We are thankful for your hard work and dedication in these unprecedented times. Thank you for your essential service and heroic work! #HealthcareHeroes
1/8/2021: 3:11 PM Vaccination Information:
Universal is providing information to employees regarding vaccination for COVID-19. We are following the framework laid out by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and NC Department of Health and Human Services. More detailed information has been sent directly to employees by email but those employees with further questions may contact their local health department or the HR department of Universal.
NC DHHS COVID-19: Find your spot to take your shot:
If you want to learn more about the process directly from DHHS, this is another great resource: https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/COVID-19-Vaccine-Update.pdf
6/19/2020: 1:29 PM Masks for Staff Required:
As we are all aware, the Covid-19 virus is very serious. Many lives have been lost to the virus. As an agency, we must take steps to protect our staff, persons served and the families of both our staff and persons served. I have thoroughly reviewed the Trends we are currently seeing in North Carolina where the number of positive Covid-19 cases are rising daily as well as the hospitalizations. After thoughtful consideration of all factors, effective Monday, June 22, 2020, the following guidelines apply to the wearing of face masks while at work.
· You be will mandated to wear a mask while in a Universal Office
· You cannot go into another staff’s personal office – stop at the door
· You do not have to wear the mask while in your own office
· Anytime you go out of your own office you are mandated to have on your mask
Also, each office will be required to follow the Protocol for Entry Into the Building. The protocol is attached to this memo.
We have done a great job so far in managing the spread of this virus in our facilities but as numbers grow, it is imperative that we take additional steps to prevent spread of the virus. I want to thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we all work as a Team to hopefully prevent Covid-19 from entering our workplace and spreading to our employees.
6/19/2020: 1:24 PM Office Entry Protocol
Beginning 6/22/2020, our office doors will have a note to please knock for assistance
Our staff will wear a mask and answer the door. The staff may instruct the individual at the door to stand back a few feet. The staff will ask a series of questions about recent health, such as have you had any of the following:
1. Shortness of breath
If you reply yes to any of the three questions, you will be asked to go to the nearest phone and call, and we will address your needs via the phone.
Anyone entering a Universal facility is required to wear a mask. Anyone who does not have a mask will be provided a mask by the company. el care and not allowed entry to our office/facility. You can then choose to call the office to have your needs addressed.
Anyone entering a Universal facility is required to wear a mask. Anyone who does not have a mask will be provided a mask by the company.
4/8/2020: 2:26 PM Mental Health and Mindfulness Resources During COVID-19
As we’re all dealing with a “new norm”, it can certainly take its toll. Normal stress outlets are unavailable, whether it’s physical activity or entertainment.
Below are some free mental health and mindfulness resources:
§ Web-Based Resources
- Heal Bright offers a free Self-Care under Quarantine course.
§ This free course educates users on helpful tactics to keep calm and take care of their well-being during times of crisis.
- The Mindful Website provides free daily meditations on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
§ Additionally, the group is offering their course Find Calm and Nourish Resilience for free during the COVID-19 outbreak, also accessible through the above link.
- The Cleveland Clinic, in partnership with Bravo, provides free self-care resources for all during this time. Expansive resources include exercise, stress relief, kid-friendly activities, healthy eating and sleep tips.
- Calm offers a “Take A Deep Breath” resource page including meditations, sleep stories, calm music, calm kids, mindfulness resources.
- Reduce your anxiety in 90 seconds with this breathing exercise from Naturally Slim.
§ App-Based Assistance
- Headspace’s Weathering the Storm collection provides free meditations, sleep, and movement exercises through their App.
§ Print or Email Documents
- The National Alliance on Mental Health has released the NAMI COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide. This tool provides methods to mitigate negative feelings associated with COVID-19 and can be downloaded at the link provided.
We hope that these resources will be helpful.
3/27/2020: 10:49 AM Temporary New Office Hours
Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, Universal Mental Health Services office hours will be 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM Monday thru Friday. This is Temporary change to limit exposure of the individuals we support, their families, and our employees. Our on-call staff remains available at all times that offices are closed. Thank you.
3/26/2020: 2:18 PM Universal Letter to Consumers, Contractors, Families, and Guardians It is titled "UMHS Essential Services -COVID-19" and has been posted below in the "Related Documents" section. This letter explains that the services provided by Universal Mental Health Services are classified as "Essential Services". It also outlines safety precautions and other resources. Please review.
3/25/2020: 3:50 PM Universal MH/IDD/SAS Plan and Response to Contagious Pathogens
The following guidance may help to prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
· Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:
o Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100° F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants.) Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
· In most cases Universal will not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work. Separate sick employees:
o Employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available.)
