Fair Haven prepared for COVID-19 crisis


By Lee Jones - Guest columnist



With the recent disclosure of an active COVID-19 case in Shelby County, Fair Haven, DayBreak Adult Day Services, and the Nutrition Services of Shelby County seek to inform the community of their efforts to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the county. While this case is not at Fair Haven, we are treating this a sign that we need to continue following proper procedures and being vigilant.

Fair Haven

Fair Haven has been working tirelessly to follow ever-updating state and federal guidelines for COVID-19 preparedness and prevention. The facility has had no outside visitation by friends and family since the order first came from the Governor earlier this month.

Immediately, Fair Haven started requiring all staff to take their temperature and complete a screening form at the beginning of every shift in order to prevent any infections, COVID-19 or otherwise. By taking such measures against more routine illness, Fair Haven has sought to prevent as much as possible in order to protect our residents’ immune systems.

Healthcare contractors and outside services, such as traveling lab services for one example, have been prevented from providing care at Fair Haven (with the exception of hospice caregivers in an end-of-life scenario) in order to prevent possible exposure from other facilities where there may be COVID-19 cases. This was also required by the state orders. Delivery drivers and their cargo have either made delivery outside the building, or been let in the main entrance, temperature taken and form filled out, and exited as quickly as possible with minimal contact with staff only. These measures have been successful so far, and every party has willingly complied.

All of our residents, their families, our partners in the healthcare field, and our staff have all recognized the tremendous need to prevent the spread and have done everything possible to comply with regulations and keep our residents safe.

These isolation procedures have been a tough adjustment for our residents’ loved ones, but the facility has done everything possible to maintain connection while following “social distancing” regulations. This has included updates through the Fair Haven Facebook page, a dedicated “pen pals” email account, accepting cards and letters, and providing access to Skype calling for residents who do not have their own devices.

Nutrition Services

The Nutrition Services home-delivered meals program has continued during the pandemic, but has adopted additional infection control procedures to protect clients and drivers. This includes taking driver temperatures and filling out screening forms before beginning a route. Clients were encouraged to place a box in front of their door so that meals could be delivered and sealed inside so the client could easily access them without the driver entering the home. All congregate meal sites were closed in accordance with state orders. The menus have not changed. The entire Nutrition Services crew have worked very hard to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic does not limit their clients’ access to home-delivered meals.

DayBreak Adult Day Services

DayBreak Adult Day Services was providing services until March 23, after the“stay home” order was issued by Gov. DeWine. Many clients had already dialed back their attendance beforehand, and so the group was getting smaller. The plan was to electively close DayBreak on the 23rd due to the attendance drop and out of an abundance of precaution. Clients were added to the home-delivered meals routes, and they have been receiving welfare calls from DayBreak staff as well as life enrichment activity packages sent to their homes.

These county offices are very grateful for all the support they have received from the community. Fair Haven and Nutrition Services have benefited from a large-scale homemade face mask industry that has grown in Shelby County since the national shortages were made known. These kinds of masks have been really useful in highly affected areas, so we feel very confident about having the tools we need to fight this crisis.

Also the residents and staff of Fair Haven have received numerous greeting cards with lovely messages of hope and strength in these uncertain times. We thank every single person who has written and continues to write.

As always, we value all well-wishes, good thoughts, and prayers. The person who received the diagnosis of COVID-19 is in our thoughts and prayers, as are his or her loved ones who may have been exposed.

By Lee Jones

Guest columnist

The writer is the assistant administrator at Fair Haven.

The writer is the assistant administrator at Fair Haven.