March 25, 2021
Because a large portion of our staff has completed their Covid19 vaccination and those remaining have received at least a first shot, our Covid19 safety protocols have been updated accordingly. We ask that everyone remain committed to following our protocol exactly. We have been excellent at working together, across all areas of the entire agency, to know and practice the safety plan and as a result, our infection rate has been very low and our recovery rate 100%! We recognize that blessing and are thankful! We will remain diligent and require all family, friends, staff, and people we support to strictly follow our safety guidelines. They have been updated and are here for you to reference:
- Visitation is permitted when there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the house is not currently conducting COVID testing.
- Homes shall set appropriate hours during which visitation may occur. Times are based upon the size and needs of the home, staffing available, and ability to implement appropriate disinfection between visits.
- All visits must be scheduled ahead of time and approved. Visits will be staggered so as not to have multiple families visiting in a shared space at one time and to ensure adequate time to clean any common areas or high touch surfaces between visits.
- The number of visitors per resident will be limited based on the size of the home and space.
- Homes may schedule visits for a specified length of time to ensure all residents are able to receive visitors.
- All other residents will be notified ahead of time that visitors will be present and advised how to remain socially distant from them.
- Staff will discuss the potential risks and benefits of the visitor’s presence with the visitor and the resident ahead of the scheduled visit.
- Visitors will be limited. Where multiple visitors are permitted, to the extent possible, will be members of the same family or household.
- All visitors will be 18 years of age or older, except in rare exceptions as determined by Robin Evanitsky, CSO/Agency COVID Coordinator, or Molly Little, CEO.
- Prior to each scheduled visit, visitors must undergo symptom and temperature checks by house staff and will be denied visitation if they report any COVID-19 exposure or symptoms during the prior 14 days or have a temperature over 100° Fahrenheit.
- Visitors must be provided a face mask if they do not arrive with one and that mask must be properly worn throughout the entirety of the visit when social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Visitors who refuse to wear a mask will not be allowed to visit the home.
- Visitors must sanitize their hands upon arrival and perform meticulous hand hygiene throughout the visit.
- Visitation exercised inside the house shall only occur in the designated area where disinfection, social distancing, and separation from other residents can be safely implemented.
We continue to monitor the situation and remain fully aware of OPWDD and CDC guidelines and will modify these protocols as necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.
We want to thank our family, friends, and community for supporting these diligent efforts. It is clear to see in our statistics that it is working! We ask for your continued support. A global pandemic has added physical and emotional stress to everyone and standing together to support one another to do what we can, as much as we can is vital to our safety and wellbeing. We can not do it alone. Your support is a key component. Let’s continue to be a beacon of kindness to one another through support.
March 3, 2021
Currently, two of our day programs are now open in a very limited capacity, THRIVE and RFI located in Hamden and Walton, NY respectively. Covid safety protocols are a top priority including but not limited to proper mask-wearing and distance as well as thorough and ongoing cleaning.
Everyone who attends is loving their time back in program again even with the safety measures firmly in place. People rotate days attending either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday to ensure adhering to safety measures and keeping the total number of people gathering at a minimum.
To further mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and infection of Covid19, many of our staff and people we support have received both first and second doses of the vaccine. Others have received the first dose, soon to receive the second, and a few non-direct support staff is awaiting their first dose.
Our team has worked diligently to get vaccinations scheduled which has been no easy task with the current challenges concerning the number of doses available in the county. We want to take a moment to give a big shout-out to the team for working so hard and getting as many people vaccinated as we have to date and for their continued diligence in scheduling the vaccination process.
While we have not escaped the virulence of this virus, our infection rate remains low and the recovery rate remains positive and successful. We are confident that through our continued efforts that rate will continue to lessen over time and allow us to continue to ease back into new and exciting next steps for the people we support and our staff.
We want to thank the community for your continued support and concern and encourage you to visit this page often as we continue to keep you updated when there is anything new to report.
Stay healthy and stay safe!
January 21, 2021
Because we value and place a high priority on keeping our community informed and doing our part to provide accurate information, we wanted to share our Covid-19 data to date.
To date, we have had 20 staff members test positive for Covid-19 and 13 people we support (thirteen is the combined total number of both our residential program and those receiving community-based supports). It is entirely possible that additional people we support who live elsewhere (ie with family, in residential programs outside of Delarc, or on their own) have/had COVID and we were not notified. Public Health only notifies people who may be at risk due to close contact and we are grateful for their diligence in both excellent precautionary measures and protecting personal and private information.
