|Dear BYS Parents and Families,
We are currently experiencing something we haven’t seen in our lifetime, but we will manage through it together…as one family. As President and CEO of BYS, I recognize that some of our decisions may be completely understood and supported while others may not and require further explanation.
All our decisions are and will be based on facts, CDC guidelines, and medical expert positions.
The Autism Therapy space is a smaller community within the bigger picture of things and in many ways, a sustainable, mini-community and economy of its own. Families have children or young adults on the Autism spectrum that require clinically recommended and necessary therapy which, if not received, can and will lead to regression of the child’s treatment plan and development. On the other hand, we have bright, compassionate, and professional clinicians, therapists and staff that care about your kids, want and need to work to make a living and pay their respective bills. Everyone cares about their health, safety, and well-being. No one wants to get sick unnecessarily.
I mention these things because other industries are greatly suffering and face the reality of going out of business if the basic principles of their doors being open, clients continuing to show up, and employees continuing to provide a service that is necessary to earn a paycheck, are not met. The same holds true for BYS. These are facts. In the event services are suspended for a lengthy period, BY YOUR SIDE, like any other company, could potentially close, which would result in a lack of services and ongoing payroll to employees on a permanent basis. This isn’t meant to scare anyone nor should it suggest that we will stay open and take unnecessary risks. I’m trying to provide all our clients and all our employees the significance of the decisions that are in play.
With that being said, we sincerely value our employees and our clients and their respective family’s health, safety, and well-being. We will not keep a center open if it is determined that any child, employee, or staff member has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus in that respective center.
What is BYS doing at the present time?
I just named Debby Carone, our Director of Human Resources, as the Leader of our Coronavirus task force at BYS. We are assembling a task force of leaders and employees within this company to ensure we are communicating regularly on a daily or every other day basis with updates on protocol, policies and schedule changes. We want your questions answered. We want to hear from you with feedback. We will address parent/family questions and employee concerns. As of now, this task force is meeting daily at 8 am to discuss all things Coronavirus and intend on sharing information on a regular basis through the designated email portal below.
Questions related to Coronavirus at BYS:
Debby Carone – Health@byyoursideac.com
I think it is fair to address another wave of anxiety/concern that will most likely ensue when test kits are released, and more people are tested positive for Corona-COVID-19. It is inevitable that there will be more cases announced which doesn’t and shouldn’t change how we operate today. All necessary precautionary measures will be taken before entering the therapy floor. I implore each of you as clients to come to our BYS Centers practicing the safest hygiene by washing and disinfecting your hands prior to coming to our centers and again, in our lobbies, at our portable cleaning stations. You have our commitment that we will take all steps and spare no expense ensuring that these centers are cleaned and disinfected consistently and often, and employees and staff are exercising good hygiene habits as well.
I want to make it very clear that we WILL NOT allow therapy to be provided to any client if the COVID-19 virus has been identified to be in any of our centers at any time. We have updated our sick policy to reflect that anyone having any symptoms of any illness to be sent home immediately with no exceptions.
What would we do in the scenario if a child or employee is identified as having the COVID-19 within one of our centers?
- We would shut the center immediately and notify all parents and staff.
- We would immediately apply hospital grade cleaning and disinfectant via Enviro Shield through Jan Pro.
- We would require a quarantine ceasing therapy in that center for a period recommended by Federally recognized agencies including the CDC and other Infectious disease agencies.
- After quarantine time has passed for all employees and clients, we would reopen the center and resume therapy.
- Our communication would be comprehensive and transparent.
It is very important to know that as a provider and as an employer, we are not obligating employees to work at this time nor are we obligating any family to come to therapy for fear of losing their spot. We do not want anyone feeling “pressured” to come to work if he/she is uncomfortable. We will accommodate anyone who wishes to stay home at this time by extending unpaid voluntary leave of absence for employees until March 31st, 2020 or holding a therapy spot until March 31st, 2020 for clients. At that time, we will evaluate the current client needs first prior to revising policy and potentially welcoming new clients.
Please note that requests to suspend service are to be requested in 1-week increments until March 31st, 2020 to help control scheduling complexity.
For those of you living in multi-generational homes, we understand the challenge this poses for your household. You should make decisions in the best interest of your family for those situations.
Finally, if you are not feeling well, coming down with a cold, or are sick, please DO NOT COME to work or come in for therapy for the betterment of our entire Autism Family at BYS.
This will come to pass over time. We need to work together and communicate in a collaborative way.
We need to be prepared and responsible as providers and as clients for the betterment of all parties involved.
I wish each of you health and well-being in the months and year ahead.