase their effectiveness. Here’s a link to the research which included a video demonstrating the research.
More masks… including masks with clear windows!
Rochester Refugee has a micro-enterprise called Rochester Refugee Sewing and Repair which is a design, development, and manufacturing studio focused on apparel, bags, and accessories. It provides supportive, quality jobs to new Americans resettled in Rochester, NY. During the pandemic Refugee Sewing and Repair shifted its efforts into making reusable cloth face masks and has produced over 10,000 face masks for the community! The group produces reusable masks with clear windows that allow someone to read the wearer’s lips. We are purchasing these specialty masks and wanted to share this important resource with folks in our community and beyond. You can secure a vital COVID-19 resource AND help a worthy organization. Here’s a link to their Clearsight Windowed Mask. Rochester Refugee Sewing and Repair can be reached here.
In person visit? You have the option to meet outside.
When you need to come to our office for in-person meeting because we can’t assist you remotely, you have the option to ask to meet outside. In addition to masks, the fresh air and sunshine can help reduce the spread of the virus. We recognize that this option may not be appropriate for every circumstance, but we want to give you alternatives to meeting in our offices – at least as long as the weather stays good.
Under New York Forward, we need to track “contacts” to help stop the spread of infection. A “contact” is when two people are within six feet of each other for more than 15 minutes. Although masks help stop the spread, sometimes people wear them incorrectly, so ANY contact will count even if you are wearing a mask. If you voluntarily provide your contact information when you visit in person, it will be easier to contact you if there is a concern. Although it may feel intrusive, this will allow faster notification and quarantine of people who may be exposed to the virus. We support the Governor’s initiative on this to stop the spread.
We are researching changes we can make to our ventilation systems to minimize our collective risk. Our ventilation systems are programmed to change out the air inside the buildings on a set schedule. The vendors are exploring how to program the systems to do a complete changeover of our building air each night. This will help improve the quality of our air for everyone while helping reduce the risk from COVID-19.
We are also exploring how to add a humidifier for the winter months because less dry air helps reduce the spread of the virus. Finally, we are pricing the cost of adding UV light or other components that will kill the viruses and such that float in the air. These will supplement – not replace – the use of masks.
Helping Institutionalized People Avoid COVID-19
We have had some difficulty getting Monroe County or the state to provide shelter support for elderly or Disabled individuals in institutional settings who would like to leave to protect themselves from COVID-19. Our Independent Living, Transition, and Housing teams suggested that we could use some of our CARES Act funding to provide this support while people secure other funding. These funds can provide a bridge between the transition into the community and other housing supports, allowing people to protect themselves from the virus. We will keep you posted on our progress.
When the outbreak began and staff were sent home to do remote work, much of the regular work we did slowed down as New York hit the PAUSE Button. Rather than furlough our staff, we saw an opportunity in the reduced workload of our remote workers. We established an online system and began calling all of our consumers – literally thousands of them around the state – to make sure they have what they need – food, attendant services, etc. – and checking to see if they are experiencing any symptoms. Where we identified issues, staff assisted people in getting their needs met as well as providing peer support during these difficult times for the elderly and Disabled people we serve. In total we have made 16,263 of these wellness calls to our consumers.
This project was conceived when our CEO read about a disabled teen starving to death because they had been left behind during the pandemic and an elderly woman dying alone from COVID-19. This project was intended to be a vital lifeline for people who might not have other supports and could fall through the cracks. We know the pandemic is not over and another wave of infections is likely. If you want to add your name to the call list email us or contact the office.