13 Apr Medical Director’s Coronavirus Update week of 4/6
The following is a letter sent to community partners by 12&12, Inc. Medical Director, Dr. Jason Beaman.
Dear Community Partners,
True to its mission, 12&12 continues to care for those in the community that most in need. We have continued to evaluate not only our procedures but also our role in the COVID-19 crisis. I believe 12&12 has prepared well and implemented aggressive environmental procedures several weeks ago. These procedures include:
- All individual entering the building are screened with a thermometer.
- The facility has been compartmentalized into two; administrative and patient care. This is to avoid exposing our patients, who have been essentially isolated from the community, to those that have been out in the community.
- The facility has been cleaned with an electrostatic fogger and we have purchased our own (which will be delivered in the next few weeks.)
- We have analyzed and altered all traffic patterns in the building to avoid mixing populations.
- We have opened all non-essential locked doors to avoid touching door handles.
- We are engaging the clients in helping to sanitize all surfaces and door handles after use.
- We have closed the cafeteria and are no delivering meals in patient rooms.
- We have transitioned all individual counseling sessions to virtual visits.
- We have allowed non-essential employees to work from home to minimize outside contact.
- We closed admissions to detox. While this was a difficult decision, we recognized that during the period of minimal testing availability, most detox patients would screen positive for the virus.
- We have transitioned all group counseling sessions to virtual visits.
- We limited admissions to individuals that were located in a treatment facility for 7 days.
While the above decisions were difficult to make, we believe that they were necessary to protect the lives of the patients that were admitted and the ones yet to come. Since we have implemented the above, the course of the virus in our Tulsa community has changed. These changes include:
- Wide availability of testing with quick (24-30 hour) turnaround times.
- Recommendations from Governor Stitt that anybody that needs testing, get it.
- Close guidance from Tulsa Health Department on the anticipated surge (maximum medical capacity in Tulsa) at the end of April.
- Close communication with community mental health treatment facilities and medical facilities, along with community partners such as Healthy Minds.
With the new information, this week we are implementing the following changes:
- We will re-open detox. Improved protocols include:
- patients wearing a mask while in community area for 7 days.
- Detox will be completely isolated from the rest of the facility. Staff will not blend and will be dedicated to that unit during that shift.
- Increased monitoring of temperature
- Opening admissions to individuals who are located in a treatment facility for 5 days, including jail.
- Restarting groups which will be performed virtually.
We have improved our admissions process so that we are maximally responsive to our community partners, especially medical facilities, as we know that in the coming weeks they will need to move patients as quickly as possible. We are also constantly seeking innovative ways to provide treatment to the most amount of individuals possible. As such, we expect to be able to loosen restrictions even more in the coming weeks. I am happy that our cautious steps thus far have prevented any infections in the facility. I am confident that when that day comes (and we are very certain that it will), 12&12 has put procedures in place the rapidly identify and prevent further spread.
We appreciate your patience and support during these trying times and hope that you will not hesitate to reach out should you need any assistance.
Jason Beaman D.O., M.S., M.P.H., FAPA