COVID-19 UPDATES AND GUIDELINES: What we’re doing to keep families close and safe.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

RMHC Maryland is currently operating with the following protocols as of 12.2.21

UPDATED 12/2/21

RMHC Maryland provides housing for families of ill or injured children in a communal living setting. It is critical to maintain a safe and sanitary environment in order to protect the health of families, employees, volunteers, visitors, or others in the event of community spread of COVID-19 in Baltimore City and the State of Maryland.

Efforts will be guided by, and in accordance with, all applicable federal, state and local laws as well as guidelines issued by public health authorities and our hospital partners.

Current Admission Policy:

In many states, the COVID numbers are going up which means more families may not qualify to stay. To qualify to stay family members 18 years and older must be fully vaccinated AND the state they are coming from must not have had more than a 10% increase in COVID hospitalizations and deaths. We usually check the COVID numbers three days before the anticipated arrival date.

Recently we have had questions regarding where we get our COVID numbers from. We use the New York Times website. We also look at overall state numbers, not county or city numbers. Why? Because it is now normal for people to work in one county, live in another, shop in another, etc. While no system is perfect, we decided to use the overall state numbers.

To recap policies still in place, all family members 18 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated to be considered for temporary housing (will consider family members on the 11th day after being fully vaccinated). Families must show their COVID vaccination card or certificate at check-in. If a family is vaccinated but does not bring proof with them, we will be unable to check them in.

If a family is coming from a state with a high number of new COVID hospitalizations, we will consider them for temporary housing if they stay in a Baltimore hotel for two weeks prior to checking in with us. However, they will still be required to be vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination.

Our vaccination policy also applies to any hospital personnel (therapist, nurses, etc.) visiting a family that is staying with us. Upon arrival, the person must sign in and present proof (vaccination card or certificate or phone photo of vaccination card/certificate) that they are fully vaccinated.

We will continue to accept referrals for short-term stays (1-4 nights) if the family can meet all other requirements. To adhere to COVID protocol, we have a limited number of rooms available for short-term use.

All other policies, as noted below, still apply. If you have families that are interested in arriving on any of those days, and they match the criteria listed below, please send us their referral. Masks are still required when families are in common areas and staff will continue to wear masks as well.

We are now able to consider international families if they have been staying bedside or in a local hotel setting for 14 days prior to our check-in dates.

In addition to our standard policies, new families will need to agree to several new conditions of stay before we consider them for temporary housing. Here are the things that you need to know.

  • We have a limited number of rooms, so all families need to have a backup plan.
  • Our priority system will still apply (1st priority oncology, 2nd priority families with a child in the PICU, NICU, Shock Trauma or awaiting a transplant. All other families are priority 3).
  • Only two adults, the patient and siblings will be allowed to stay at the House. Adults will not be able to alternate days/weeks with other family members. Those adults and children present at check-in will need to stay for the duration.
  • Families will not be allowed to return/visit home or a job and then come back to the House.
  • Families will be required to complete a daily wellness check which will include a temperature check.
  • Families must be traveling from an area that has a 10% or less increase in COVID hospitalizations and deaths 14 days prior to the check-in date.
  • Families must pass a background check.

Travel:

We continue to monitor all travel restrictions that the US places on domestic and international travel. Those policies will dictate some of our policies and we will modify them as necessary and appropriate.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • RMHC Maryland has increased cleaning and disinfection using hospital-grade products with a specific focus on high touch surfaces to include common areas, bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, rails/handles, elevator buttons, and keyboards.

Standard Precautions

  • Signage from the Center for Disease Control signs, along with hand hygiene signs has been posted throughout the building.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations have been positioned throughout the building

Staffing

  • Employees will have the option of working remotely
  • Essential program staff will work regularly scheduled shifts.
  • All employees are “on-call” and asked to be available for work that may be different from regular duties, including meal service and cleaning

Programming

  • As of 12/2/21, we continue to suspend our “Love Served Daily” volunteer meal program. Dinner will be ordered each night for families. Cash donations and/or catered meals will be requested.
  • As of 12/2/21, we continue to suspend our nightly Activity Hour
  • Outside groups and tours are suspended
  • Additional precautions and/or limitations in common spaces within the House may be implemented if warranted.

Volunteers & Visitors

  • Volunteer activity inside the house is limited on an as-needed basis. All volunteers entering the building must be fully vaccinated.
  • No tours or visitors allowed until further notice
  • Except for essential staff and families, no one will be permitted to enter RMH Maryland

Vendors & Donation Drop-Offs

  • Vendors deemed essential to mission delivery will be permitted to access RMHC Maryland on a limited
  • All donations must be left outside the main door.