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COVID-19 Information

Letter to participants and families 

 

Dear Future Participants & Parents/Guardians,

We have seen great strides and positive movement in the battle against the coronavirus. We also recognize it continues to affect the financial welfare, social cohesiveness and physical and emotional well-being of many. Evoke continues to prioritize the safety of our employees, participants and families while doing all we can to support our Evoke community.

Evoke’s responses to this novel disease continues to be an ongoing process. You will see Evoke’s programming and family visits are back to their pre-COVID state and we continue to follow preexisting and new protocols to mitigate risks. With that said, we still feel it’s important to tell you that Evoke’s efforts to mitigate risks to participants, families and our employees are not infallible. Even with our measures taken, the risk of infection still exists. And, given human fallibility, Evoke cannot guarantee that the referenced measures will in all cases be undertaken, nor can we guarantee they will be completely successful in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Evoke continues to review its protocols and may make additional changes to address the concerns around COVID-19. Even with these measures, please know participation in an Evoke program still involves some risk regarding COVID-19 infection that is not easily quantifiable.

After reviewing the below information if you have any questions about how we address COVID-19 concerns, or general questions about any of our programs, please give us a call, we are here to help.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director
Evoke Therapy Programs

(The above letter was originally posted in March 2020 and most recently updated May 2021.)


Update from April 5, 2021

Reinstated visits to the field

Evoke has reinstated visits to the field including but not limited to; parent visits and referring professionals. Before arriving to the Evoke field office, visitors provide Evoke with evidence of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result administered within 72 hours prior to their visit to Evoke. Exception to this is visitors who have been fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic are not required to take a COVID-19 test. The visitor must provide a copy of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to the Parent Coordinator 72 hours prior to their visit. Additional details of precautionary measures explained in Evoke’s COVID-19 Policy.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


 Updated March 8, 2021

Reinstating admissions on all days & Suspending Observation Group

Both Cascades and Entrada locations have resumed intake days generally on any day of the week. Participants are still  required to complete a COVID-19 test upon enrollment. However, participants will no longer be required to remain in the Observation Group until receiving their negative test. Starting on March 8, 2021 participants will forgo an Observation Group and go directly into their assigned groups. In their group a participant will remain socially distanced and masked until a negative COVID-19 result is returned, typically within 1-3 days.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


 Update from January 12, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccinations of employees

Both the States of Oregon and Utah have designated the employees of Evoke Cascades, Evoke Entrada and Evoke Intensives as secondary phase healthcare workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As such, Evoke employees have begun the COVID-19 vaccination process. All additional measures below continue to be followed. The added measure of Evoke employees receiving the COVID-19 vaccine provides greater reliance on Evoke employees’ health, and greater mitigation of exposure of Evoke’s clients.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


 Update from November 23, 2020

COVID-19 precautions continue

COVID-19 cases have increased across the United States in recent weeks and predicted to continue through the winter. With this information Evoke continues to maintain all current precautionary measures. Evoke's wilderness programs continue to use Observation Groups for all new participants, which includes COVID-19 testing. Evoke's Mask policy, employee travel restrictions and all other healthcare considerations and additional measures continue to be enforced.

Intensives continue to be offered both online and in-person. In-person Intensives also require COVID-19 testing and is facilitated by Evoke upon arrival.

For more information on any of our precautions or programs please feel free to reach out to someone on our Admissions Team.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from July 7, 2020

All COVID-19 precautionary measures continue

As COVID-19 cases continue to fluctuate throughout the United States we find it necessary to maintain all implemented precautions. All new participants enter an observation group for a week and each tested for COVID-19 before entering their permanent groups. Evoke's Mask policy, employee travel restrictions and all other healthcare considerations and additional measures continue to be enforced. And unfortunately in-person visits from family members to the field continue to be indefinitely postponed. We recognize this inconvenience and appreciate your support and doing your part in keeping all our participants and employees healthy. In lieu of in-person visits our therapists are facilitating video conference calls with families and participants in the field.

Intensives continue to be offered both online and in-person. In-person Intensives also require COVID-19 testing and is facilitated by Evoke upon arrival.

