Covid-19 Additional Information & Resources

Managing Anxiety

During this crisis, our Barber Behavioral Health team is continuing to provide vital services to our children, adults and families. We understand that these times can be difficult for everyone, so our Clinical Supervisor and licensed mental health therapist Cecelia Hollands has some advice for dealing with anxiety and adjusting to our new normal.

Emergency Warning Signs for Non-Verbal Persons

Emergency warning signs for COVID-19

Get medical attention immediately for these emergency warning signs:  

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Autism Connection of Pennsylvania, working with Dr. Elizabeth Spaar, developed signs of shortness of breath to look for if someone is not able to communicate or is non-verbal:

  • Lethargy or unusual tiredness
  • Panting or loud breathing
  • Sucking in (retraction) at base of throat while inhaling
  • Sucking in (retraction) at the ribs, also during inhale
  • Belly breathing - seeing the stomach extended more than usual on inhale
  • Stomach muscles tensing while trying to push air out
  • Longer time to exhale than inhale
  • Tripod stance (leaning over with hands on knees)
  • Bluish nail beds or lips
  • Change of mental status/confusion

More information can be found at the CDC’s website

Response Preparations

--As of 3-10-20--

With ensuring good health as our highest priority for our staff, students, adults and their families, the Barber National Institute has undertaken a variety of measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

An ad hoc Infectious Disease Committee consisting of a cross section of our health professionals, administration and other support services has been formed and is in daily communication to closely monitor the latest directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the PA State and local County Department of Health.  Our organization is relying on these agencies for continued guidance and direction.

We have sent communications to all staff and families of our students and adults to inform them of the measures we are taking to encourage infectious disease prevention and encouraging their cooperation, including:

  • Reminding staff to stay home and not report to work if they are ill.  Symptoms of illness include:  fever, cough or shortness of breath, headache and body aches.
  • Remaining at home until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications (ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
  • Mandating that staff traveling to affected areas identified by the CDC not report to work for a 14-day quarantine period after their return home.
  • Asking families to keep students and adults at home if they are sick and have any of the above symptoms.
  • All staff has been encouraged to use good handwashing techniques as outlined in an instructional video, and to practice these techniques with students and adults in our programs and facilities.

In addition, all cleaning crews at all Barber National Institute locations and group homes have been instructed to use disinfectants to clean all “high touch” surfaces daily, including door knobs, counters, bathroom fixtures, railings and handles. 

Additional Resources

The Barber National Institute continues to monitor all updates from the CDC or PA State and local County Health Departments and will communicate any new information or recommendations.

We appreciate all of the efforts of our staff and families to encourage good infection control practices.

Additional resources for information:

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and You

Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources

Program UpdatesOnline Learning Activities