May 18, 2020

Dear Key family,                                                                   

Our number-one priority at the Key Training Center has been helping to protect our clients and staff from COVID-19. We moved swiftly to add additional measures on top of existing plans and infection control protocols related to preventing the spread of infectious disease.  Our business is essential, and we continue to closely monitor events associated with COVID-19 to make sound safety decisions and comply with the prevailing Executive Order, Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan to Reopen Florida.

We have been working diligently to keep our residents safe and create an environment that is safe and comfortable for returning day services to our campuses. We will be going into a phased-in reopening on Monday, June 1, 2020, for our residential and day services programs that will allow staff, clients, and parents/guardians to become accustomed to the practices which will be our new normal for the foreseeable future.

On our residential side, parents and guardians will be able to arrange a visit with their loved ones to be located outside the home either on the porch or in another identified area. Outside visits will begin Monday, June 1, but scheduled arrangements can be made prior.  As we are still in a state-mandated “no visitor” policy inside our homes, the following requirements will need to be adhered to keep our residents and staff safe:

  • All outside visits will need to be scheduled in advance. Unannounced visits will be not be permitted.
  • Phone calls to the home’s Resident Manager must be made to arrange an outside visit.  Only one outdoor home visit can take place at a time and can last up to one hour in duration. 
  • Health screenings of outside visitors will be conducted before entering the outdoor porch or other designated areas to prevent an introduction of a potential exposure into the home. Wellness screenings will include a no-touch temperature check and visual wellness observation. 
  • Any person with elevated temperature or displaying symptoms will not be permitted to visit.  Please do not plan to visit if symptomatic and/or medicated with fever reducers or pain relievers, as this may mask contagious symptoms. 
  • The wearing of a face mask will be mandatory for all outside visitors; no exceptions will be permitted.  We encourage our outside visitors to supply their own masks.

On our Day Service program side, our ADT staff has done an excellent job working with the residential team in providing meaningful daily activities in the homes. Our residential clients have been homebound for two months.  Most of our residential clients are going stir crazy, with some behaviors beginning to take place.  They want to come back to the day services program facilities.  Our Day Service program will be reopening on Monday, June 1 will but in gradual phases for our residential and community clients. Our Day Services program will comply with the Governor’s Phased Task Force requirements by opening no more than 25% capacity.  The following preventative measures and practices will be in place:

  • Our group homes will be attending the day services program up to five days a week. Our medically fragile homes, including Contento, Spooner, Key Light 2, and other identified vulnerable residents will not be attending the ADT program at this time but will continue to have ADT services delivered in their home setting.
  • The residents of the home will remain together in a self-contained classroom setting.  The appointed ADT staff member(s)s that have been providing day services to a specific home these past months, will continue to offer the same services to that specific home at our ADT campuses.
  • The day services program on our campuses has been operating on a limited basis, meeting the need of those in critical need of ADT services.  A small number of additional community ADT clients will be attending but in a phase-in approach and will be separated from our residential home clients. 
  • ADT facilities will be cleaned and sanitized three times a day (10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m.).  Restrooms will be sanitized after each use.
  • Health screenings of staff will be conducted immediately upon arrival at the ADT and before entering the facility. 
  • Health screenings of all clients will be conducted either before they enter the vehicle used for transportation or into the ADT facilitates. Wellness screenings will include a no-touch temperature check and visual wellness observation. 
  • Any person with elevated temperature or displaying symptoms will not be permitted to enter the ADT.  Participants should not be coming to the Day services if symptomatic and/or medicated with fever reducers or pain relievers, as this may mask contagious symptoms.  If someone becomes sick, they will be isolated, and the caretaker will be contacted.
  • The wearing of a face mask will be mandatory for all staff.  ADT clients will be encouraged to wear masks.
  • Physical touching will be strongly discouraged, including handshakes, hugs, high-fives, and fist bumps.
  • The workspaces for the ADT will be expanded, allowing for more spacing between individuals. Seating will be within 6 ft. apart to provide for proper distancing.
  • Seating will be assigned. Meals and breaks will now be taken at their individual workspaces.
  • Social distancing tape areas are in place.  Pool noodles will be used for a visual of social distancing.
  • Work simulation materials will be sanitized, quarantined, or discarded after use.
  • Training materials will be sanitized and/or quarantined for at least 24 hours after use.
  • Frequent hand washing and hand sanitization will be encouraged throughout the day.
  • Visitors to the day services program are not permitted at this time. All essential guests will be health screened before entering facilities.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call:

Theresa Flick, Director of Program Operations          352.795.5541            ext. 224

Barbara Branch, Director of Day Services                  352.795.5541            ext. 244

Cole Kiser, Director of Residential Services               352.795.5541            ext. 227

In times of adversity and change, we discover who we are and what we are made of.  Key Center staff members throughout our organization, and at all levels, brought their top attitude, ability, creativity, and teamwork during this pandemic. They took their jobs seriously by taking extra precautions in their personal lives to help protect those we serve. They practiced social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others.  They are wearing masks in the cases of caregiving that require closer contact with clients.  They are diligent in maintaining a clean environment to help reduce the spread of germs. Once again, I could not be more proud of our staff and clients and how they have come together to overcome many of the trials and tribulations of COVID-19.

To date, we have had no client or staff confirmed COVID-19 cases.  Our isolation room is on standby and ready for activation if needed. We pray for those in our state and nation that have been affected by COVID-19. We thank all of our family and guardians for working with us these past months to help keep our clients and staff as healthy as possible.  It has been a long, hard, and unchartered road. We are encouraged to get back to more normalized roles, but we must do so in a safe, smart, and phase-in approach keeping a close eye on our community COVID-19 data and move forward or scale back, as necessary, to keep our clients and staff safe.   



Melissa Walker Executive Director      

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