What We're Doing

We have increased cleaning protocols to ensure sanitation of shared surfaces. This includes frequently cleaning high-touch objects and surfaces (doorknobs, counter tops, faucets, light switches, toilet handles, etc.) with bleach-based or alcohol-based disinfectant wipes to reduce the spread of germs.

In addition, our staff members are personally taking the following steps to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Frequently washing hands with soap and water
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with one’s elbow or a tissue, then disposing of the tissue

Our team members have been instructed to stay home if they become sick with respiratory symptoms such as fever and cough, and to avoid close contact with people who are sick.

In an effort to further safeguard the people we support, our employees and our communities, Bethesda has established the following (temporary) protocols and resources for parents and guardians of people we support:

Day Programs Suspended

To reduce the risk of exposure, Bethesda’s community and day programs, including the Watertown Production Center, are temporarily suspended, effective Monday, March 16. Bethesda staff working in day/community programs will relocate to homes and have already begun creating alternate in-home programs for enrichment, to ensure we meet the social and emotional needs of the people we support. We intend to continue in-home care or services such as PT, OT or behavioral support.

No Visitors, Please

In alignment with direction from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are banning visits to Bethesda group residence homes and facilities, effective immediately. All access to homes is restricted except for health and safety reasons. Limiting visitors to Bethesda homes lowers the risk of exposure, as many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at high risk for illnesses.

Outings Restricted

To avoid risk of exposure, we will be carefully evaluating outings with people we support, and avoiding high-traffic locations and large groups, including church services.

Resources for Parents & Guardians

Town Hall Series: Beginning the week of March 16, Bethesda will host teleconferences in which leaders will share the latest information. Details about dates, times and call-in numbers will be available on Monday, March 16 and will be posted to this page. Please continue to check this page for updated information.

Toll-free Phone Number for Parents & Guardians: A toll-free number, 866-468-6960, has been established for parents and guardians to hear a recording of Bethesda’s latest COVID-19 initiatives, updated regularly.

We recognize that these are challenging times and that changes to our services will not always be ideal. Please understand that the changes we are implementing are designed foremost to protect the people we support, and that these changes are temporary.

More information on COVID-19 is available on the following sites:

The health and well-being of the people we support and our employees is our top priority.

Our goal is to continue to provide services to those people we support while keeping them, their families and our employees as safe as possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will share updates as needed.

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