Mental Health Facility Precautions & Actions During COVID

Hillside is taking immediate actions to protect our clients and staff. Using the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Coronavirus Task Force, comprised of Hillside’s leadership staff, meets several times per month to discuss and implement changes to programming, staffing and clinical care of our clients. Our campus access has been limited to only essential employees to reduce the risk of exposure at this time. We appreciate our families, visitors, referral sources and staff complying with the updated, and ever-adapting, policies and regulations as we protect our campus.

Below is an outline of our admission and quarantine procedures as well as the other safety practices of Hillside. If your family is currently in our program and you have additional questions, please reach out to to your family therapist or program manager. If you are a prospective client or prospective client’s family, please reach out to admissions with additional questions.

On-Campus Actions

Admissions

Hillside continues to admit clients to our Residential, Day Treatment, and Community Programs. All new residential clients will receive a COVID test upon admission. You will be notified of your child’s COVID test results and if positive, how we will care for your child.

Tours and Visitors

At this time, we are not allowing visitors or tours of our campus in order to limit the risk of exposure to clients and staff.  Please inform and orient yourself to campus thru our website, social media and video tours. Admissions will be happy to explain our campus and programming via phone.

Residential Treatment

Currently, we are not allowing family members on campus for our residential program post-admission. This restriction will directly affect weekly family sessions, which continue to occur via telehealth.  In-person visitation, home visits, and therapeutic passes have been canceled at this time. Our education program is operating in person.

  • All employees wear KN95 masks. Masks are removed in the dining hall for eating meals as seating is socially distanced. Masks are not required when outside and physical distancing.
  • All new admissions are tested for COVID-19 and must wear a mask for 7 days.
  • If the new admission’s test is positive, the child is moved to a quarantine bed, parents are immediately notified, and a plan of care implemented.
  • Any child exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during their course of treatment is tested. Parents are immediately notified and a plan of care implemented.
  • Family visitation and therapeutic home passes are not available at this time. Phone calls are available as designated by the cottage.
  • Family therapy will continue using Facetime or other means of video conferencing.
  • Handwashing is practiced throughout each day.
  • Employee and child temperatures are taken daily.
  • All children and teachers wear masks throughout school programming.

All staff are also expected to practice physical distancing, wear masks in public, and avoid gathering in large groups when they are not on duty or off-campus. All staff and their families are offered the Moderna vaccine and we have provided campus wide training around the impact of having the vaccine. 

All indoor community space has been treated with Enviroshield for greater surface protection, the indoors Gym, dining hall, and school building. We have added specialized filters to our A/C systems. Everyone will sanitize their hands upon entry and exit from these spaces.

Family Visitation

Due to the increased cases of COVID in our area and the high transmission rates of the current COVID variant, we must stop family visitation on our campus as well as stop therapeutic home visits. This change is effective today and visitation and home passes are canceled for this weekend, August 7 and 8, 2021. We are disappointed in these necessary changes and feel it is absolutely necessary to maintain safety. We will monitor infection rates and the guidance of the CDC, and we will once again offer visitation when it is safe.

COVID Outpatient Treatment Protocol

Experience DBT Day Program

Our Day Program participants and staff are required to wear masks on campus and maintain social distance. All admissions will be tested at admission and when a negative test is received they will begin programming. Our Day Program clients will not enter the main residential campus and the ancillary experiential therapeutic services (art, recreational therapy, horticulture therapy) will be provided in the Day Programming space instead.

Community Program

At this time, Hillside’s community program has returned to offer in-person services as well as continued option of telehealth sessions via Zoom. For in-person services, the therapists, the clients, and the clients’ families must follow a strict infection control procedure which includes health screening, physical distancing, and wearing of KN95 masks.

Infection Control Procedures

Hillside is monitoring daily our procedures for Infection Control and maintaining a safe and clean campus. We have additional housekeeping staff to increase the frequency of cleaning practices on campus. Staff and clients are provided hand sanitizer and wipes to assist with wiping down surfaces.  Dietary staff are ensuring the dining hall surfaces are disinfected throughout the day and updates to food service are made in response to infection control risks. Nursing is checking staff and clients daily for temperatures.

How You Can Help

As we all move through daily disruptions and many unknowns, please consider a financial gift to Hillside. Your support helps us sustain vital services for children and families during this especially challenging time of need.

Contact Hillside with Questions

Please contact our admissions office if you have further questions or concerns.  We appreciate all families, referral sources, and friends accommodating and adjusting with us as we navigate through the coronavirus outbreak.

 

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