· Emphasize staying home with sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
o Tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles are available for use by employees
o Employees should clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water are preferable if hands are visibly dirty
o Soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs are in the workplace. Hand-rubs are placed in multiple locations and in conference rooms
· Routine environmental cleaning:
o Staff should routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow directions
o No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended
o Disposable wipes will be provided so that commonly used surfaces (i.e. doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employee before each use
· Traveling employees should take additional steps:
o Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for the area you may be traveling in
o Employees are advised to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify supervisor and stay home if sick
o Employees who become sick while traveling should understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed
Universal MH/DD/SAS Plan and Response to Contagious Pathogens
March 9, 2020
· Additional measures in response to currently occurring contagious pathogens:
o Employees who are well but have a sick family member at home with any contagious pathogen should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure
o If an employee is confirmed to have a contagious pathogen, employer shall inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to the pathogen in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA.) Employees exposed to a co-worker with a confirmed contagious pathogen should refer to CDC guidance on how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure
3/24/2020, 3:07 PM
2 Letters About Continuation of Care:
Letter #1 to Residential Person's Served Parents/Guardians:
Universal Mental Health Services always takes the health and safety of all the individuals we support as well as their caregivers, very seriously. This has become an even greater priority since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since that time, Universal has been working strategically to maintain the health and safety of those receiving services and those providing services to these individuals in residential settings. In order to best protect the individuals residing in our residential homes, the following guidelines are being provided to the caregivers:
The following are helpful resources:
Again, we would like to assure you that Universal takes this virus outbreak very seriously and continuously reviews all published information and updates in order to make the best decision possible to protect the individuals we serve as well as their caregivers.
Letter #2 to AFL-Group Home Providers:
Universal Mental Health Services always takes the health and safety of all the individuals we support as well as their caregivers, very seriously. This has become an even greater priority since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since that time, Universal has been working strategically to maintain the health and safety of those receiving services and those providing services to these individuals in residential settings. At the top of our priority list are the precautions that need to be taken in our residential homes. Below is a list of the guidelines that you will need to follow:
The following are helpful resources:
As we learn new information every day and make decisions regarding our programs, we will provide you with any pertinent updates. We encourage each of you to continue to contact your QP for guidance for any dilemmas or concerns that may arise. Again, we would like to assure you that Universal takes this virus outbreak very seriously and continuously reviews all published information and updates in order to make the best decision possible to protect the individuals we serve as well as their caregivers.
3/16/2020, 3:06 PM
Universal Team Members,
As we continue to put in motion safety precautions for COVID-19. We would like to advise our valued Community Support Techs who are providing community services to take the following precautions: It has been advised by the CDC that best precaution for COVID 19 is social distancing, that being said our periodic services such as CLS, Community Networking, Supported Employment, Day Supports, Respite should have limited community involvement when possible . For example staff should try to avoid large group meeting areas such the mall, library, recreation centers (YMCA, Gyms etc.), and community functions (Dances, Bingo etc.). As this situation continues to develop and the State and CDC contain additional information on the COVID-19 epidemic, we will continue to provide our team members with additional safety precautions.
3/13/2020, 3:51 PM
A note to our patients about the Coronavirus.
We want you to know that your health and safety are our first priority.
Here at Universal, we understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are committed to being responsive to the needs of our patients and employees as the situation evolves.
We have taken pride in our cleaning and hygiene standards and have taken additional measures developed in consultation with global and local public health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to make our cleaning and hygiene protocols even more rigorous:
Health and safety are all of our responsibilities. We encourage you to practice safety measures at home and when you're out. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow if you must sneeze or cough, and please stay home if you are sick. Take measures to avoid unnecessary contact with large crowds and confined gatherings of people to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Thank you in advance for your patience as we navigate this challenging situation one day at a time and determine how best to continue serving our communities, while maintaining our focus where it belongs: on our Valued Guests and Team Members.
3/10/2020, 10:08 AM
Contagious Pathogens including “Coronavirus" Information and Precautions
Universal Team Members,
This communication will contain information concerning the global spread of the coronavirus. The Universal senior management team is monitoring the situation. Our focus, as always, is the health and safety of our team members and the people we serve.
Here's what we know: The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu with fever, coughing and shortness of breath. It appears to mainly be spread through close person-to-person contact. It may be possible for someone to touch a surface or object with the virus on it and then touch their nose or mouth and become infected, but this is not the main way the virus spreads, according to CDC and other health experts.
In addition to all the normal things you do to stay healthy, the preventive measures are the same as for the flu or other viruses, according to CDC:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
We'll continue to share information as it becomes available and do our best to keep you informed about what we are doing as an agency and how best to prevent the spread of the virus.
We want you to know how much we appreciate your flexibility and commitment to our agency.