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July 15, 2020 - 2:30pm

GCASA’s Recovery Station set to expand hours, resume activities with guidelines in place

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse employees are keeping their collective fingers crossed as they look to resume activities at Recovery Station, the agency’s social gathering and recreation place in the former Bohn’s Restaurant building on Clinton Street Road.

“Beginning next Monday (July 20), and as long as COVID-19 cases remain low and there are no other restrictions put in place by New York State, the center will start allowing up to 10 community members at a time into the building for a variety of recovery activities,” said Rosalie Mangino-Crandall, director of Project Innovation and Expansion.

The public schedule for the reopening week is 10 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday, and 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday. The center will be closed on Wednesday.

Mangino-Crandall advised residents to check the Recovery WOW program’s Facebook page at facebook.com/recoverywow for updates or call (585) 815-5248.

Recovery Station Coordinator Sue Gagne said that the following health- and safety-related guidelines will be in force for all visitors:

-- Be expected to wear masks at all times while on the property;
-- Adhere to the 6-foot social distancing rule;
-- Have their temperature taken immediately upon entry to the center building;
-- Be asked a series of COVID-19 screening questions;
-- Be asked to use hand sanitizer and/or wash hands immediately upon entry.

“We will also begin to add more structured activities in the coming weeks,” Gagne said, noting that staff will be disinfecting furniture, equipment, table games and all rooms frequently throughout the day.

Currently, GCASA officials have allowed one-to-one sessions with Recovery Station peer advocates at the location, in addition to opening the center to staff and residents of the Atwater House residential facility.

Extra precautions at all GCASA buildings and offices at the Batavia and Albion campuses are being taken, said Executive Director John Bennett.

“We are going the extra mile when it comes to safety of our patients and staff,” Bennett said. “Face coverings must be worn by employees when they are walking in the common areas, when working with patients and even when they are alone just in case they happen to meet someone. Whenever there are two or more people in a room, a mask is advised to keep each other safe.”

Elizabeth Riter, director of Corporate Compliance and Quality Assurance, said that in addition to wearing masks, all staff members are required to attest to having taken their temperatures and are asked to complete a standard Covid health screening as they enter each facility.

“Similar to the Recovery Station, the Batavia and Albion Outpatient Clinics are promoting good health practices as we welcome patients back on the grounds for face-to-face services,” she said.

Riter added that masks are provided to any staff or patients who may not have one or forget to bring theirs, and that temperatures of all patients who enter are taken immediately and they are asked to sanitize their hands.

“Unfortunately, friends and family who are not scheduled to be seen will have to wait outside in order to minimize contact in the waiting areas,” she advised. “All offices and common areas have been modified to promote socials distancing, while enhanced cleaning schedules have been instituted in all facilities.”

The same stringent standards apply to the agency’s residential programs, Riter said, adding that new admissions coming from medical facilities have essentially been quarantined and screened before being placed into GCASA’s program.

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Disclosure: Story is written by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.

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