As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in the United States, and across the world, we wanted to share our work in response to this public health emergency.
Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH), we have implemented additional safety precautions to ensure the safety and health of our clients and team members.
Below is an overview of the precautions currently in place. This is an evolving situation and there will likely be more details shared in the coming days. The Emmaus COVID-19 response team will be meeting daily to address these issues. For our team members, we have established a COVID-19 resource page on our internal Emmaus Connection sharepoint page that we will continue to populate with resources, communications and training. For our client services team members, please communicate with your teams for questions related to specific situations in our homes.
If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out:
Essential Employee Letter
None of these orders prevent an Emmaus employee from reporting to work. They will limit the movement of our clients and also your actions outside of work. We see these as great steps that will make our community safer and allow all of to continue to provide services to our clients by limiting all unnecessary interactions.
The below is being updated on a daily basis based on changing and new information.
Bell Choir, Bible Study and Worship Services are canceled through April 30.
Effective immediately, all EmmausLink activities are canceled through April 30.
Visitors to homes of the people we support has been prohibited through April 30.
Work & Day Programs
Effective immediately, clients will not attend sheltered workshops or day programs through April 30.
- The Emmaus Corporate office and Marthasville administrative office will be closed until further notice.
- We are prohibiting non-essential visitors to homes through April 30th.
- High touch areas are being disinfected a minimum of twice each day.
- Please continue to take daily temps for both clients and staff. Staff temperatures should be taken at the beginning of each shift. Client temperatures should be taken once each day and recorded in in Therap vitals.
- Client temperatures over 100.4 should be reported to the supervisor immediately.
Health & Safety
- We cannot stress enough the importance of handwashing. Washing your hands is the first step in preventing the spread of coronavirus. The homes have been provided with antibacterial soap, please contact your CSM if you need additional soap.
- The continued safety and health of our clients and team members remains our priority. Please continue to wash your hands. Handwashing remains the No. 1 tip for preventing the spread of Coronavirus. However, it must be done properly and with soap and water. When soap and water are not available, the next best option is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Please continue to wipe down high touch areas in the home. These areas include doorknobs, sink handles, keyboards, etc. Spray a paper towel with the sanitizer provided in your kit (pink). This sanitizer is safe to use in the kitchen and can be used as well as a general household cleaner. The disinfectant wipes should be used for areas where the spray may not be available. They are on short supply and we are still having difficulty finding them.
- Hand sanitizer does not take the place of washing your hands with soap and water. The purpose of hand sanitizer is to provide a temporary barrier UNTIL you can wash your hands. Consider using hand sanitizer in cases where you can’t immediately access soap and water, such as after pumping gas or using an ATM.
- Consider things that are being brought into the home, including groceries, supplies and mail. These things have all been handled by many in the supply chain. You may wipe down items or spray with Lysol in the garage prior to bringing them in the home.
- Emmaus will continue deliver additional disinfecting supplies to the homes.
- We continue to source critical supplies for our homes. Communicate with your CSM regarding any needs your home has. Community members have been gracious in donating essential supplies and will still be able to drop off these supplies during normal business hours.
- Grocery shopping – please continue to shop for groceries online. Many grocery stores and retailers like Walmart and Aldi offer online ordering and curbside pick-up or delivery. You can find more information at aldi.com or www.walmart.com.
- If you are interested in using Instacart, please contact your CSM.
- The paired partners remain available for curbside pickup and items that are in short supply where stores are limiting quantities, such as milk, bread and eggs.
As a reminder, we are issuing employee IDs to all employees to identify you as an essential employee during the shelter in place orders.
- Permanent employee badges should be delivered to homes by Friday. Be sure to carry your badge when travelling to and from work.
All non-essential business travel by employees of Emmaus has been suspended until further notice.
Employees who choose to travel recreationally are required to report their trip to Human Resources with the following stipulations:
- All travel to level 3 warning areas, including overseas travel, will result in an unpaid 14-day quarantine and a release from a medical practitioner prior to returning to work. If available, the employee can use PTO.
- Any travel to other areas, the employee must complete a form that documents the trip AND be symptom-free before returning to work.
- Emmaus reserves the right to ask any employee to self-quarantine and/or provide a medical release prior to returning to work after traveling.
- Influenza and other respiratory infections including COVID-19 have similar if not identical signs and symptoms. Team members who feel sick or who develop a cough and/or shortness of breath should take their temperature twice each day and track their temperature. A team member who has a fever at or above 100.4 should not report to work.
Supervisors will be required to notify HR of all reports of illness
- HR will record the number of illnesses and report this information daily to Client Services and the Executive Team.
- Good hygiene remains a priority. It is critical that employees and clients continue to be rigorous in washing their hands. Beginning March 16, all employees will be required to complete an online hand hygiene and basic universal precautions training.
We have received some questions about the use of PPE (personal protection equipment), which includes gloves and masks, in the homes. In accordance with CDC guidance, we are continuing to secure PPE in the event that we need to care for a client with a positive diagnosis of COVID-19.
- All homes should have a supply of gloves for staff use. We have been assured by our supplier that we will continue to receive our normal supply but that we are unable to order additional gloves. Please do not use gloves at a faster pace than normal. If you need gloves, please contact your CSM.
- Please remember that the use of gloves does not replace handwashing.
- The new employee orientation training class schedule for next week will be held online. Please wait for further instructions from your trainer.
- We are extending the deadline for obtaining a Class E license. This extension will continue until further notice.
- For now, we are lifting the restriction that you must have a Class E to drive a client, until further notice.
- New employees will continue to receive van training as part of the 45 day checklist in the home.
Events & Volunteers
- The Topgolf fundraising event originally scheduled for March 19, has been postponed until further notice.
- All planned volunteers and volunteer activities are cancelled until further notice.
- Pastor Cindy and Pastor Andrea have pre-recorded worship services that are available on the Emmaus Connection.
Additional information and resources about COVID-19
Essential Employee Letter
Letter to Our Families
Stimulus Package Q&A
Helpful Resources for Team Members
Center of Disease Control
St. Charles County Civic Alerts
Healthcare Workers Emergency Daycare
NADSP Toolkit for DSPs
I have been saving my PTO. Am I able to use it now to take off several weeks during the COVID crisis?
As you know Emmaus is considered a critical employer during this time of crisis. Both Missouri and Illinois have declared States of Emergency and most of their citizens are currently under executive orders to shelter in place. For this reason, we need you now more than ever. Allowing extended periods of PTO at this time would put an undue burden our co-workers who are already working extraordinary hours. We need all hands- on deck and will not approve any extended periods of PTO during this crisis. We will evaluate our plan on a frequent and ongoing basis and will lift this restriction as soon as it is possible.
Can I use PTO if I test positive for a viral illness, like Flu A, B or COVID 19?
You may use PTO if you test positive for a viral illness. You may also choose not to use PTO. The choice is yours. We recognize that employees who test positive for COVID 19 may have additional rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the FML Expansion Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act. We will adhere to all applicable statutes regarding time off and paid time off as it relates to a positive COVID 19 diagnosis.
Can I use PTO if I am sick, but have not tested positive for a viral illness?
We want employees who are sick to stay home. Particularly those who have a fever of 100.4 or greater. As a reminder, all employees are required to take their temperature upon arriving at work. Employees who are sent home because of a temperature of 100.4 or greater may use available PTO. Employees who stay home because of illness may use available PTO.
What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
The FFCRA provides additional benefits for certain public and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Emmaus has more than 500 employees, making us exempt from these provisions. (Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division)