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Transitioning to more active rehabilitation

Thank you for your patience and support as we make our way through another week of COVID-19. To date, of approximately 150 clients in our system, 7 have tested positive for the virus. We currently have one admitted Special Tree client with an active COVID-19 positive case. Out of roughly 650 employees, 17 have tested positive. 

We continue to protect our clients and staff in as many ways as possible to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 team is exploring opportunities to get our clients back into active rehabilitation as soon as possible. 

  • Telehealth visits have been very successful for many clients to continue their rehabilitation. These will continue for now, and we will transition clients back to traditional in person therapy when appropriate
  • We are implementing enhanced practices for disinfecting equipment, social distancing measures, use of PPE within therapy clinics and common spaces, staggering client therapy sessions, and more
  • Therapy for clients at the NeuroCare Campus will gradually shift from being in-room only to the therapy clinic, including the safe use of advanced equipment such as our ZeroG and e-stim bikes
  • The Saginaw Outpatient Clinic is scheduled to reopen the week of May 4th for essential rehabilitation services
  • Clients in our Community Residential facilities are no longer being isolated in their rooms and are using common areas with masks, face-shields, and appropriate distancing
  • New admissions are being welcomed on a case by case basis

 
The COVID-19 team is carefully planning for these and other transitions, in the hope that we can take steps in ways that will ensure the continued safety and protection of our clients, staff, and communities.
 
Removing Isolation for clients with COVID-19:

Due to the associated dangers with this virus, it is important to ensure a client meets defined criteria when determining recovery from COVID-19.  The CDC guidelines offer two options for resolving COVID19:

1.  Test Strategy—Isolation may discontinue under the following conditions:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and
  • Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart  (i.e., total of two negative specimens).

2.  Non-Test Strategy—Isolation may discontinue under the following conditions:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Special Tree has opted to use the CDC’s Non-Test Strategy because we have learned that this method better aligns with consistent assessment of an individual’s clinical condition and status. Although a person’s symptoms may have subsided, their body may continue to shed ‘old’ virus cells regardless of their improvement physically. Test swabs may erroneously detect the ‘old’ virus cells thus giving a false positive test result.
 
While COVID-19 has put a temporary stop to many things, it hasn’t stopped spring from arriving.  With the nicer weather, we are getting clients outdoors as much as possible. 

We encourage you to connect with your loved ones via facetime, zoom or other apps. Our staff are more than happy to assist with making these connections. We are considering options for visitors once the Stay-at-Home orders are lifted which would still help us prevent the spread of the virus, such as outdoor visits from a distance to enable clients to connect with their families and loved ones. However, visitor restrictions will continue until they are lifted from the State of Michigan.

We’ll continue to keep you up-to-date on the steps we’re taking in response to COVID-19 and encourage you to reach out to your Case Manager or Residential Program Manager with your questions and concerns.