Updates, How We Are Protecting Your UH Family, and How You Can Help 

September 16, 2020
Message to Donors, Friends, and Volunteers

We want to share with you all that United Helpers is doing for employees and residents, our good news, and our concerns during this time.

Updated Sep. 4: Would you like to receive email updates too? Please send us your email address if you'd like to be included.


Thank you!

Updated Sep. 16: We are very grateful for everyone who has offered a service, bought meals or snacks for staff, shared UH's posts, and made gifts! This month, we are still receiving generous items and gifts to help with the fight against COVID! Dozens of you, literally. We cannot thank you enough.

Be sure you read the latest kind messages of support for our UH Heroes that have been submitted via the form that pops up when you visit UH's home page.


United Helpers is still serving our community, thanks to employees

Sign that reads: 'To all our colleagues, risking your health every day to care for people in need, You Totally Rock'

Update Sep. 16: Second, all Behavioral Health & Life Skills services are all available at this time. Our Family Nurse Practitioner and therapy staff have resumed some personal visits to various UH facilities as well.

Applications for admission are being accepted at both of our Rehabilitation & Senior Care facilities, in Canton and Ogdensburg.

Visitation that was planned to resume at UHRSC Canton on September 8 is now on hold for at least 28 days, for the skilled-nursing portion of the facility; and visitation for the Assisted Living portion of the facility is on hold for at least two weeks (the two-week guideline is a recent change from the NY Department of Health).

Visitation at UHRSC Ogdensburg is also suspended at this time, through at least the end of September.

In spite of all the challenges, though, through determination and dedication to containment, the UH Rehab & Senior Care in Canton recently received word that they are rated five out of five stars in the area of quality, according to publicly reported data issued recently.

Our team is second to none, hands down. We put our heads together, we plan, we prepare, we act.


How United Helpers’ residents and staff are being affected by COVID-19

Updated Sep. 16: One staff member at UH's Rehab & Senior Care Ogdensburg tested positive the last week of August. Although the employee's follow-up rapid test came back negative within minutes, that employee remains out on quarantine precautions. All residents of the neighborhood where the employee worked were swabbed for COVID, with all negative results. Visitation at UHRSC Ogdensburg is suspended at through at least the end of September. Read more.

Updated Sep. 16: At United Helpers Rehabilitation & Senior Care Canton, three staff members tested positive over the past couple of weeks. All residents have since been tested, with all negative results, and a second round of resident testing takes place today.

Re-opening visitation that had been planned for September 8 is on hold for at least 28 days, for the skilled-nursing portion of the facility; and visitation for the Assisted Living portion of the facility is on hold for at least two weeks (the two-week guideline is a recent change from the NY Department of Health).

Note: All NY nursing homes that are free of COVID-19 for 28+ days allow for visitation. Only 2 visitors per resident, and other rules. See UH's visitation plans: http://www.unitedhelpers.org/COVID. Also, read more from the Department of Health.

New July 23: Our Day Hab participants have returned to their daily activities and outdoor outings once again! They adapted well to wearing masks at Day Hab. This reopening was possible after extensive planning on the part of employees in UH's Behavioral Health & Life Skills. Well done, and we are so pleased for our Day Hab members!

The planning, preparation, practice, and teamwork that UH employees have developed since March have been manifested through the excellent care, leadership, compassion, and teamwork that define United Helpers!

Updated Sep. 16: Currently, no residents at any UH facilities have symptoms or positive test results. All other UH staff who had tested positive earlier have recovered.

Updated July 6: For some residents, we've been able to resume some core services, such as dental care. Also, visitation to Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) resumed June 19 in accord with guidelines from the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).The clinical team leading our Behavioral Health & Life Skills division's activities have prepared the staff well in educating and executing pulmonary hygiene measures in addition to social distancing. Quality visitation and satisfied family members have been evident in the pictures shared on UH's social media. We love seeing how happy the residents are!

Updated August 13: We are again able to offer hairdressing services to our residents at Rehab & Senior Care Canton! One of our Certified Nursing Assistants is also a cosmetologist! The residents are so happy. Also, our Independent Senior Living (ISL) facility in Canton has re-opened their dining room for meals. And the Senior & Disabled Housing division (operating complexes all over St. Lawrence County and a handful in Jefferson County) have reopened their community rooms, with safety plans in place.

