The coronavirus pandemic presented Higher Ground with one of its biggest challenges. “The staff and residents worked exceptionally well together to keep the place very, very safe during the Covid-19 lockdown,” says director Johnny Dow.
That meant the house stayed infection-free through level four. “I’m very pleased with how Higher Ground has handled this – so far. Yes, I was exhausted but pleased. It’s been very, very busy,” says Johnny. The outbreak management team reviewed weekly what Higher Ground was doing and any new issues, changes in conditions and concerns that had arisen.
Higher Ground closed to visitors even before the announcement of the national lockdown. Some residents decided they wanted to return home and were supported in that with Higher Ground’s community team staying in contact. Many would be coming back to Higher Ground at the place in the programme that they left. During level four outside contact stopped apart from staff coming in to work.
Staff were rostered at different times so that social distancing could occur. All staff had their temperature taken when they arrived, and shared work spaces were sanitised between shifts.