HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As always, I hope this message finds each of you safe, healthy, and doing your best. Especially as we enter into a new year. A year most of us thought would not feel like a repeat of 2021; but, here we are.
As our school program (CHDS) returned from Winter Break it was apparent that we would be dealing with the COVID-19 surge and the Omicron variant. 11 of our staff members had contracted or been exposed to the virus and were having to quarantine. One class saw 50% of its students remaining at home, while another only saw a reduction <5%. It has been significantly varying. Luckily, to date, we have only had one confirmed on-site transmission. We are doing everything we can to keep the spread contained, including vaccinations on more than 85% of the CHDS staff, masks (KN95 and N95), and modified cohorts.
Our adult program (HBIC-ADP) has been hit (statistically) a bit harder. 22% of the clients have been in quarantine, while 60% of the staff have been in quarantine at one point or another. As with the school program, we continue to practice safety protocols including promoting vaccinations, required medical-grade masks, and modified social distancing for those able to.
With both of our programs, alternative services are difficult; if not complete unavailable. So, we continue to do everything we can within our restrictions (state, county, school district(s), and Regional Centers). Regardless, as always, the safety and well-being of the students, clients, and staff continues to be our top priority.
We are in the process of enrolling in a program that will allow us, as an organization, to provide and perform COVID-19 rapid tests. This will hopefully keep our students, clients, and staff from having to seek out (hard to find) home tests, or wait in long lines at clinics. Hopefully this program comes to fruition for us.
Everyone has been amazing! As expected, there have been some behavioral adjustments for everyone, but nothing our staff can't manage.
On behalf of the staff and HBIC Board of Directors, “Thank You” for your ongoing support. We could not have been as successful as we have been without each one of you. Please remain safe & healthy!
For an opportunity to CONTINUE supporting, please take a look at our 2021 GALA Affaire page HERE.
Jason E. Cecil
From the Director...
Like many of you, we have spent the past 2 years learning about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is impacting our communities. For HBIC, that means understanding how it affects our employees, our students, and our clients, and then making the necessary, ongoing adjustments to our daily operations. The information and guidance we are following comes directly from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Orange County Department of Public Health (OCDPH), and the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). We have been and continue monitoring each of these institutions on a very regular basis.
The health and well-being of our staff and program participants is and will always remain our top priority. While additional precautionary measures have been taken, the following actions must be followed and adhered to by everyone for protection against the virus:
WASH HANDS WITH SOAP & WATER
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Do not touch eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
If you are sick, STAY HOME
If your child is sick, KEEP THEM HOME
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow; wash hands afterwards
Clean & disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
HBIC will be strictly enforcing our ILLNESS & INJURIES policy as outlined in the Parent/Guardian Handbook, as well as our newly developed COVID-19 HANDBOOK and COVID-19 PREPAREDNESS PLANN (CPP). If your child is sick or presents symptoms, be prepared for them to NOT ATTEND PROGRAM. If they present symptoms after arriving to program, you will be contacted and expected to pick your child up immediately. We understand that this can be an inconvenience, but again, the health & safety of all our staff, students, and clients is our primary concern.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. As we receive pertinent information, we will share it with you.
Jason E. Cecil, MA