Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Safety at New Directions for Women

New Directions for Women remains transparent on steps taken regarding COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, to ensure the safety of all patients, staff, and family members we serve.

We closely follow guidelines of the CDC and have developed measures to properly look at risks associated with any pandemic situation.  We have enacted a comprehensive list of policy changes, including the following:

  • We are not hosting tours or bringing in outside visitors. Our regular Thursday night alumnae meeting has gone virtual and we’ve added a Tuesday morning virtual meeting as well. To get the login and password for those meetings, contact Saturday Family Group and conjoint family sessions will occur virtually.
  • Patients and staff practice social distancing, which means maintaining at least six feet between each other and avoiding physical greetings (replacing with a wave, nod, or bow instead).  
  • Patients are not attending outside meetings, outings, or other similar events. All programming will take place on our secure campus in Costa Mesa.
  • All patients, staff, and internal stakeholders have been trained on preventative protocols, including (but not limited to) cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Staff and patients have access to gloves and surgical masks.
  • We have enacted a protocol for assessing both patients and staff at risk, and what steps to take if a patient or staff member feels unwell. All healthcare staff reporting to campus have their temperatures taken and logged when reporting to work; if anybody has a fever, they are sent home.
  • As of March, 16, 2020, all intake prescreening will include additional screening questions, including questions about recent travel, exposure to COVID-19, and current symptoms or ailments. If a potential patient is high-risk, staff will refer the patient to our Medical Director, Dr. Penunuri, or another healthcare provider to check for COVID-19 prior to admission. 
  • New patients joining our residential program will be placed in quarantine in Pfister House on campus for seven days before integrating with the larger patient community if asymptomatic and with our Medical Director’s approval.



CBS Los Angeles interviewed Executive Director Sue Bright on how stress and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic can increase addiction rates and what New Directions for Women is doing to support individuals struggling with substance use disorder. As Sue shares, there’s truly not a better time to go into the safe and protected environment of rehab.

Our intake department continues to be available 24/7 for your call for help, as we are still accepting patients into our detox, residential, and outpatient treatment programs.

We’re providing current patients and families with this letter for detailed information related to admissions during this time.


Our COVID-19 committee of Executive Management staff and Medical Director will be reviewing these policies and procedures on a daily basis and make changes as necessary and/or as indicated by the CDC.

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