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BREAKING: New COVID-19 and Stay-At-Home Response

On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued a ‘stay home’ proclamation for the next two weeks (unless extended).  As a response to the announcement, Hilltop has made this booklet that outlines the steps we are taking to enforce and abide by the ‘stay home’ proclamation. If you missed the proclamation made by Gov. Inslee, here are the major takeaways: 

  • Enforcement of the proclamation began midnight March, 252020 
  • All in person public and private gatherings are banned 
  • All non-essential businesses are closed 
  • Residents are to stay home except for essential activities. Essential outings are activities such as getting groceries or walking a pet  

Copies of the full text are available on-line and we have posted a copy on each bulletin board. 

  • Our response, detailed in this booklet, begins Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. 
  • Hilltop’s response remains in effect until April 27, 2020 unless posted otherwise. 
  • All group activities and van trips will remain suspended until further notice.  
  • Residents are prohibited from hosting gatherings in the common areas (e.g., bingo, pot lucks, more than one at a puzzle table, etc.) 

FRONT OFFICE 

Hilltop offices will be limited to one senior management team member and possibly one operation specialist. We will be practicing social distancing as much as possible, and will be conducting all staff  meetings via conference calls. 

  • The Front Office will continue to limit the open hours to twice daily. 
  •  The counter will be open Monday through Friday between 9:30 10:30 AM and 2:003:00 PM. 
  • Those who need quarters, stamps or would like to drop off cash rent payments are asked to wait until these open times. Please do not knock on the side door unless there is an emergency or a lock out. 
  • During open office hours, residents and caregivers at the front desk are required to keep at least 6 feet away from whoever is behind the counter.  Please do not sit on or lean over the counter.   
  • The social distancing of 6 feet also applies to those standing in line for assistance. Please stay back while waiting for your turn. 

One on one resident/staff meetings are not permitted at this time. We encourage residents to call, email or write a note if they need assistance outside the designated office hours. Emergencies are an exception.  

VISITORS TO HILLTOP 

All non-essential travel has been banned at this time.  Essential travel includes, but is not limited to, going to a health appointment, going for groceries, taking a pet for a walk, taking a walk for fresh air (mindful of social distancing when walking with friends).  

Hilltop continues to discourage ALL outside visitors at this time.  Some exceptions are: 

  • For families who are travelling to help a family member or friend with a health need or delivering groceries and or prescriptions. (see the law §1.a.3). 
  • Visitor access is limited to your apartment. NO gathering in common areas. 
  • Residents are responsible for informing their visitor of the need to practice universal precautions (i.e. wearing gloves and masks). 
  • ALL visitors MUST sign in at the counter and note which room they are visiting. 
  • No new reservations in the guest room will be accepted until further notice. 

More details about essential travel are available online at the governor’s website. 

VENDORS AT HILLTOP 

Hilltop has limited all vendor services to emergency response or on an as-needed basis. 

  • Vendors will be required to practice universal precautions. 
  • Western Exterminator’s bed bug services for apartments have been put on hold until further notice. Exterior pest service and trash chute monitoring will continue. 
  • Unfortunately, housekeeping (which is different from caregiversis not considered “essential services”so, those who receive services from private outside sources (for example, Sonia), will not be able to receive those services until further notice.  
  • Comcast/Xfinity is defined as an “essential” business since they provide access to technology services.  If you have asked Comcast to come repair or install service to your apartment, Hilltop staff will help them get to the access points for their equipment. 

LEASING DEPARTMENT:  

April rent payments during the limited office hours, may be paid through the following options: 

Paying in Cash: Rent payments made in cash must be paid during open office hours (9:30-10:30 AM and 2:00-3:00 PM).  Because our banking capabilities are currently limited, we ask to please use exact change. 

Paying by Check: Rent payments by check should be dropped off before or after hours by using the drop box located under the front desk counter. Look for the sign saying ‘Drop Checks Here’ that will be taped by the slot under the front desk counter. We appreciate your ability to limit in-person transactions. 

Rent Receipts: If you would like a receipt for a check dropped off, residents may leave their statement with their check and specify they would like a receipt. A Hilltop staff member will return the stamped statement to their door.  All cash payments will receive a receipt during the time of transaction. 

We are working with a new accounting system and will be trying to set up online banking payments for the May rent if these restrictions continue. 

If you are working and have been laid off or experiencing a financial hardship at this time, we ask that you please call the front office to talk with a Hilltop staff member. One-on-one meetings with the finance team are not permitted at this time. 

