Parent Letter 9/4/20

September 4, 2020

Dear Key family,                                                                    

Since our last Key family letter on August 14, I’m thrilled to report that our residential and day program staff has been tested twice since August 8 with NO positive COVID-19 cases. We continue to have NO clients who have tested positive for COVID-19, but we are prepped and ready to activate the isolation room located on our Lecanto campus if the need arises.

This week, we received the great news that at the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, Emergency Order 20-009 was issued, lifting some temporary restrictions for individuals entering residential and long-term care facilities. The Order includes the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD licensed residential homes. The announcement below summarizes the terms of the Order.  

  • The Emergency Order requires all visitors to wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) pursuant to the most recent CDC guidelines, and those not making physical contact still must wear a mask.

Per the Emergency Order, to accept general visitors, the facility must meet the following:  

  • No new facility-onset of resident COVID-19 cases within 14 days.
  • If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the facility must immediately cease all indoor and outdoor visitation if the staff person was in the facility in the 10 days before the positive test

Every facility must continue to prohibit any individual’s entry to the facility except in the following circumstances:

  • Family members, friends and individuals visiting residents in end-of-life situations.
  • Hospice or palliative care workers caring for residents in end-of-life situations.
  • Any individual or providers giving necessary health care to a resident, provided that such individuals or providers comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for PPE, are screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before entry and comply with all infection control requirements of the CDC and the facility.
  • Facility staff and residents.
  • Attorneys of Record for a resident in an Adult Mental Health and Treatment Facility or forensic facility for court-related matters if virtual or telephonic means are unavailable.
  • Public Guardians, Professional Guardians and their professional staff as defined in Florida Statue 744.
  • Representatives of the federal or state government seeking entry as part of their official duties.
  • Essential caregivers and compassionate care visitors.
  • General visitors under specific criteria set forth under the Emergency Order.

The Emergency Order directs all facilities to ensure visitors are not quarantining, positive for COVID-19, or symptomatic.

Beginning September 9, the Key Center will be allowing visitation at the homes and day/weekend visitations with the following requirements:  

  • All visitations will need to be scheduled in advance as only one set of visitors will be allowed at the home at a time or to take a resident for a day/weekend visit. Only two visitors per resident.
  • All visitors must sign the visitor log and provide contact information.
  • All visitors must wash/sanitize hands prior to and after visiting any residential location.
  • All visitors will continue to go through a health screening process before entering a home, outside visitation, or day/weekend visit.  Wellness screenings will include a no-touch temperature check, visual wellness observation, and health questionnaire.  Any person with elevated temperature (100.4 or above) or displaying one of the symptoms will not be permitted to visit or take a resident for a day/weekend visitation. 
  • For all-day/weekend visitations, residents should only experience locations if certain low virus risk indicators are met, and infection control practices for those services are established.
  • General visitors at the home will need to be 18 years of age or older.
  • All visitors will need to wear a face covering.
  • All visitors will maintain a social distance of at least six feet with staff, residents, and community members.
  • Please be advised that if staff or client member tests positive for COVID-19, the residential facility must immediately cease all indoor and outdoor visitation if the staff person was in the facility in the 10-days before the positive test.
  • The Key Center will be monitoring visits for compliance with infection control requirements.
  • All visitors must immediately inform the Key Center residential facility if a household member or close acquaintances experience any COVID-19 symptoms or positive cases.
  • To maintain a healthy environment, the Key Center will be cleaning and disinfecting visiting areas between visitors and other protective measures. 
  • All visitors must sign a consent form indicating they understand the Key Center’s COVID-19 Residential Visitation Policies and, depending on circumstances, may have to comply with requested COVID-19 testing.

I am sharing with you the Key Center’s health screening questionnaire that will be used for all visitation purposes for your convenience.  If any visitor is experiencing one of the symptoms, they will not enter a home, conduct an outside visitation, or day/weekend visit.  Please be mindful not to visit if symptomatic and/or medicated with fever reducers or pain relievers. Also included is a copy of the COVID-19 Residential Visitation Policies consent form.

As we all continue to navigate COVID-19 and take the best precautions to slow the spread of this pandemic, I continue to applaud our staff, residents, and family members for taking this situation seriously to keep all of us safe to the best of our abilities.

Please join us the week of September 13-19 for National Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week. These are the Key Center staff who works directly with your loved ones.  People who choose to be DSP are some of the most remarkable individuals you’ll ever meet. They put their time and, most of all, their heart on the line every day. They’re empathic, dynamic, selfless people who thrive on helping others. Their mission is to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their fullest life possible.   This DSP Week, we’d like all of our 200+ DSP’s to know that they’re our HERO’S and we’re thankful for them. We admire their dedication, devotion, and commitment to the people we serve. Their work of enthusiasm and passion doesn’t go unnoticed and is experienced by others daily!

We will continue to update you and on any new updates. In the meantime, if you any questions or concerns, call

Melissa Walker, Executive Director 352.795-5541 ext. 203; Theresa Flick, Director of Program Operations ext. 224;

Barbara Branch, Director of Day Services ext. 244; or Cole Kiser, Director of Residential Services ext. 227.

Please continue to keep all the Key staff, clients, and our community in your thoughts and prayers that is being impacted by COVID-19.  Remember we will all get through this together!


Melissa Walker, Executive Director