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Brain Injury Services During COVID-19 Update (January 2021)

During these unprecedented times, Brain Injury Services would like you to know that the health and safety of our employees, families, and community is our top priority. As we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in our region, our team has been working to ensure that we stay up to date on the latest guidelines and regulations.

As of now, Brain Injury Services is virtual and will remain virtual through the end of March 31, 2020.

Our services have been adapted to an online format to ensure that our clients are still receiving the support they need. BIS has and will continue to develop policies and preventive measures to minimize risks for both our clients and staff. 

If you are currently or would be interested in participating in services, Brain Injury Services is currently offering the following: 

Pediatric Case Management Program 

The Pediatric Case Management Program is offering zoom meetings or phone conferences and phone check-in meetings. We are communicating with families at least once a month. We are also participating in IEP meetings virtually or by phone conference. 

Adult Case Management Program 

The Adult Case Management Program continues to provide case management services to their clients virtually and operate during normal business hours via phone, email, or zoom. Several types of virtual groups are currently offered. 

PALS & Person-Centered Programs 

PALS matches are connecting with via zoom chats, phone calls, texts and social media interactions monthly/bi-monthly. Speakers Bureau is up and running online. Speeches are now presented in a virtual format and we have 9 set up for the fall/winter months! 

Fredericksburg Day Program 

The Day Program is offering virtual cognitive games & skills, wellness & exercise, educational presentations and social groups – five days a week! The Journal Group and Men’s Group are running online. Individual sessions are held by appointment. The Day Program can provide some technical assistance and review technology purchase opportunities for clients. Please contact us for more details.

ADAPT Clubhouse 

ADAPT is offering 5 units a week including art, communications, kitchen, wellness, and a social hours. ADAPT members have helped plan each unit’s agenda and some have taken lead on presenting various topics! ADAPT’s virtual format has allowed participants who previously had transportation difficulties to attend more regularly.

ComPASS Program 

ComPASS is providing virtual consultations, individual sessions, and groups. The frequency of services varies depending on the client needs and therapist recommendations. Clients have been served via Zoom, Chrome Remote Desktop, Windows Quick Assist, and phone. 

Vocational Program 

The Vocational Program is providing services virtually! This includes regular phone calls, Zoom meetings, and email updates. We can complete intakes, and tasks like interview prep via Zoom.

We are able to complete intakes, and tasks like interview prep via Zoom. We are also doing team meetings with clients and other members of their team virtually. 

Counseling 

Our in-house therapist is currently offering one-on-one counseling and group counseling via Zoom for clients for the entire service area. She is also offering two bi-monthly support groups and co-facilitating the Caregiver Fundamentals once a month via Zoom.  

Groups 

Our groups continue to be virtual. Please check out the calendar on our website under News & Events or e-newsletter sent out to BIS clients. 

Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

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Passport Auto Donates Van to Support A Brain Injury Services Pediatric Client’s Family

July 30th, 2020

Contact:

Aleena Gardezi

agardezi@braininjurysvcs.org

703-451-8881 ext. 238

Springfield, VA (July 30, 2020)— — Passport Auto Group, which includes several car dealerships located in the Washington, DC area and serve Northern Virginia and Maryland customers has donated a minivan to a *pediatric client’s family that works with Brain Injury Services (BIS).

The family needed transportation, which needed to have room for a car seat, a booster seat, and wheelchair, but transmission and additional repair costs outweighed the value of the van.

Cross reached out to over 125 people at dealerships, until she got a response from Everett Hellmuth, President at Passport Auto Group, who agreed to an even trade for the family to receive a safe and functioning van.       

“The Passport Auto Team was honored to help this family in this difficult time,” Hellmuth explained. “While we can’t help all in need, we are aware of the need in the local community and try to be a partner with local organizations.” 

“When I read the email from Cynthia Cross, the Pediatric Case Manager, I was really touched by her commitment in helping this family. Her dedication to both her job and helping others is something we at Passport Auto strive for every day,” added Chesney Hellmuth Floyd, Marketing Manager at Passport Auto Group. “We are thrilled that Passport is able to make an impact and give back to the community, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Cynthia and Brain Injury Services.”

Passport Auto Group has partnered with many local organizations including the Alexandria Seaport Foundation Campagna Center, Carpenter’s Shelter, and Women of Prince George’s.

“We are very grateful to Everett and Passport Auto Group for their very generous and thoughtful donation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Denise Hyater, Executive Director at BIS.  “It’s always inspiring and encouraging to see local businesses support those in need.”