We will be working on recertification and interim reporting via phone and email. All emails can be directed to leasing@hilltop-house.org. If you have paperwork to drop off, you may use the front counter drop slot, or bring to the counter during our limited office hours. 

SERVICE COORDINATOR:  

If you need assistance with resources, you may email Karen at karencarlos@hilltop-house.org.  If you do not have access to email, please leave a note at the front desk and a staff member will relay the message. 

Public Resources: The City of Seattle has come out with a helpful page of resources to assist Seattleites through this challenging time. You can access this resource by typing in seattle.gov/mayor/covid-19#foodsupport 

Third Party Care Services: If you are getting care services through an agency (Providence ElderPlace, Full Life Care etc.), you will continue to receive those services unless that agency shuts down their services. 

Caregivers: Residents are responsible for informing their caregivers of the need to practice universal precautions. Please inform your caregiver that they are only to be in your apartment or the Laundry Room. 

KITCHEN: Ordering Meals and Incidentals 

Kitchen continues to enforce rules that ensure that their work meets proper health guidelines. They are now wearing mask, along with their gloves, while preparing meals.  

In addition to their current meal service, the Kitchen will also be taking orders for incidentals food items that residents may need. 

Meal Order tickets will be available in folders on each floor’s bulletin board. Residents who would like to order can fill out a ticket and then put it on their apartment door. We will be adding a soup and salad option on the meal ticket. Staff will pick up meal orders by 1 PM daily. 

Incidentals: To alleviate some of the strain of the State restrictions, Hilltop will be offering items for sale such as milk, fruit, bread, eggs or bottled water. Residents will be able to have these limited items delivered to their door each day by completing the incidental order form, located on the floor’s bulletin board, then placing the form on their door. Orders will be limited to a maximum of one of each item per order, per resident, per day. Staff will pick up incidental orders by 1 PM daily. Orders subject to availability. Purchases of incidentals will be added to your monthly statement. 

Delivery of meals and incidentals will be completed by staff between 5-6 PM daily. In an effort to minimize contact, staff will knock on your door, wearing masks and gloves, and will step away from the delivery cart. You will be asked to take your individual order from the cart. Residents must be home to receive their delivery. 

MAINTENANCE: Emergency Work Orders 

Due to the stay-at-home proclamation, Maintenance staff are only responding to work orders pertaining to health and safety.  

The following are examples of work orders that qualify as a health or safety concern: 

  • Plumbing issues (i.e. clogged sink, bathtub won’t drain, sink faucet is broken, etc.) 
  • Light bulb replacements 
  • CO / Smoke detectors malfunctioning  
  • Appliance issues (i.e. oven doesn’t work, refrigerator will not work, etc.) 
  • Problems with exterior doors. 

Please submit work orders via phone or a written note at the front counter. 

RELIEF MANAGERS (RM) SERVICES 

Due to the stay-at-home proclamation, Relief Managers are also restricting their availability. Please only contact the RM for these reasons: 

  • Emergency situations (an urgent health issue that might require 911 service) 
  • CO or smoke detector “beeping” 
  • Hilltop encourages residents to PLEASE take their keys when leaving their room. If locked out, please call the RM on duty if after office hours 
  • No calls to Relief Manager to deliver packages or supplies 
  • RMs will ask delivery personnel to leave packages at door / will not sign for any package 

HILLTOP STAFF: Who’s Here When 

Here is a schedule for the following staff members and departments: 

  • Thornton here Monday and Thursday  
  • Laurie here Tuesday and Friday 
  • Karen here Wednesday 
  • Demetra here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 
  • Shelby here Thursday and Friday 
  • 1 Maintenance staff here per day (excluding Saturdays)  
  • 1 Housekeeping staff here per day 

We will notify you if there are any significant changes 

Hilltop hopes by taking these precautions and abiding to the ‘Stay Home – Stay Healthy’ proclamation, that we not only contribute to keeping our community here at Hilltop healthy and safe but that of our Seattle community as well.  

We are in this together, and by following the proposed guidelines, Hilltop can be an ally in helping slow this pandemic. Whether it be a grocery deliverer or Relief Manager on duty, remember to show patience, and most importantly, kindness, to those who are here to help. 

Any further changes to Hilltop practices will be posted on the floor bulletin boards and in the elevators.  Services will resume as state and local guidelines permit.