Helping Hands, Inc. COVID-19 Disaster Preparedness Plan

Helping Hands, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “the Agency”) has devised this COVID-19 Disaster Preparedness Plan (hereinafter referred to as “the Plan”) in preparation for and response to the current pandemic.

This plan was instituted on Monday, March 16, 2020 and is a part of, by reference, the Helping Hands, Inc. Disaster Plan. The Plan was developed using information from guidance documents provided at the United States Centers for Disease Control, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the American Red Cross, and the National Safety Council. Copies will be distributed to employees and prominently displayed throughout the facility. The policy was also provided electronically to the state licensing agency, SCDSS, on March 17, 2020 and will be made available to the public by request. Questions regarding the Plan should be directed to Carmen Landy, Chief Executive Officer at or at (803) 648-3456.

The ultimate goal of this plan is to protect the safety and health of the residents and employees of Helping Hands. As such, this plan is divided into two distinctive sections: Prevention and Response. Guidelines for residents, employees and visitors are outlined below.


It is important that every person connected to the agency do everything possible to prevent the incidence of COVID-19 on the physical campus of Helping Hands. As one level of protection, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the facility. Liquid antibacterial hand soap has been placed in all restrooms. Printed information regarding infection control from the CDC and SCDHEC has been posted throughout the facility and on the electronic billboard in the lobby.

Employees: Employees should observe Universal Precautions as instructed in orientation and in the first aid training provided by the Agency. This includes:

· the use of personal protective equipment such as latex gloves to avoid contact with bodily fluids

· frequent hand washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds

· keeping your hands away from your mouth, nose, or eyes

· using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available

· decontaminating/disinfecting surfaces as soon as possible after exposure to pathogens

· completing temperature and symptom checklist at the beginning of each shift for each child

· cleaning all door knobs, desk surfaces and counters at the beginning of each shift using disinfecting wipes

Residents: Residents should also observe Universal Precautions by:

· washing their hands frequently with warm soapy water

· keeping their hands away from mouth, nose, and eyes

· using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available

· notify a employees member if they begin feeling symptoms

Off-campus trips for residents which might involve a crowd will be prohibited until further notice.

Visitors: Non-essential visitors are prohibited during this time. This includes volunteers. Donations may be dropped off in the office during office hours.


Employees: Employees who display symptoms of the disease should not report to work or go home immediately and then seek medical advice for treatment to avoid introducing infection to the facility. Employees are expected to help fill shifts vacated by sick employees. Administrative employees will also assist in supervision residents.

Residents: Residents experiencing symptoms will be referred for medical treatment. They will then be isolated in a sick room using the procedures in the Helping Hands Operations Manual. If the number of sick residents reaches a critical mass, the population may be quarantined in an adjacent building on campus. Meals are to be served in the sick room until danger of transmission has ended.

Daily Activities during school closing: Helping Hands has created a schedule for academic, life skills, and career instruction for the time that residents are out of school. This will be added to academic content as prescribed by the student’s teachers. Outdoor and off-campus activities that follow CDC guidelines are scheduled to allow residents to get fresh air and exercise.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a staff member must be reported to the Director of Residential Services immediately. Any confirmed diagnosis in a resident must be reported to the resident’s Child Advocate, the Director of Residential Services, the Chief Executive Officer, and SC DSS at

Office hours: Due to the unprecedented nature of this pandemic, Helping Hands will suspend regular office hours beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020. Employees not involved in the direct care of residents will be scheduled to come in according to program needs and allowed to work remotely for the rest of the required hours. Remote work will be based on a project list developed by the employee and approved, in writing, by the CEO. Staff members will receive an update on the status of this policy at least every 48 hours until danger of transmission has ended.