Updates, How We Are Protecting Your UH Family, and How You Can Help 

April 29, 2021
Message to Donors, Friends, and Family

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Updated Apr. 5: Are you wondering whether we still need your help? The answer is yes, please. Visit https://unitedhelpersneeds.hwapps.org to learn more.


Kelly Ward and Michelle Matthews showing off their black UH-logo-embroidered knit tuquesUnited Helpers is still serving our community, thanks to our incredible employees

All Behavioral Health & Life Skills services are available at this time.

Applications for admissions to UH's Rehab & Senior Care are being accepted.

Our team has truly persevered, and they inspire all of us every day. 


How United Helpers’ residents and staff are being affected by COVID-19

Updated Apr. 5: At UH Rehabilitation & Senior Care Ogdensburg, visitation and salon services began again on March 15.

New Apr. 29: Visitation currently is on hold for the North and West neighborhoods at Rehab & Senior Care Canton. (Read the updated NY nursing home visitation guidelines.) We hope to be able to reopen for visitation around May 3 or so, if tests continue to be negative.

The Assisted Living Program, also located at UHRSC Canton, is open to visitation. The two separate portions of UH's Canton facility (the skilled nursing West & North neighborhoods, and the ALP) are not connected at this time, with no shared staff or other individuals traveling back and forth.

Three vaccine clinics were held at the Ogdensburg and Canton Rehab & Senior Care facilities, in January and February.

Among our 11 IRAs (Individualized Residential Alternatives), we have no positive cases among our staff and our program members.

Updated Mar. 5: Our Senior & Disabled Housing complexes completed their second clinics Feb. 25.

Updated Apr. 29: Visitation is also occurring at UH’s Behavioral Health & Life Skills Individualized Residential Alternatives.

(To recap the journey so far:  1. In January 2021, the numbers in our two nursing homes appear to have peaked and were on the decline. 2. In December 2020, those two Rehab & Senior Care facilities had struggled with mounting numbers of COVID cases. Staffing was low, with many residents testing positive and the numbers climbing. The community responded with tremendous support in the form of volunteerism, monetary gifts, and in-kind gifts. We remained hyper-vigilant through it all, for the sake of our residents and colleagues. 3. In early December, Canton RSC received word that they had 7 positive residents and 2 positive staff. 4. In late November, we learned that several staff and residents at UH's Rehab & Senior Care in Ogdensburg had tested positive for COVID-19. Visitation at UH Canton and Ogdensburg Rehab & Senior Care facilities was suspended. Numbers continued to climb into December. 5. In late October, two asymptomatic employees tested positive at UH Rehab & Senior Care Canton. 6. In mid-September, Canton and Ogdensburg Rehabilitation & Senior Care facilities had employee positives. 7. On 9/5, UH was notified that two staff members at United Helpers Rehabilitation & Senior Care Canton had tested positive. 8. In late July, three residents of our Canton Assisted Living program tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized. Two ALP employees also tested positive and completed quarantine. All remaining ALP residents completed isolation precautions. Visitation was temporarily suspended for the Rehabilitation & Senior Care facility in Canton. 9. In mid-July, one staff member in the skilled-nursing portion of UHRSC Canton tested positive. Residents in the relevant cottages were placed on isolation precautions at the time. 10. On June 19, careful, scheduled family visitation to Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) resumed. 11. A staff member at UHR&SC Ogdensburg tested positive in early June, followed by a negative test result two days later. In the neighborhood where that employee had worked at that time, no one in contact with the employee developed any symptoms. 12. In late April, ten residents and two employees at UH's Lisbon IRA had tested positive for COVID-19. 13. In Canton, also in April, the resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 at our Rehabilitation and Senior Care facility completed the required isolation period. 14. The one staff member at UH Rehabilitation & Senior Care in Ogdensburg who tested positive earlier in April completed the mandatory quarantine.)


Our pandemic-related decisions and precautions

To date, we have taken several steps to protect and care for our residents and employees. These are a couple of highlights:

  • The Assisted Living Program (ALP) functions separately from the skilled-nursing side of the UHRSC Canton facility, with fire doors between the two areas of the building remaining securely closed at all times. Staff and residents do not travel back and forth between the two areas of the facility.  
  • United Helpers has adhered to all guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the NYS Department of Health, NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), St. Lawrence County Public Health and other governing agencies.

Updated Apr. 1: New York State eased travel precautions: "Starting April 1, quarantine for domestic travel to New York will no longer be required." Mandatory quarantine is still in place for international travelers. The Department of Health still recommends that we observe quarantine as an added precaution. Also, all travelers must complete the Traveler Health Form.

Updated Apr. 27: The CDC once again has updated its guidelines regarding masking, gathering, and traveling.


United Helpers welcomes (and relies on) your giving

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered, made gifts, and honored often-forgotten UH frontline workers.

  • Updated Apr. 29: We continue to fight COVID-19 thanks to your selflessness. Having you by our side makes a world of difference.
  • Please help us stay strong in caring for our community. If you can, please make a gift to United Helpers.
  • To give to UH right away, you can give quickly by texting “unitedhelpers” to 50155 and following the prompts

Help us to secure the wonderful, critical mission of United Helpers for the future, for our family and friends. Now is your time to be a hero. Thank you!

United Helpers is accepting new clients and residents

Updated Apr. 29: Both of our Behavioral Health clinics and all of our Behavioral Health & Life Skills IRAs and programs are accepting new residents and clients.

Our Rehab & Senior Care is accepting applications for admissions as well. We have had many new admissions. Welcome!

United Helpers soldiers on

Updated Apr. 29: Visitation guidelines from the NYS Department of Health and based on recent test results change regularly. Be in touch if you hope to visit and plan the details with us first. Anytime you cannot visit, follow all of UH's outreach, via social media, our website of course, and email.

If you have questions about any of the above or want to receive these updates for donors in your email inbox, please email giving@unitedhelpers.org.


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Last reviewed: Apr 29 2021