*The family that received the donation has asked to remain anonymous* 

About Brain Injury Services:

For over 30 years, Brain Injury Services has been empowering those impacted by brain injury through offering innovative programming and services that meet the needs of survivors of brain injuries and their families. Each year, Brain Injury Services assists over a1000 individuals and families who have experienced the devastating effects of brain injury, stroke, and concussion. We provide this assistance through core programs, including case management, specialized programs, and multiple support groups. Our services extend throughout Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Winchester, and the surrounding counties. Find out more at braininjurysvcs.org.

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We are still here for you!

Brain Injury Services recognizes the two potentially deadly viruses currently facing our country: COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequity. We are aware of the anxieties and fears both viruses may trigger – especially for those with a brain injury.  We are committed to supporting every member of our brain injury community through innovative programs and services and remain dedicated to our mission of empowering those impacted by a brain injury.  

We support keeping our communities safe and the fight for equality everywhere.

-Brain Injury Services and the Board of Directors

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Brain Injury Services During COVID-19 Update

Brain Injury Services receives up to date information about quarantine requirements through the counties we serve and the Virginia Department of Health.  As a vital business in Northern Virginia, we are aware of the state’s phased approach to reopening businesses.  Because of vulnerabilities and co-morbidities our population faces, we believe it is in the best interest of our clients, staff, and their families to continue to offer virtual case management, groups, and other brain injury services until further notice. We will reassess our operating status on a weekly basis.

When we believe it is safe to return to regular BIS activities and when we have procedures in place to maintain a healthy environment, we will announce how we will safely reopen in-person programs and services for clients.  Please monitor BIS’s social media and website announcements for our reopening plans and other news. 

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Governor Northam Issues Statewide Stay at Home Order

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.

The order directs all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances. Individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries, prescriptions, and others as outlined in Executive Order Fifty-Three, and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.

The executive order also directs all Virginia institutions of higher education to stop in-person classes and instruction. Private campgrounds must close for short-term stays, and beaches will be closed statewide except for fishing and exercise. 

“We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” said Governor Northam.“Our message to Virginians is clear: stay home. We know this virus spreads primarily through human-to-human contact, and that’s why it’s so important that people follow this order and practice social distancing. I’m deeply grateful to everyone for their cooperation during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Five can be found here.

Last week, Governor Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Three closing certain non-essential businesses, prohibiting public gatherings of more than 10 people, and directing all K-12 schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year. A Frequently Asked Questions guide about Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here.

For the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak, visit virginia.gov/coronavirus or CDC.gov/coronavirus.

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Governor Northam Orders Statewide Closure of Certain Non-Essential Businesses, K-12 Schools

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statewide order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Executive Order Fifty-Three orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam is also urging all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible.

This order goes into effect at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

“This is an unprecedented situation, and it requires unprecedented actions to protect public health and save lives,” said Governor Northam. “I know the next several weeks will be difficult. These restrictions on non-essential businesses will create hardships on the businesses and employees affected. But they are necessary, and we do not undertake them lightly. I am calling on Virginians to sacrifice now, so that we can get through this together.”

In addition, Virginia is launching a statewide media campaign to ensure Virginians fully understand their risk and do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Commonwealth’s “Health in Your Hands” campaign will include radio and television spots as well as statewide billboards and highway signs.

Public Gatherings

All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide, beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This does not include gatherings that involve the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.

K-12 Schools

All schools will remain closed through the end of this academic year. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will issue guidance to help divisions execute plans to continue instruction, while ensuring students are served equitably, regardless of income level, access to technology, English learner status, or special needs. This includes options for additional instruction through summer programming, integrating instruction into coursework next year, and allowing students to make up content. VDOE will submit a waiver to the federal government to lift end-of-year testing requirements and is exploring options to waive state mandated tests.

Recreation and Entertainment Businesses

The following recreation and entertainment businesses are considered non-essential and must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

  • Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers;
  • Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities;
  • Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart;
  • Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities;
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.

Dining and On-Site Alcohol Establishments

All dining and congregation areas in the following establishments must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services. Establishments include:

  • Restaurants;
  • Dining establishments;
  • Food courts;
  • Farmers markets;
  • Breweries;
  • Microbreweries;
  • Distilleries;
  • Wineries; and
  • Tasting rooms.

Retail Businesses

The following retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;
  • Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers;
  • Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;
  • Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;
  • Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;
  • Lawn and garden equipment retailers;
  • Beer, wine, and liquor stores;
  • Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
  • Retail located within healthcare facilities;
  • Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;
  • Pet stores and feed stores;
  • Printing and office supply stores; and
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners.

All essential retail establishments must, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. 

Any brick-and-mortar retail business not listed above must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close.

Additional Guidance

Professional businesses not listed above must utilize telework as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing procedures, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities, including CDCOSHA, and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

Businesses in violation of this order may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Nothing in Executive Order Fifty-Three limits the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; the operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.

The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here. Additional guidance and a Frequently Asked Questions guide can be found here.

Watch the video of today’s announcement here.