In June, ASGCC will begin a gradual re-introduction of some in-person, on-site services. Our plan is to have a methodical, reverse-engineered shift away from our current, all-virtual services to include some very limited, in-person services. People across the world have experienced significant changes over the past months, so our hope – for the communities we serve – is to proceed in a way that allows us to assess and adapt our services without pulling back or reversing.
Throughout this pandemic, we have never lost sight of our commitment to our clients and the communities we serve. Providing life-saving services has never been more important. As we take steps forward, we will balance an abundance of caution with creating new and innovative ways to deliver services. Together we’re creating a (temporary) new normal.
For the month of June, here is what hasn’t changed. ASGCC’s hours are weekdays from 9am to 3pm. Most staff will continue to work virtually throughout June. Medical Case Management appointments and PrEP Navigation services are still virtual, while Food and Nutrition services will continue as delivery-only. At ASGCC’s Drop-in Center, Narcan trainings are still virtual, with Narcan distribution as well as our syringe service programming remaining as delivery-only.
Here are the steps ASGCC is taking to gradually re-introduce on-site services:
- Medical Case Managers will work limited hours on-site in a rotating shift schedule so that only one medical case manager is working at a time. This is to ensure proper physical distancing and safety for the staff.All client appointments will remain virtual in June.
- All house activities continue with an emphasis on wearing masks in general areas, hand washing and continued observance of hygiene practices and physical distancing.
ASGCC Drop-in Center (Provincetown)
- All Narcan and syringe services continue by delivery. Staff will continue working remotely via phone and Zoom, and are available for HIV/STI risk counseling and referrals for urgent care.
- We expect HIV/STI screenings to return in July; meantime, Drop-in Center staff are available virtually, weekdays 9am – 3pm at 508.487.8311.
- Effective June 15th:
- Medical Case Managers will work limited hours on-site in a rotating shift schedule so that only one medical case manager is working at a time. This is to ensure proper physical distancing and safety for the staff.
- Harm Reduction Specialists will work in teams of two at the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “Safe work zones” will exist to maintain physical distancing while on site.
- During June, while there will continue to be no in-person appointments inside the building, an outdoor tent/canopy area will be established on the patio area to allow interaction with clients and participants while remaining physically distant. An exterior handwashing station shall be available for individuals to clean hands.
- We anticipate resuming HIV/STI screenings in July. Meantime, staff are available to provide phone or Zoom HIV/STI counseling and referrals for urgent care weekdays, 9am – 3pm at 508.778.1954.
Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard
- While our Falmouth site is still under construction, participants in that area can call 774.763.6656 to access services. Risk assessments and Narcan trainings will continue via Zoom, and ASGCC can arrange delivery of syringe services and Narcan distribution by appointment.
- Our Mobile Outreach Van is completed; it will not be in use during June while we work on securing locations out of which to offer its services.
- ASGCC’s on-site services at our office on Martha’s Vineyard remain suspended, but Overdose Education and Narcan Distribution Services are available through our partners there at Health Imperatives; our team is still available by phone at 774.994.7935.
Once again, our goal – and plan – is to proceed slowly, with deliberate adjustments to operations that ensure health and safety for our clients, participants, staff, volunteers and friends.
I remain grateful and proud that our services have continued throughout this period of physical distancing, and I am ever appreciative of our hardworking and dedicated staff, our amazingly resilient clients, and our friends and supporters who help us each step of the way.
As we continue forward, stay strong. Together, we are resilient.
Yours in solidarity,
Dan Gates, LCSW
President and CEO