For more information on any of our precautions or programs please feel free to reach out to someone on our Admissions Team.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


 Update from June 5, 2020

Evoke’s Observation Group and the use of COVID-19 testing of participants

Evoke Cascades and Entrada have implemented the use of COVID-19 tests with new participants. This is a saliva test and is much less invasive than the nasal swab while still being equally reliable. The use of COVID-19 testing is being implemented as an additional measure and will not replace other current measures being taken. New participants will enter our Observation Group and 3 to 4 days after the last admit into that Observation Group all participants and the field instructors with them will be tested. Once the tests results are returned, which typically is 1-2 days, and show negative, the participants will be placed into their individual groups. All guardians and young adult participants will be expected to agree for the participant to be tested upon admittance and any other time during their stay at Evoke.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


 Update from May 18, 2020

Maintaining Additional Measures

Evoke continues to accept new participants at Evoke Cascades and Evoke Entrada. As both states of Oregon and Utah have begun to “open-up”, Evoke is maintaining all the additional measures we’ve implemented to continue to ensure the health of our participants and employees. This includes all additional hygiene and social distancing measures, the indefinite postponement of non-essential visitors to the field, and the added precautions to employee and participants entering the field. Additionally, Evoke continues to have all new participants enter our Observation Group to screen for any COVID-19 symptoms before entering their individual groups.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from April 3, 2020

New Admits & Maintaining the Health of Current Participants and Employees

Evoke continues to accept new admits on a limited basis and starting the week of April 13th, 2020 we will accept admits only on designated days of the week. All incoming participants will be required to enter an Observation Group consisting only of those new admits. This group, including its staff, will begin on the same day, remain together for 14 days for observation of any symptoms, and will then be placed in their individually assigned groups.

Parents and/or young adult participants agree that Evoke reserves the right to have any participant who exhibits any COVID-19 symptom during this 14 day observation period (or during any time throughout their program) to be immediately discharged and require the participant to be picked up from the program within 48 hours.

We continue to strongly encourage all families to travel to our field offices by vehicle. This allows for the least potential interactions with other individuals. We understand this is very difficult for some families. Beginning April 13, 2020 participants will be allowed to fly to Evoke’s field office locations if circumstances dictate and upon approval by Evoke. If a participant is flying, we ask families and participants to take every measure to ensure their own and others’ safety and follow CDC’s Advisory Regarding Travel and How to Protect Yourself.

Sincerely,

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from March 26, 2020

Employee Healthcare

Evoke’s policies and procedures already included several healthcare precautions regarding employees, including any employees with flu-like symptoms are required to not come to work and will not go to the field. Here are some of the additional measures Evoke is taking in regards to our employees’ health.

On March 17th I informed all Evoke employees that any employee who has had any one flu-like symptom, including a fever, cough, shortness or breath, etc. within the last 14 days will not be allowed to work. Furthermore, if an employee has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or has a fever or shown any symptoms within the last 14 days, they will not be permitted to work until they have been quarantined and symptom free for 14+ days.

On March 18th we implemented the protocol that all essential individuals going to the field have their temperature taken. Any employee exhibiting any one flu-like symptom (fever >99 degrees F, cough, respiratory distress, etc.) is sent home and unable to return to work until they have been in self-quarantine and symptom-free for 14 days. Additionally, all field instructors (and participants) in the field have their temperatures taken every other day.

Evoke also requires all essential individuals going to the field (back-up, field instructors and therapists) to sign a contract acknowledging they are following Evoke’s travel bans and the below requirements. This acknowledgment is signed each and every time before anyone is allowed to go to the field.

  • Have followed all federal and state guidelines regarding Covid-19.
  • Have practiced social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
  • Have not been in a group larger than 10.
  • Have not traveled during their off shift other than to and from work to home.
  • Have not flown on an airplane or been in an airport or other places of transit in the last 14 days.
  • Have not eaten out at a restaurant.
  • Have not been in the presence of anyone who was presenting symptoms as outlined by the CDC in the last 30 days.
  • Have not felt any symptoms in the last 14 days as outlined by the CDC.

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from March 26, 2020

Additional Measures to Participant Admits to the Program

Evoke continues to take new admits on a very limited basis. The service we provide is not elective for these families. Evoke is providing a service that is a medical necessity. It would be a disservice for us to completely shut down or not provide these families the mental healthcare services they need.

