To Our Valued Clients, Employees, and Friends
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have already been directly affected by the Coronavirus and COVID-19. Our hearts also go out to the many people in Lancaster County and beyond who are in the throes of fear and apprehension, especially when it comes to children, older adults, and other vulnerable members of our community.
Please know that the team at The GateHouse has spent considerable time developing and implementing safeguards and guidelines for keeping our clients, residents, and employees safe.
We are closely following the guidelines issued by The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for keeping our headquarters, our Behavioral Health Facility, and our Residential Treatment centers and Transitional Recovery Housing locations clean and safe. The welfare of our residents, their families, and our employees and their families is our main concern as we navigate this unprecedented crisis.
At least for now, the risk is low for a majority of people in Lancaster County, but we have taken the following steps, so we can continue serving those in recovery while protecting the health of everyone in our care and community.
We began doing deep cleans for all of our locations over the weekend. We hired cleaners to come into all of our locations and do a deep clean and sanitization, starting with our Behavioral Health Facility on Cherry Street, then proceeded to our Residential Treatment residences in the City of Lancaster.
This week, we will continue deep cleans of our Lititz and Marietta Locations, as well as all other facilities owned and operated by The GateHouse.
All of our Residential Treatment and Transitional Living locations are on lock-down, meaning no one is permitted to leave unless it is for essential services, work, or doctor’s appointments.
We have also temporarily suspended all visitation to our residences, as well.
All members of The GateHouse team—both onsite and offsite–have been instructed to adhere to CDC best practices and obey the agency’s guidelines and instructions, which include social distancing, the utilization of hand sanitizing stations we’ve set up, and self-quarantining measures.
Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve also changed our staffing patterns so that shifts are staggered and we have less staff on-site during the day. We’re doing this not only to reduce exposure risk but also to ensure that if staff members are taken ill for any reason, we will have backup team members available and ready to fill in.
Team members at our administrative offices, which includes centralized intake, will be working remotely for the foreseeable future.
We are fine-tuning our clinical and outpatient services, such as Partial Hospitalization Treatment and Intensive Outpatient Services to ensure there are no group meetings larger than five people.
We are also encouraging any and all clinical and outpatient clients to avoid attending group meetings or treatment if they feel sick or experience any cold-like or flu-like symptoms.
Our centralized intake interviews will include some additional prescreening questions to protect our existing clients and staff and to ensure prospective clients are aware of our new Coronavirus policies and procedures. Once a new client is admitted, we will be taking extra precautions with them when they arrive, including new sanitizing measures and temperature readings.
We have indefinitely suspended our Family Program until further notice.
- TEMPERATURE CHECKS: All clients and staff are being asked to submit to temperature checks at every location twice a day to ensure any elevations are addressed as quickly as possible.
- NO-TOUCH POLICIES: We’ve implemented a no-touch policy at all of our locations, as well as our Behavioral Health Programs. Typically, when we close meetings, there are usually hugs, handshakes, and hand-holding during the closing prayer. We are asking our clients and attendees to refrain from these behaviors indefinitely.
- 12-STEP MEETINGS: Residents at our Residential Treatment and Transitional Recovery Housing locations are no longer permitted to leave to attend 12-step meetings. Instead, we’re encouraging them to participate in virtual 12-step meetings.
- VIRUS CONTINGENCY MEASURES: While no one so far has exhibited Coronavirus symptoms at any of our locations, our plan, if they do test positive for the virus, is to use two of our empty locations to place them under quarantine. Our King Street location would be for women residents and our Mountville location would be for men.
- TELE-HEALTH: We are currently implementing Outpatient Tele-Health from our Behavioral Health Facility on Cherry Street in Lancaster, and we plan to implement this service to all of our locations as soon as possible. We will be utilizing the video and web conferencing program Zoom to offer this service. To participate, please SIGN UP HERE or give us a call at 717-393-3215 for more information.
The GateHouse has been in operation since 1972. Now in our 48th year, we value our residents, clients, and the recovery community more than ever.
Thank you for your cooperation, patience, and understanding as we all confront this troubling and unpredictable threat. We appreciate your kindness and generosity during this difficult time, and we know that we will all get through this together.
The recovery community endures!