Dear LifeLinks CLASS Community,
We are closely monitoring developments related to the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as the health and safety of the people we serve and our staff and is our top priority.
First, it’s important to remember that even though the risk for coronavirus is currently low; the flu risk in Massachusetts remains high. These simple precautions will help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, using a tissue or the inside of your elbow
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water frequently and use hand sanitizer
- If you have a fever or feel sick, stay home and call your healthcare provider
- Get the flu vaccine — it is not too late!
LifeLinks CLASS has always followed the guidelines for universal precautions and we utilize stringent cleaning and sanitation processes as most of the persons we support have underlying health issues. Measures are already in place to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that can cause the flu, coronavirus, cold, and other contagious illnesses including:
- Day program facilities and group homes are cleaned and sanitized daily with a bleach and water solution
- Hand sanitizer dispensers are readily available at all of our locations
- Staff are trained by our nurses on tactics to prevent the spread of airborne illnesses, including proper handwashing
However, creating a safe environment is a community effort, and we need your help. We will ask people we serve, staff, visitors including family members, vendors and others from the community to stay home if you are showing signs of an airborne illness including fever, cough, and sore throat. Additionally, we do have a robust continuity of operations plan that was just recently updated that will be activated in the event of a local coronavirus outbreak.
If you’re interested in learning more facts about the coronavirus, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) launched mass.gov/2019coronavirus, a web portal that includes extensive information and the latest updates.
Unfortunately, it appears that we will be confronted with the COVID-19 virus for some time still to come. LifeLinks CLASS will continue to provide information and updates to our community on an as-needed basis and we are always here to answer your questions or address concerns. Feel free to reach out to program managers, directors, clinical or nursing staff, or even my office if you have further questions.
Jean M. Phelps, CEO
Visit our Coronavirus Advisory page for up to date information.