However, there are ever-increasing risks associated with the COVID-19 virus and we must continue to be responsive in our preventative measures. The following procedures are in addition to and extensions of the measures outlined in the notice dated March 18, 2020 “Re: Participant Admits to the program”.

Evoke is continuing to require all incoming participants to drive to the respective field office to avoid air travel. Some have expressed concern that this is contrary to limiting exposure or restating they have heard air travel is safe. Evoke continues to feel having participants driven is currently the best way to control and minimize the overall interactions a participant has with other individuals. This requirement will remain in place at least until April 10, 2020.

Admit frequency will continue to be limited and/or restricted to certain days at each location. This helps facilitate the additional supervision required to ensure appropriate medical screening and observation.

Participant screening and acceptance is now even more restrictive and includes additional items like the participant’s current geographic location, recent travel, the current and recent health of the participant, who they live with, and individuals they have publicly encountered in the last 30 days, among others.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change day-to-day we remain committed to considering and implementing additional restrictions, extended freezes or limits on admits for days or weeks, as well as other risk management measures.

Thank you again for the understanding and all the outpouring of support we've received from families and referring professionals.

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from March 18, 2020

Evoke Indefinite Postponement of Non-essential Visits to the Field

In an effort to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to our participants in the field Evoke will be suspending all non-essential visits to the field indefinitely. This includes parent visits, referring professional visits and any non-essential employees. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Evoke will let families know as soon as possible when this restriction has been lifted. We will do our best to facilitate communication through a satellite phone and/or video conferences when appropriate.

Thank you for your understanding.

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from March 18, 2020

Evoke Admits to the Field

During this unprecedented COVID-19 Pandemic, Evoke understands the families we work with are in crisis and temporarily postponing admits might not be the best way to support them. However, Evoke is committed to “Flattening the Curve” as well as mitigating the risk to all our participants and employees.

Consequently, Evoke is requiring all incoming participants to drive to the respective field office to avoid air travel, which causes increased travel through major cities and increased direct interactions with other individuals. This requirement will remain in place until April 1, 2020. Furthermore, admit frequency will be limited at each location to help facilitate the additional supervision required to ensure appropriate medical screening and observation.

Thank you for your understanding and for doing your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from March 13, 2020

Evoke Postponing Non-essential visits to the field

In an effort to mitigate the risk to our participants in the field Evoke will be suspending all non-essential visits to the field for at least the next two weeks. We are very sorry for any inconvenience. We will do our best to facilitate communication through a satellite phone or video when appropriate.

Thank you for your understanding.

Rick Heizer
Executive Director


Update from March 3, 2020

Evoke’s Statement of Reassurance regarding Coronavirus

 The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now verified by the CDC to be in the United States and spreading through community transmission. It is also important to note the immediate health risk to the general public is low.

The symptoms of novel Coronavirus may appear 2-14 days after exposure and are similar to seasonal illnesses, a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. On their own, these symptoms are not worrisome and should not cause alarm. However, it is important we minimize the potential spread of all illnesses to employees and participants. As such, Evoke will continue to enforce its regular universal healthcare precautions which include;

• Employees with flu-like symptoms, cough, fever, etc. are required to not come to work and will not go to the field with the participants.
• Participants and employees wash hands with soap and water prior to all meals, meal preparation and after using the bathroom. Participants and employees also use hand sanitizer throughout the day.
• Participant & employee cups and utensils are sterilized each day by boiling. Food bins and water containers are sanitized weekly and Lysol wipes are used to wipe down group gear.
• All participants and employees wear vinyl gloves when preparing food.

Additionally, Evoke has implemented the following measures;

Perform routine environmental cleaning
Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace and in the field such as workstations, doorknobs, water bottles, group, and individual gear. Evoke is also providing disposable disinfectant wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Increased travel restrictions to the field
Employees, parents and other visitors who have interacted with someone with COVID-19 within the last 30 days, or shows acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) or a fever upon arrival at Evoke’s office will not be allowed to go to the field, immediately removed from contact with other individuals and sent/asked to leave the facility. Participants meeting these criteria will be isolated from other participants and employees until they are cleared to enter the program.

Additional Measures
Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 will notify their Evoke supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure. If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, Evoke will inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID- 19 (and participants and their families if applicable) and maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Thank you for your support and understanding of these measures and please direct any questions to the medical department at the Evoke program you work with.

Rick Heizer
Executive Director