(To recap the journey so far: 1. To date, no residents at UH Rehabilitation & Senior Care Ogdensburg have tested positive throughout the pandemic. 2. On 9/5, UH was notified that two staff members at United Helpers Rehabilitation & Senior Care Canton had tested positive. 3. In late July, three residents of our Canton Assisted Living program tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized. Two ALP employees also tested positive and completed quarantine. All remaining ALP residents completed isolation precautions. Visitation was temporarily suspended for the Rehabilitation & Senior Care facility in Canton. 4. In mid-July, one staff member in the skilled-nursing portion of UHRSC Canton tested positive. Residents in the relevant cottages were placed on isolation precautions at the time. 5. A staff member at UHR&SC Ogdensburg tested positive in early June, followed by a negative test result two days later. In the neighborhood where that employee had worked at that time, no one in contact with the employee developed any symptoms. 6. In late April, ten residents and two employees at UH's Lisbon IRA had tested positive for COVID-19. 7. In Canton, also in April, the resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 at our Rehabilitation and Senior Care facility completed the required isolation period. 8. The one staff member at UH Rehabilitation & Senior Care in Ogdensburg who tested positive earlier in April completed the mandatory quarantine.)


Our pandemic-related decisions and precautions

Updated Sep. 16: Fourth, In an effort to keep NYS healthy and safe, state and UH provisions are in place to safeguard against state-to-state transmission. These include restrictions and monitoring for anyone traveling to a state exceeding the following thresholds over a seven day rolling average:

  • more than 10 positive results per 100,000 tested, or
  • higher than a 10% positive rate within the state

A state web page shares up-to-date information on restricted states: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory. Check regularly; the listed states change as data become available (there are 28 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico, on the list currently).

Updated Sep. 16: We still test our nursing-home staff once a week. Our staff have been so persevering in making this happen!

To date, we have taken several steps to protect and care for our residents and employees:

  • Each of our three major service lines has an Emergency Action Plan in place, which guide United Helpers as we move forward through this pandemic. Currently, we have implemented two steps of the Emergency Action Plans:
    1. Since March 10, all staff are evaluated for signs and symptoms of infection including elevated temperature, cough, shortness of breath, or other illness prior to entering a UH building.
    2. In addition,
      • since March 12, 2020, no non-medical staff have been permitted to be inside our Canton and Ogdensburg skilled nursing facilities.
      • since March 19, no non-medical staff had been permitted to visit United Helpers Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs)—this mandate was lifted as of June 19.
  • Updated Sep. 4: The Assisted Living Program (ALP) remains separated from the skilled-nursing side of the UHRSC Canton facility, with fire doors between the two areas of the building remaining securely closed at all times.
  • United Helpers has adhered to all guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the NYS Department of Health, NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), St. Lawrence County Public Health and other governing agencies.


United Helpers welcomes your giving

Fifth, thank you to everyone who has volunteered, made gifts, and honored often-forgotten UH frontline workers.

  • Updated Sep. 16: We are busily preparing an informative webinar for you on October 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET, called “Later, For Sure”: Planning your future gift to United Helpers. We'll gather on Zoom. Learn about exciting (and often simpler than you think) giving that you can plan right now, that will actually happen later. Please register in advance to receive details to attend. We look forward to hosting you and learning together!
  • Updated Sep. 16: Also, especially now, the time is right for you to make a one-time gift to United Helpers if you can. Help us care for our community's most vulnerable. Please help us supply  the continual need for protective equipment, for the safety of our staff and residents.
  • If you wish to give right away, you can give quickly by texting “unitedhelpers” to 50155 and following the prompts
  • Another way to give to UH: visit the Northern New York Community Foundation (and type "United Helpers" in their "Add a Note" box)

Help us to secure the wonderful, critical mission of United Helpers for the future, for our family and friends. Now is the time to be heroic. Thank you!

United Helpers is accepting new residents

Sixth, both of our Behavioral Health clinics and all of our Behavioral Health & Life Skills programs are accepting new residents and clients. 

United Helpers misses you!

Updated July 6: Seventh, we miss seeing all our families, our local donors, and our volunteers! We are doing all that we can to stay in touch. Our Administrators are in frequent communication with families, including web updates.

We look forward to the time when we can once again greet each other in person, in the secure knowledge of good health. Thank you for remaining in touch!

Please stay in contact, via social media, phone, or email.

If you have questions about any of the above or want to receive these updates for donors in your email inbox, please email giving@unitedhelpers.org.


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Last reviewed: Sep 16 2020