COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
Keeping Families, Children, and Employees Safe
Updated October 21, 2021
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. As our COVID-19 Task Force continues to closely monitor recommendations from public health officials regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), it is clear that we need to keep up the fight. We appreciate the dedication families and staff have shown in protecting our community during this pandemic, and we look forward to the day where we can safely reduce restrictions.
The following protocols are currently in effect to help protect our community:
Health and Exposure Screenings:
Anyone who enters our buildings will be screened at the door. The screening includes answering a series of questions and having your 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 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 limited, and we have limited the number of family members allowed in the building for many of our services.
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 two accompanying visitors are allowed entry. One of the visitors must be a primary caregiver. Primary caregivers include, but are not limited to:
- 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
Why does ChildServe still have COVID-19 requirements?
As a healthcare provider, our highest priority is the health, safety, and well-being of the kids and families we serve, and that of our team members. Like all other healthcare providers and hospital settings, ChildServe is continuing to navigate the pandemic with as many efforts to reduce spread within our community as possible.
ChildServe is unique in that we serve children with acute medical needs – these children are at a higher risk for serious outcomes from contracting COVID-19. While we serve many children who do not have complex medical needs, they often share treatment space or waiting rooms with those who do.
Finally, community infection rates are currently high enough for COVID-19 to spread rapidly without proper protocols in place.
As our COVID-19 Task Force monitors guidance from the CDC, it is clear that we need to keep up the fight against COVID-19. We appreciate the dedication families and staff have shown in protecting our community during this pandemic, and we look forward to the day where we can safely reduce restrictions.
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.
- 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. If you have any questions about the visitor restrictions in your service area, please contact your child’s care provider. These temporary visitor restrictions are subject to change as necessary.
- Anyone who enters a ChildServe location must 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 follow strict cleaning protocols throughout our buildings, including more frequent cleaning in waiting rooms and high-touch areas.
Do I need to wear a mask at ChildServe?
Masking is required in all ChildServe locations for anyone who enters our buildings. In accordance with CDC recommendations, 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 can request an exemption from this requirement.
What are the screening questions at ChildServe?
1. Have you or anyone with you today tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days?
2. Have you or anyone with you today had known close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 or more minutes over a 24-hour period) with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
3. Are you or anyone with you today currently experiencing any of the following symptoms that are not typical for you:
- Fever greater than or equal to 100.4°F (38°C) without meds
- Congestion or runny nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- New loss of taste or smell – Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – Sore throat
I answered "yes" to one of the screening questions. When can I return to ChildServe?
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 Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- State of Iowa’s Coronavirus website
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.
Can my child/family receive a COVID-19 vaccination at ChildServe?
ChildServe is not a community provider of the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage you to contact the primary care provider for your child or young adult to determine vaccination options. You can also check the Department of Public Health website for opportunities in your area:
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.
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of 4,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.