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COVID-19 and Sober Living

COVID-19 Update – How We Are Maintaining Safety in Light of New Variants

In a previous post, we discussed some of the measures we were (and continue to be) taking regarding the spread of COVID-19. Our client’s health and safety remains our number one priority. Therefore, as this world health emergency continues to spread around the globe we are following the guidance from public health authorities and evolving our protocols as time goes on. We want our clients and their families/loved ones to be reassured that are keeping our sober living as safe as we possibly can during these unprecedented times. It has been 7 months since our last update on COVID-19 and below I will be going over our protocols and what has changed over this time.

Staff

Our policies and protocols regarding staff have largely remained the same. All our staff are fully vaccinated (including booster shots where indicated). Additionally, it will be a requirement for anybody new that might be joining our team to be vaccinated as well. Despite being vaccinated, all staff are also getting, at minimum, a weekly PCR and rapid COVID test. This precaution is in order to avoid anyone who is asymptomatic putting our client’s well-being in danger. We watch the constantly evolving data closely and we have a weekly staff meeting to discuss any guidance that’s changed so that we are always following the most up to date science.

New Client Screening

This is where the largest change has been made since our last update. In addition to our new client screening, which I will put below for reference, we are at a point where incoming clients must be vaccinated, or willing to get vaccinated within 24 hours of arrival, against COVID-19. Unvaccinated clients will need to provide a negative PCR test that was performed within 72 hours of arrival and have an appointment or go to a vaccination walk up site within the first day.

Covid-19 Vaccine Sober Living

While there was much public conversation about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines when first introduced, there is now overwhelming data that the COVID vaccine is both safe and effective. Since the first COVID-19 vaccine was available in December of 2020, over 400,000,000 doses have been given in the United States with great success. We are more than willing to help clients find a vaccine site or answer any questions about them that we are able to answer.

The questions of our new client screening are as follows:

  1. Have you had any of the following symptoms in the last 21 days: sore throat, cough, chills, body aches for unknown reasons, shortness of breath for unknown reasons, loss of smell, loss of taste, fever at or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit?
  2. Have you been tested for COVID-19?
  3. Have you visited or received treatment in a hospital, nursing home, long-term care, or other health care facility in the past 30 days?
  4. Have you traveled in the US outside the state of California in the past 21 days?
  5. Have you traveled on a cruise ship in the last 21 days?
  6. Are you a health care provider or emergency responder?
  7. Have you cared for an individual who is in quarantine or is a presumptive positive or has tested positive for COVID-19?
  8. Do you have any reason to believe you have been exposed to or acquired COVID-19?
  9. To the best of your knowledge have you been in close proximity to any individual who tested positive for COVID-19?

If a client is deemed low risk, they will be allowed to admit to Open Sky Recovery and will receive a rapid antigen test on arrival.

Client and Sanitation Protocols

Due to the spread of new COVID-19 variants that are showing to be far more contagious, we have further enhanced our cleaning and safety protocols at the sober living. Below are some, but not all, of the protocols we have in place to ensure our client and staff’s safety.

  • Client temperature and symptom monitoring, including symptom check-in questionnaire.
  • Sanitation stations set up throughout the house, including by the front door. Clients are asked to sanitize and/or wash their hands upon walking in and before using shared appliances or rooms.
  • Masks and portable hand sanitizer bottles are provided to all clients to use outside the house.Masks in Sober Living
  • Daily house sanitizing with an industrial (bleach-free and environmentally friendly) sanitizing fogger machine.
  • Multiple times daily sanitizing of high touch surfaces.
  • Clients are asked not to attend meetings or other gatherings that are indoors without utilizing masks.
  • During times of rapidly rising cases and virus spread, clients will be asked not to attend any indoor meetings or gatherings.
  • All clients provided with a list of meetings and other resources that are available online. Clients may still reserve our front living room (the “Zoom Room”) to attend online meetings and appointments in privacy and comfort.
  • All clients will be required to undergo a COVID test weekly.

Potential Positive and Quarantine or Isolation Protocol

Despite taking every effort possible to prevent the spread of the virus, there is always a chance that one of our clients becomes symptomatic or infected with COVID-19. We have a plan in place to make sure that spread is contained and the client is able to isolate safely and comfortably until they are no longer contagious. We have formed our protocol for this per the CDC guidelines. These guidelines can and do change often and we will continue to adapt in order to follow the science.

For those who have been potentially exposed to someone positive for COVID-19 (who is vaccinated, which is all of our clients) they will be asked to wear a mask around others for a full 10 days, with an antigen test at day 3, a PCR at day 5, and another PCR at day 7. If any symptoms appear or there is a positive test result they will be asked to isolate as explained in the next paragraph.

Clients who test positive or show symptoms will be asked to isolate for 5 full days in a location off site. We can help arrange a hotel or help plan transportation to family if in the area. Unfortunately our ability to effectively isolate a client in a sober living house is not good enough to maintain other client’s safety. For that reason we have no choice besides sending the client off-site.

Our staff will assist with getting medication, food, or other needs arranged for the 5 day isolation period. After 5 days, and if no symptoms are present, the client will be allowed back on site and will need to wear a mask for the next 5 days inside of the house. If symptoms are still present after 5 days, the isolation period will be extended until no COVID-19 symptoms are present.

Open Sky Recovery is here to help in these difficult times, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if there are any questions about our COVID-19 safety protocols.