Re-opening Week at Cornerstone Autism Center

May 8, 2020 - Morgan McClellan

Re-opening Week at Cornerstone Autism Center

By Morgan McClellan, Marketing Coordinator

For the first time in 10 years, Cornerstone closed its doors a total of six weeks to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The decision to close was difficult, but one our management team felt would help slow the spread and flatten the curve of the virus.

“We really miss you all and are anxious to see you as soon as safely possible,” said Chief Clinical Officer, Ken Weadick, in a message to our families and staff.

The centers closed on Friday, March 20th, and re-opened on Monday, May 4th. Before the centers began essential 1:1 therapy again, our management team spent countless hours developing new safety procedures that are now in place to protect our clients and staff from contracting the disease.

“Our top priority has always been the safety of our staff, clients and their families,” said Debbie Ide, Chief Operating Officer.

As we inched closer to the re-opening date, we designed shirts for our staff that say, “I can’t stay home, I am essential!” Our staff created a sweet video for our families, which you can view at this link. Then, the posts in the Cornerstone parent support group on Facebook began pouring in. They shared photos of their children smiling at the camera, with captions saying, “Can’t wait to return soon. We’re really missing our Cornerstone family!” 

Several BCBAs, team leaders, admins and therapists from each location made signs to remind everyone that we were thinking of them, even while we were apart.

Prior to re-opening, all staff members attended a mandatory training on safety protocols and procedures. All staff members were provided washable face masks and individual re-fillable hand sanitizers to use at their center.

Here is a list of what we are actively doing at each location to be able to provide safe ABA therapy Monday through Friday:

  • Staff members can only arrive at one entrance at each facility. At this screening checkpoint, staff members must be able to pass all Health Screening questions and have their temperature taken in order to gain access to the building.
  • All staff are practicing social distancing guidelines wherever possible.
  • Due to the 1:1 nature of the therapy we provide, all clinical staff members must wear masks throughout the day.
  • Clients are scanned for temperature reading at the car during drop-off procedure.
  • Parents are asked health screening questions at the car before the clients enter the building with their therapist.
  • Each center has a designated quarantine area in case a client or staff member develops COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Each center has restricted outside visitors and guests until further notice, including deliveries.
  • Tours are now available virtually. Watch our Greenwood Polk tour here, our Madison Avenue tour here, our West Lafayette tour here and our Edinburgh tour here.
  • Each center is equipped with sanitizing supplies for each programming area, bathrooms and cafeterias.
  • Each center has continuous sanitation rotations throughout the day.
  • All sanitation solutions are made fresh each day and meet the CDC guidelines.
  • Our janitorial contractors are cleaning and sanitizing each evening after hours.
  • Our maintenance technician is frequently utilizing a fog treatment at each location to further sanitize the facilities.

On the first day, one of our families created a “Welcome Back Wagon” for everyone to see during drop-off and pick-up. “We were so excited for today,” said Kim, CAC parent. “Thank you to all the therapists and staff — we missed you! May the 4th be with you, Cornerstone!”

The force was with us, as Yoda would say. While the weeks progress ahead, we cannot wait to be running at full-capacity. For any questions regarding COVID-19, please see the CDC guidelines at this link.

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May 8, 2020, Morgan McClellan

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