COVID-19

Information on how MOKA is managing the spread of COVID-19.
Any program-related changes due to COVID-19 will be posted here.

Residential Program Update

On June 26, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 136 that extends visitor limitations on residential care facilities through July 24, 2020, at 11:59 pm. The newly signed Executive Order replaces the previously signed Executive Order 108. For MOKA, this means we will not be allowing visitors to enter our residential homes unless they are essential for care while the Executive Order is in place.

We thank you for your support as we continue our efforts to support the individuals we serve and our employees to remain healthy.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

Click here for MOKA’s COVID-19 Exposure,
Prevention and Response Plan

Program Updates

Residential: On May 29, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 108 that extends restrictions place on visitors into residential care facilities through June 26th. For MOKA, this means we will not be allowing visitors to enter our residential homes unless they are essential for care while the Executive Order is in place.

Re-Opening Services
We are excited to share that in addition to Tele-Health offerings, we have some services that began providing face to face services on June 1, 2020.

Autism: Several children began autism services with added precautions to support health and safety for children, their families and our employees.

We thank you for your support as we continue our efforts to support the individuals we serve and our employees to remain healthy.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

COVID-19 Prevention Update

Today I want to talk about the recent change in the governor’s order and how this will affect visits with you and your loved ones.

We are pleased that the State of Michigan is improving and that some of the restrictions are opening up.  Our employees have shared that they have felt the loss of the family connections for you and your loved ones.  We look forward to safe movement forward.

As we enter this next phase, we know that people are still very susceptible to this virus. We look forward to partnering with you to ensure the continued safety of your loved ones and everyone who works in our homes. I would like to share a few tips on how you can help.

First, minimizing your own exposure to the virus will reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to anyone in a MOKA home.
–Please avoid gatherings of groups larger than 10 people.
–Practice good hand hygiene.
–Avoid touching your face,
–Limit physical contact with members outside your household.
–And wear a fabric face covering when you are in enclosed public spaces or outside if social distancing practices aren’t possible. Click here for CDC guidelines on how to safely wear and take off a fabric face covering.

Here is what MOKA is doing to protect the health of everyone at the home.
Anyone leaving the home with an individual served is expected to follow some additional safeguards.  These includes:
–Completing a health evaluation screen prior to leaving with the individual. This can be completed verbally, over the phone, about an hour before their planned arrival.
–Pick up and drop off individuals must occur outside the home as long as the visitors to adult foster homes remain legally restricted.
–Follow the above practices that reduce the risk of transmission.
–Support the individual you are visiting with to follow the precautions as well.

Currently, Adult Foster Care homes are legally unable to have visitors inside the homes – this order is in place until 11:59 PM on 5/31/20 and may be extended.
–When visitor restrictions are lifted, MOKA will have guidelines in place to share with you.

We all want to get back to increased connections with people we love.  We will do everything we can to support this while at the same time ensuring the safety of all and complying with State ordered requirements.  If you have questions, feel free to reach out to anyone in leadership at MOKA directly.
Together, we will get through this challenging time.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

Programs and Office Closure Extension
On May 7th, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order to extend the temporary suspension of activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life through May 28th. Because of this order and for the health and safety of our employees, families and communities, our office locations will remain closed. Our administrative employees will continue to work from home as supporting individuals in our residential services remains a top priority.

This also means we are extending the closure of both our in-person Community Supports Program and Autism Services Program in all counties to accommodate the Executive Order. We will be assessing when to re-open programs as circumstances change.

We thank you for your support as we continue our efforts to support the individuals we serve and our employees to remain healthy.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

Program Updates and Office Closure Extension
On April 24th, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order to extend the temporary suspension of activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life through May 15th. Because of this order and for the health and safety of our employees, families and communities, our office locations will remain closed. Our administrative employees will continue to work from home as supporting individuals in our residential services remains a top priority.

This also means we are extending the closure of both our in-person Community Supports Program and Autism Services Program in all counties to accommodate the Executive Order.

