COVID 19: An Operations Update from Gayle Aycock, LRADAC President & CEO

Message from the President & CEO

We’ve all gone through adjustments in our professional and personal lives with all the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been challenges for sure, and I want to express my gratitude to our patients, colleagues, friends and supporters—and especially to our own LRADAC family who have given their all to continue to serve our patients and communities. Although our buildings were “mostly” closed, we have been able to maintain contact and provide virtual services to as many patients as possible while also continuing to operate withdrawal management/detox services. In this time of virtual operations, we have also been able to move forward on many prevention efforts and utilize telehealth visits for several outpatient and intervention services.

We are now working toward reopening and LRADAC’s main objective is to ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff. That’s our number one goal in all our preparations and our team has been busy getting our facilities prepped for our return to daily on-site operations. Some of these efforts include social distancing measures being put into place for all patient services and classes as well as daily front door screenings and temperature checks for all employees and patients. We will also implement alternate staff scheduling and continuing remote work and meetings when possible—adhering to CDC recommended measures at every turn. And most important, these measures will mean continuous use of professional sanitizing services as well as the use of masks for both staff and patients going forward. I believe that wearing a mask is not only a way to help keep people safe, it’s a way to show respect for one another. I wear mine to protect you and you wear yours to protect me. That’s because we are all in this together — it is up to all of us and each of us to keep infection rates trending down and to prevent surges and recurrences of the coronavirus.

Our first phase of resuming on-site operations started earlier this month. We secured personal protection equipment for staff and patients to ensure safe entry into our buildings.  In the last several days, we have been offering virtual prevention programs and with social distancing measures in place, on-site drug screening and Intervention/ADSAP services.  Beginning around June 8th, phase 2 begins and, continuing to utilize social distancing guidelines, we will offer on-site women’s, young adults, men’s and co-occurring Intensive Outpatient groups.  Our withdrawal management operations will continue with a reduced census. Our Recovering Professionals Program will continue utilizing telehealth meetings to provide services. Soon we will resume on-site scheduled assessments for outpatient services—meaning no walk-ins. Then in July, phase 3, we will restart on-site adolescent IOP services. Throughout all phases, we will continue to utilize virtual meetings when possible to keep staff and patient presence on-site at a minimum. We are also establishing CDC recommended safety protocols in the event of a patient or staff member contracting coronavirus, including quarantines, sanitized cleaning, notifications to any affected workers or patients, and emergency response when appropriate.

During LRADAC’s plan of phased-in operations, we will be monitoring all COVID-related case numbers and health updates from the CDC and DHEC.  In the event that cases go up or there is a second wave of infections, we will reassess operations and act in the best interest of our patients and staff. As we work together through this, we look forward to a return to full capacity operations while also embracing safer and more effective ways to operate in the future. We thank you for your support and we also invite you to stay tuned to our Facebook page for some tips on preventing relapse, avoiding alcohol and drug use as a coping mechanism and some suggestions on maintaining your best mental and physical health. From everyone at LRADAC, please stay safe and healthy and know that we remain your community resource and partner through these challenging times.

Reminder on CDC Recommendations on Preventing Coronavirus

As businesses continue to open, please continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for preventing respiratory illnesses.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get the influenza vaccine.

Resources

The most up-to-date information on the coronavirus can be found on the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

 Understanding Coronavirus

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.