Please enjoy this video tribute to the employees of the Southbury Training School.
We can't be more grateful to them for their dedication during this crisis.
(click image to link to video)
General Membership Meeting
Covid-19 Update Information
April 21, 2020
Commencing early in March, STS Director Eugene Harvey began implementing precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19. These include restricting staff members to a single cottage and minimizing the cottages in which nurses work. In addition, all campus and community recreational activities have been discontinued, no visitors, including family members and guardians, are permitted on campus, and all quarterly and annual IP meetings are being held remotely. Only off grounds medical appointments deemed critical by the medical staff are allowed and only on grounds specialty clinic appointments deemed necessary to maintain residents’ health are taking place, and only in a staggered fashion to prevent infection. All on and off grounds day programs have been cancelled. Temperatures of both staff and residents are taken twice each shift. All staff are wearing masks and gloves and, if they are in contact with anyone who has tested positive, eye protection and gowns. Cleaning protocols have been intensified and increased.
COVID-19 first appeared on the campus on March 30. As of today, nineteen residents have tested positive. Fortunately, there have been no new positive tests of STS residents in the last eight days. Five residents were retested today. Fourteen staff including six nurses have tested positive. There have been three staff deaths. Eugene is in the process of hiring temp workers to help out in case of staff absence.
Due to a cluster of positive tests (12) in Cottage 36, its residents were moved to Cottage 30 several weeks ago for easier social distancing. There are four common areas in Cottage 30 and there was only one in Cottage 36. That move is permanent. The move to 30 from 36 was accomplished in 4 hours!
Cottages 16 and 4 have been reopened and Cottage 15 is being prepared for reopening later this week. Cottages 16 and 36 are being used as isolation units for residents who have tested positive. Cottage 4 is being used for residents who are awaiting test results. When individuals have completed their 14-day quarantine, they will be moved to Cottage 15. STS is very fortunate to have buildings available for isolation of affected individuals and that the maintenance staff and others have worked diligently to effect the moves. Volunteer Services paid for staff to purchase additional TV’s, so all of the rooms in these Cottages have or will have TV’s.
STS presently has enough gowns, masks, gloves and eye protection. Sixty-seven hundred N-95 masks were found in storage and, as they are old, new elastic has been attached to most of these. Eugene is making arrangements to continue to have an adequate supply. Some of the extra supplies are being provided to DDS staff who work with individuals in their own homes. Staff and others have been making cloth masks and gowns.
For information about your STS resident please contact their case manager. You can also be in touch with your STS resident by calling the cottage and asking if a staff member can connect you by video call on their phone. Eugene is the process of obtaining tablets to make that easier.
Everyone from STS Director Harvey on down is committed to keep our loved ones safe and healthy. The entire staff deserves great commendation and we sent the staff a joint thank-you letter with the Foundation which was distributed to staff yesterday.
The Home & School Association
retains Rose Petruzzi-Cocozza as a legislative liason
Recently we thanked John Hirschauer for his outstanding service as Legislative Affairs Advocate, as he left for a new full-time position. We have hired Rose Petruzzi-Cocozza in his stead. Rose is a former H&S board member and is the guardian of her aunt, who has lived at STS since the 1960’s. Rose has often advocated for STS in Hartford and, through her healing sound therapy practice both at STS and in the community, she has seen first-hand the many differences between the care and services provided at STS and those provided in the community. We are confident that she will be a passionate and effective advocate.
The Home & School Association suggests family and friends of residents contact their Cottage Charge to find out when they can experience one of Rose's therapeutic gong sessions for themselves.
Watch John Hirschauer and Diana Mennone deliver testimony to legislators in Hartford about Southbury Training School on February 25, 2019.