Community Supports Telehealth Services
We are now providing telehealth services for Community Living Supports, Skill Building and Supported Employment.  Telehealth allows us to continue to support individuals during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Through Telehealth a MOKA staff member and an individual served can communicate by telephone, computer or tablet to provide services to support the individual’s person-centered plan.

Our focus will continue to be helping individuals to learn skills; stay engaged with others and support individuals to become gainfully employed.  Our goals in connecting with individuals virtually include, but are not limited to providing positive experiences through meaningful engagement, sharing resources, teaching skills, and decreasing loneliness.

We thank you for your support as we continue our efforts to support the individuals we serve and our employees to remain healthy.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

Office Closure Extension

On April 9, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-42 to extend the temporary suspension of activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life through April 30th. Because of this order and for the health and safety of our employees, families and communities, our office locations will remain closed. Our administrative employees will continue to work from home as supporting individuals in our residential services remains a top priority.

We thank you for your support as we continue our efforts to support the individuals we serve and our employees to remain healthy.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

COVID-19 Positive Case

While we hoped the individuals who we support and our employees would be untouched by COVID-19, we also recognized that was unlikely and have been planning for positive cases.  I need to share with you that MOKA had an employee test positive for COVID-19 on April 8, 2020. The employees that work at the home as well as the individuals living in the home and their family/guardian have all been notified. At this time, the employee is doing well and resting at home in isolation.  Also at this time, no one living or working in the home is symptomatic.

We remain in close contact with the local Community Mental Health authority where the employee works and the health departments that are involved. We are closely following the local health department’s direction as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Moving forward, we will continue to notify any employees, individuals served and their family/guardian if a potential exposure occurred at the home in which they work or live.   We remain thankful for your support as we navigate through this challenging time together as a whole community.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

Program Updates: Community Supports and Autism Services

We are extending the closure of both our Community Supports Program and Autism Services Program in all counties to accommodate Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21 that was signed on March 23, 2020.  This Executive Order includes the temporary suspension of activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. We will be assessing when to re-open programs as circumstances change.

Thank you for all your support as we continue to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  I am confident we are making the best decision for everyone’s safety and well-being.  Please reach out if you have concerns or questions.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

Changes to Residential Visits based on Governor’s Executive Order 

For at least the next three weeks, all Michigan businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. Additionally, all Michiganders must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.

MOKA supports the governor’s order.  We strongly urge everyone we support, their families, and the community to take the Stay Home-Stay Safe Executive Order very seriously and adhere to it by staying at home.  For residential visits, we received clarification that if an individual we support is below the age of 21 or in Hospice care we are able to support limited visitors.  Other than those two exceptions, visits to and away from the homes are not allowed under this order.

We know this is a very difficult time and would like to support your continued connections with your family member. Please work with us to follow this order by connecting to your family member through Facetime, Skype, phone, and other technology.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

Office Closure Update

On March 23, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-21 to impose the temporary suspension of activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. Because of this order and for the health and safety of our employees, families and communities, we have moved forward with the closure of our office locations effective March 23rd at 4:30pm. Our administrative employees will continue to work from home as supporting individuals in our residential services remains a top priority.

Please note that the following MOKA locations are open for donation drop-offs from 12pm-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays:

Terrace St. Office (715 Terrace St., Muskegon, MI 49440)
Kent Regional Office (5281 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Suite 2, Wyoming, MI 49509)
City on a Hill (100 Pine Street, Suite 397, Zeeland, MI 49464)

We are accepting donations for the following items:

Face Masks
Thermometer (Digital, Oral or Forehead)
Gloves
Gowns
Toilet paper
Hand Soap
Hand Sanitizer
Disinfectant Sprays/Wipes
Paper Towels
Laundry Detergent (pods/liquids)
Alcohol Swabs
Hydrogen Peroxide

We have also set up a COVID-19 Relief Fund, to make a donation visit https://moka.org/donate/.

We thank you for your support as we continue our efforts to support the individuals we serve and our employees to remain healthy.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

PROGRAM CHANGE: Autism Services

As we continue to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus, we are closing our Autism Programs in Kent and Muskegon counties through April 3, 2020, to meet the health department’s social distancing recommendations indicated for our communities.

