Community Outreach Wisconsin (COW) is a group of unique cutting-edge programs within the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the Waisman Center, UW-Madison. These programs work extensively with individuals and community teams supporting persons with developmental disabilities.
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Community Outreach Wisconsin COVID-19 Response
As with many of our community partners, we are trying to navigate the extremely difficult challenge of continuously offering our services while safeguarding the health and well- being of individuals we serve and our dedicated staff. We have implemented important changes to our practices and are happy to announce that as of 7/13/2020 Community Wisconsin Outreach staff will be able to have limited and somewhat modified in person contact with participants and families again.
Below you will find updated information about our respective programs and an abbreviated overview of major safety protocols:
- Our Olin office will continue to be closed for visitors. Community Outreach staff will continue to primarily work out of their respective homes. An online scheduling system will assure that any given time the total number of staff present at Olin will not exceed five total (or one person per room). Social distancing protocols as well as stepped up hygiene and cleaning/sanitization protocols following CDC and OSHA guidelines are being implemented.
- Team meetings for all program will continue via conference calls or online meeting apps. Community Outreach staff are happy to host HIPAA compliant meetings via Webex.
- The TIES clinic will continue to operate via tele-health.
- Community Trainings will be offered in an online format.
- All Community Outreach staff will perform and document daily temperature and symptom checks. All staff are provided with face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and necessary cleaning/disinfecting supplies. WIN nurses have access to additional PPE.
- Home visits may be scheduled with individuals who are expected to maintain social distancing, ideally in open spaces in the community (going for a walk at a public park). This may include a home’s front or back yard, a park, or other appropriate open spaces, i.e. larger rooms that are well ventilated and allow for social distancing. In general, visits shall not exceed 30 min.
- Prior to a home visit, Community Outreach staff will reach out to ensure that individuals visited and their caregivers are symptom and exposure free. If individuals visited do not have masks staff will provide them.
- Community Outreach staff will wear masks (one clean face mask per visit), use hand sanitizer (prior, during, and after a visit), sanitize any items brought into a home (phone/calendar) and maintain social distancing at all times. WIN nurses who might be required to complete hands-on assessments or tasks in addition will use single use covering gowns, and gloves.
- Community Outreach staff will gather names and contact information of individuals present during home visits to facilitate notification in case there is confirmed contact or exposure.
We recognize the high level of uncertainty we all are experiencing. We will continue to monitor state and local data, follow CDC, DHS, City of Madison and Dane County Public Health guidelines as well as Waisman Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison policies and procedures and will adjust this plan as needed.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions. We can be reached at our typical phone numbers and email addresses.