LRADAC, the designated alcohol and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties, announces an update on the organization’s phased-in approach to full capacity operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the last three months, while LRADAC’s facilities have predominately been closed to the public, staff members have been able to maintain contact and provide virtual services to as many patients as possible while also continuing to operate withdrawal management/detox services. During this time, LRADAC has also been able to move forward on many prevention efforts and utilize telehealth visits for several outpatient and intervention services.
“We are now working toward a full reopening with our main objective being to ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff,” said Gayle Aycock, President and CEO of LRADAC. “We are currently wrapping up our ‘phase one’ reentry plan where we have prepped facilities for our return to daily on-site operations. These efforts include social distancing measures being put into place for all patient services and classes as well as daily front door screenings and temperature checks for all employees and patients.” Aycock also said that LRADAC will implement alternate staff scheduling and continuing remote work and meetings when possible—adhering to CDC recommended measures at every turn. This includes the continuous use of professional sanitizing services as well as the use of masks for both staff and patients going forward. Within the last week, LRADAC has also offered virtual prevention programs and, with social distancing measures in place, on-site drug screening and Intervention/ADSAP services.
As LRADAC’s second phase of the reentry plan begins next week, staff will restart on-site women’s, young adults, men’s and co-occurring Intensive Outpatient (IOP) groups—utilizing social distancing guidelines for all—along with withdrawal management operations continuing with a reduced census. The Recovering Professionals Program (RPP) will continue utilizing telehealth meetings to provide services. Soon, LRADAC will resume on-site assessments for outpatient services—meaning no walk-ins. When phase three of the reentry begins in early July, LRADAC will restart on-site adolescent IOP services.
“Throughout all reentry phases, we will continue to utilize virtual meetings when possible to keep staff and patients on- site presence at a minimum,” said Aycock. “We are also establishing CDC recommended safety protocols in the event of a patient or staff member contracting coronavirus, including quarantines, sanitized cleaning, notifications to any affected workers or patients, and emergency response when appropriate.
Aycock also said that LRADAC will continuously monitor all COVID related case numbers and health updates from the CDC and DHEC. In the event that cases go up or there is a second wave of infections, LRADAC will reassess operations and act in the best interest of patients and staff.
“As we work together through this, we look forward to a return to full capacity operations while also embracing safer and more effective ways to operate in the future,” said Aycock.