A Look Back at the COVID Response

A LOOK BACK AT THE COVID RESPONSE

One year ago, the city shut down as the COVID-19 outbreak made its way to San Antonio. A lot was uncertain and more was unknown. We take a look back at how SAHA operations changed in a five-part mini-documentary series. The pandemic did not slow down, and neither did the staff of SAHA.

On the frontline — even with their own families at home to think of — SAHA staff do it for the mission.

PART I: Protecting the Vulnerable

Although sometimes skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine, the elderly and disabled residents living in SAHA communities were anxious for the protection it could give them knowing the vulnerabilities they face. SAHA learns the City is releasing some vaccines, so SAHA staff jump into action to offer the vaccine to its residents knowing it may be the life-saving defense they need from the coronavirus.

PART II: RAPID RESPONSE

It was March 13, 2020, when the first all-staff communication advised the agency would assume emergency operations. Overnight, the Executive Leadership Team went into emergency response to mirror CDC and city guidelines. Makeshift war rooms and several calls later, the senior team knew they would have to make the executive decision on what would protect its residents and staff. Virtual communication was more important than ever as it would soon replace all in-person discussions.

PART III: WHAT A YEAR

SAHA residents endured a challenging year withstanding a global pandemic and an economic and job crisis. It has been a tough year. Hear first-person accounts from SAHA residents who share their experiences about the many obstacles and challenges they have faced.

PART IV: MEETING THE NEED

The COVID-19 pandemic forced SAHA to quickly pivot how it operated while still serving the needs of its clients. Although the halls are empty, a small group of staff still operate on the ground to provide the services residents need. The shift in operations has not prevented SAHA staff from feeling passionate about caring for their residents. The unsung heroes show up each month with food deliveries and wellness check-ins to go above the agency’s mission to ensure residents have basic necessities.

PART V: WE WILL STOP AT NOTHING

The volumes of calls have increased and the agency is addressing a backlog of requests varying from rent payments and work orders. A security guard now stands guard at the central office and at elderly properties to take temperatures. New protocols are in place to increase protection for residents and staff. It’s nothing the agency ever imagined, but for now, that is the new normal.