DSL COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon DSL family, 

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented and fluid situation. At this time, our Board President, Dr. Wes Sublett, and I have decided to amend our decision about aligning the closing of our facility with JCPS. Instead, we will independently decide when/if we need to shut down.  
We have made this decision for these reasons:
When it comes to our daily programming, the Adult Development Academy – our members are adults, not children. So,  we will align our policies & procedures with those of local universities vs. the school district. Although some universities are closing their campuses, they are also making modifications to safely continue business. 
With this in mind, we feel as though we can make modifications to our environment to keep our members as safe as possible. Thus, allowing our members to keep their usual schedules and limit the need for our parents and guardians to find back up care. Some of the modifications we will make are:

  • Employees, therapist and members will be reminded to NOT come to into the building if they feel ill and to call their health care provider.
  • We will keep members in small groups (their usual classrooms) and keep them at a healthy “social distance” (3ft) as much as possible. 
  • We will wipe down surfaces as these small groups move throughout the building.
  • We have suspended volunteer tutoring for at least the next week to limit outside visitors from entering the building. 
  • If anyone else enters the building, we will survey them asking if they have recently traveled out of the country, had a fever within the last 48 hours, or if they do not feel well currently. If they answer yes to any of these questions, we will not allow them to enter the building.
  • We will ask everyone who enters the building to use hand sanitizer at the front desk before proceeding. 
  • We will be educating and role-playing with members, modeling how to stay at a preferred social distance, wash hands, proper hygiene, etc.  Reminding them not to hug or hang on one another and to instead give fist bumps or bump elbows. We will ask families to have these conversations and role-play at home as well.
  • We ask that members bring their own hand sanitizer (if possible) and use it as needed. We will have it on hand, of course, but the more the better.

As far as other DSL programming & events are concerned we will stay fluid in our decision making.  As of this morning, there were 9 confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Kentucky.  Given the quickly evolving nature of this health threat, we will continue to monitor daily and make additional changes as needed. I would urge patience as we diligently monitor this situation.
What about the Down with Derby Fashion Show?
At this time, neither the CDC nor the Kentucky Department for Public Health has recommended canceling events the size of our Down with Derby Fashion Show and so far the families of our fashion models have not expressed concern with their members coming to the show.  DSL is actively developing a strategies on how to best keep attendees healthy at the show, and strategies for what we will do if we decide to cancel this event. If we do in fact cancel, this will be a loss on top of the losses we have already incurred due to illness and absences over the past month at DSL. We rely heavily on donations to continue all of our programs and services and will look to our community, families, and donors for any support that they can provide during this time. Our goal, as always, is to continue supporting educating and advocating for our members. We cannot do it without YOU. 
Thank you again for your patience and understanding. Dr, Wes Sublett and I are happy to address any questions individually.   

Julie Torzewski
Executive Director 
Down Syndrome of Louisville

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