We plan to re-open the Autism Program in both counties on Monday, April 6th with an understanding that the planned date may be adjusted if circumstances change.

Thank you for all your support.  I am confident we are making the best decision for everyone’s safety and wellbeing.  Please reach out if you have concerns or questions.

Tracey Hamlet,
Executive Director

PROGRAM CHANGE: Group CLS and 1:1 CLS Services

We are continuing to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In order to meet the health department’s social distancing recommendations indicated for our communities, we are closing our group Community Supports programs in all counties through April 3, 2020.

Additionally, most individual CLS services will also be discontinued, with the exception of a few cases where health and safety needs require this service. If you or your loved one is one of the few exceptions for providing 1:1 CLS you have already been notified.

We plan to re-open both group and 1:1 CLS  services on Monday, April 6th with an understanding that the planned date may be adjusted if circumstances change.

Thank you for all your support.  I am confident we are making the best decision for everyone’s safety and wellbeing.  Please reach out if you have concerns or questions.

Tracey Hamlet, Executive Director

Governor Whitmer Orders Temporary Restrictions on Entry into Care Facilities

On March 13, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-6 to impose temporary restrictions on entry into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. For MOKA, this means we will not be allowing visitors to enter our residential homes unless they are essential for care while the Executive Order is in place.

Under Executive Order 2020-6, beginning Saturday, March 14 at 9:00am through April 5, 2020 at 5pm all health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities must prohibit any visitors that are not necessary for medical care, support of activities of daily living like bathing or eating, or that are not visiting under exigent circumstances.

Additionally, beginning as soon as possible but no later than Monday, March 16 at 9:00am through April 5, 2020 at 5pm, these facilities must assess for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors for all individuals not under their care who are seeking entry into their facilities. The facilities must deny entry to any individual with these symptoms or risk factors. These restrictions will remain in place until April 5, 2020 at 5:00pm. During that time, the order encourages the affected facilities to use electronic communication platforms to facilitate visitations with individuals under their care.  

Read the full Executive Order here.

Message from MOKA’s Executive Director regarding Coronavirus

I am writing to share what MOKA is doing to support the prevention of the spread of coronavirus.  Our first priority is the safety and health of all the individuals we serve, our employees, and visitors.  We are closely following guidance coming from our state and local government and public health officials in an effort to do our part to mitigate the spread of this virus.  We appreciate your support in all of our efforts.

We ask employees and provide support to those we serve to continue taking steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases both at home and at work. This includes the following:

  • Stay home when you are sick. This is the best way we can prevent infection spread.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash right away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

We ask that you support our efforts by following the recommended steps above in addition to:

  • Please refrain from visiting our homes and programs if you have any symptoms of respiratory illness or an elevated temperature.
  • The direction we received from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is to limit visits to adult foster care homes unless absolutely necessary. Please reach out to the program supervisor or director to discuss any changes to visits with your family member that will help contain the spread of the virus.

Here are some of the things that MOKA is doing at an organizational level:

  • We are practicing “social distancing” that includes reducing individual’s exposure to large events in the community and canceling large meetings/trainings.
  • Monitoring governmental and public health advice as it applies to our work.
  • Ensuring adequate infection control supplies are available throughout our workplaces.
  • Communicating with you and individual’s served when we need to implement changes to the way we deliver services.
  • Providing ongoing communication with the whole agency and sharing significant changes on our MOKA website (www.moka.org).

Finally, I know there is a lot of information in the media about the virus, some factual but also some opinion. The spread of misinformation can be extremely harmful during times like these.  Here are links to a few of the sources we are using at MOKA.

http://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus

CDC.gov/Coronavirus

https://www.accesskent.com/Health/

Thank you for all your support and trust you place in us to provide excellent services and care to your loved one. Together we can do our part to support our communities and each other during this time.  If you have questions or concerns not addressed in this letter, please feel free to reach out directly.

Sincerely,

Tracey Hamlet, Executive Director