COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

Keeping Families, Children, and Employees Safe

Updated November 23, 2020

At ChildServe, our number one priority is ensuring the health and safety of the children, young adults, and families we serve, and all our team members. Our COVID-19 Task Force is meeting daily and continues to closely monitor recommendations from public health officials regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Health and Exposure Screenings:

Anyone who enters our buildings will be screened at the door, including answering a series of questions and having their temperature checked. If you answer “yes” to any of the screening questions, we will not hold your session that day, or until your child has met the Return to ChildServe criteria (see FAQ section below). We encourage you to self-screen at home before your visit to ChildServe. You should stay home and reschedule your visit if you are ill, have tested positive or had known close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Please see the FAQ section below for more details on our COVID-19 screening questions. 

Masking:
Masking is required in all ChildServe locations for anyone who enters our buildings. Children who are not able to tolerate a mask, are under the age of two, or have medical conditions that could be negatively impacted by wearing a mask are exempt from this requirement.

Building Access and Visitor Restrictions:
To limit the spread of illness, we have implemented temporary visitor restrictions. These restrictions are subject to change as necessary. Volunteers, tours and onsite meetings with external partners are currently not allowed at any ChildServe locations, and we have limited the number of family members allowed in the building for many of our services. We understand these visitor restrictions may be difficult. While we are committed to providing a family-centered care environment, right now restricting visitors is in the best interest of the children and families we serve. 

The following visitor restrictions are in place for the children and families we serve in our various services:

Outpatient Families (Therapy, DME, Orthotics, Physician and Specialty Clinics, and Behavioral Health programs): Only the child who receives care and one primary caregiver is allowed entry. Primary caregivers include, but are not limited to: 

  • Parents/stepparents
  • Spouse/significant other
  • Other defined caregiver (siblings are not allowed unless 16 years of age who are also identified as the defined caregiver)

Primary caregivers must:

  • Be 16 years of age and older (including sibling caregivers)
  • Limit movement within the facility
  • Remain in treatment rooms as appropriate
  • Pass the COVID-19 screening and temperature check

Telehealth sessions are currently available for many outpatient services. Contact your provider for more information.

Residential Program Families (Group Homes, Long-term Care Unit and Inpatient Rehabilitation): Controlled outdoor and indoor visitation opportunities are available for family members and approved visitors. Contact your inpatient administrator or house supervisor for more information. 

Community Service Families (Respite, Day Habilitation): Day Habilitation participants can be accompanied by no more than one person during drop off and pick up. Respite visitors must contact the Respite Supervisor for more information. 

Childcare and Day Health Families: Children receiving childcare and day health services can be accompanied by no more than one person during drop off and pick up. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ChildServe doing to protect my child?

ChildServe has a plan in place to continue to provide the safest care possible. We have been following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) since news of COVID-19 first broke earlier this year.

  • ChildServe’s Infection Control Council established a COVID-19 Task Force with dedicated resources and authority to implement change as the need arises. The task force is in frequent contact and continues to make recommendations to protect the health of those in our care as we navigate this global pandemic.
  • ChildServe has implemented visitor restrictions at the advice of the Iowa Department of Health. To limit the spread of illness, all non-essential visitors will be restricted from all ChildServe locations. Our long-term care program, inpatient rehabilitation program, and group homes are currently closed to non-essential staff and limited visitation opportunities have been carefully designed to limit the spread of illness while allowing family members the chance to interact with their child. In our outpatient services, only the child who receives care and primary caregivers are allowed entry. These temporary visitor restrictions are subject to change as necessary.
  • Anyone who enters a ChildServe location will be screened at the door for exposure and illness symptoms, including a temperature check.
  • Masking is required in all ChildServe locations. Exemptions can be requested for children under 2 years old, or those who can not tolerate a mask or have medical conditions that restrict them from wearing a mask.
  • Our facility teams are following strict cleaning protocols throughout our buildings, including more frequent cleaning in waiting rooms and high-touch areas.
What are the screening questions for children and families?

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, please postpone your visit:

  1. Have you or anyone with you today tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, or had known close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative 15 or more minutes over a 24-hour period) with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?

  2. Are you or anyone with you today currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that are not typical for you? Symptoms include any ONE of the following: 
     – Fever greater than or equal to 100.4°F (38°C) without the use of fever-reducing medications like Tylenol or Motrin
    – Chills
    – Cough
     Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    – Muscle or body aches
    – Loss of taste or smell
    – Sore throat
    – Runny nose or congestion
    – Diarrhea
    – Fatigue
    – Headache
    – Nausea or Vomiting
What are the screening questions for Childcare and Day Health?

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, please postpone your visit:

  1. Has the child(ren) receiving services tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days?
  2. Has the child(ren) receiving services had known close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative 15 or more minutes over a 24-hour period) with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days? If yes, were both parties masked?

  3. Are you or anyone in your home currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that are not typical for you? Symptoms include any ONE of the following: 
     – Fever greater than or equal to 100.4°F (38°C) without the use of fever-reducing medications like Tylenol or Motrin
    – Chills
    – Cough
     Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    – Muscle or body aches
    – Loss of taste or smell
    – Sore throat
    – Runny nose or congestion
    – Diarrhea
    – Fatigue
    – Headache
    – Nausea or vomiting
What should I do if I feel sick, or think I may be getting sick?

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you should:

  • Stay home and isolate from others until you are in good health.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze, preferably into your elbow or sleeve. If a tissue is used, immediately throw the used tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cell phones, cups, toys, handles, countertops, etc.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Visit the CDC website to learn more about best practices to keep your family healthy.

I answered "yes" to one of the screening questions. When can I return to ChildServe?

If you or your child answered “yes” to one of the screening questions, you must meet specific criteria before you or your child can return to ChildServe for services. Please follow the guidance listed on the Return to ChildServe chart (English/Spanish). Childcare and Day Health services have slightly different regulatory requirements. View the Childcare/Day Health Return to ChildServe chart here. If you have questions, contact the appropriate nurse manager for your location.

Why is ChildServe limiting visitors?

This was a decision we made after careful consideration. Based on guidance from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health, ChildServe is restricting visitors to protect the children and families we serve and help reduce the spread of illness due to COVID-19.

When will the visitor restriction be lifted?

Unfortunately, we do not know. As long as public health experts perceive COVID-19 as a threat, it is likely that our visitor restrictions will stay in place.

How can I help my child prepare for their telehealth session?

ChildServe‘s therapy team created a social story to help children adjust to therapy sessions provided via telehealth instead of in-person visits. A simplified version for kids who prefer visual schedules is also included at the end of the story. Click here to download the social story and visual schedule. Feel free to share this resource with anyone who might need it!

Where can I get trustworthy information about COVID-19?

These organizations are the most-trusted places to get information about COVID-19:

Iowa has established the 2-1-1 hotline, which is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. The 2-1-1 line is staffed with nurses to answer questions related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If you experience symptoms after hours that can’t wait until the next day, please call your primary care provider. In a true medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

How can I help ChildServe?

We are grateful to the many friends of ChildServe who have reached out to us asking how they can help during this unprecedented time. ChildServe is currently accepting donations of PPE, including homemade masks (see mask pattern here) and homemade gowns. Please contact Joy Batten for more information. If you are interested in giving financially to ChildServe, you can learn more at www.childserve.org/giving.

Masking & Distancing Makes a Difference

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ChildServe improves the health and well-being of more than 4,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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