Of those 33 people who have tested positive, typical of what has been reported for virus symptoms, there has been a spectrum of experiences that range from very mild symptoms to “I have never been so sick in my life!”
The best news is that the recovery rate for Delarc has been amazing, with a 100% survival rate! Those still recovering are doing so with a lot of support from our dedicated staff and most are fully recovered and are back to “normal” life. We remain alert and aware of the possibility of “long haulers” symptoms. It is the diligence of our staff and the Delarc community practicing Covid-19 prevention protocols that have mitigated the effects of this virus. We encourage our community to join us in virus spread prevention as much as possible. The protocol works and is working for us! Join us in our diligence to wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing surfaces, staying home, and keeping a safe distance when minimally gathered!
Many staff and people we support who are eligible for the vaccine have gotten round one and many more are scheduled to receive it as soon as it is available.
We thank you for your support in assuring the circulation of accurate information as reported above, and for doing your part to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. We send our heartfelt condolences to those who have experienced great loss caused by this virus and recognize those losses continue to happen both in our county and all over the world.
December 18, 2020
We continue to keep everyone as safe as possible and currently do not have a site-based program re-open date scheduled. Everyone continues to receive day hab services in their homes and remotely with the exception of our Carousel Children’s program who is running a hybrid program with reduced on-site capacity combined with virtual services.
We are diligently monitoring and assessing the current situation. Everyone is doing great and being as safe as possible. We are having a good time getting ready for the holidays and encourage you to follow us on social media to see how everyone is staying positive and living their best lives in the midst of this unprecedented situation.
Please connect to Life Coach 10 if you wish to receive additional virtual services. Stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands a lot, and follow Covid guidelines so that you and yours remain healthy and happy through the new year! We wish you all a healthy and blessed holiday and a happy new year!
November 24, 2020
The Arc of Delaware County will not be reopening our site-based day programs on Monday, November 30th, as previously hoped. Our focus remains on keeping everyone as safe as possible. We do not have a reopening date yet and will continue to monitor and assess our plan. If you would like to receive additional virtual services, please reach out to your Life Coach 10. Please remain diligent with social distancing, mask-wearing and following COVID guidelines, and have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
November 13, 2020
With the continued rising COVID numbers in our community and our commitment to keep everyone as safe as possible, The Arc of Delaware County made the difficult decision to keep our site-based day programs closed through the Thanksgiving holiday. We plan to reopen on Monday, November 30th in the limited capacity we’ve been operating under, though we will continue to monitor and assess our plan. Please remain diligent with social distancing, mask wearing and following DOH COVID guidelines. We wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and please reach out with any questions.
November 4, 2020
We have been notified that two staff members from The Arc of Delaware County have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Due to privacy regulations, we can’t share personal information of anyone confirmed or suspected to have COVID, but we will continue to be as informative and transparent as we can possibly be.
We are working closely with the Delaware County Department of Public Health. They are completing contact tracing and all individuals requiring quarantine and/or isolation are being notified. As a result, The Arc of Delaware County has decided to close site-based day hab services beginning Wednesday, November 4th, 2020, and provide virtual services. The Arc will continue to work closely with the Delaware County Department of Public Health to continually assess our plan to reopen site-based services, which could be as early as Monday, November 16th.
We encourage everyone to remain diligent in following COVID-19 safety precautions, such as social distancing, mask wearing, and practicing good hand hygiene. If you or anyone in your household begins to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), we encourage you to follow up with your healthcare provider. A complete list of COVID-19 symptoms and guidelines are available on the Public Health website at delawarecountypublichealth.com/covid/
We know news like this can be difficult to hear and bring a range of emotions. Please know the health and safety of the people we support, our staff and our community is our greatest priority and we remain committed to providing a safe environment for everyone. Please reach out to us if you have questions, we’re always here for you.
October 29, 2020
Planning to visit a friend or loved one? Please read COVID -19: Interim Visitation Guidance for Certified “Supportive”
October 27, 2020
We remain vigilant and aware of the current status of an ever-present viral threat to the safety of our staff and people we support. You can rest assured for your family and friends that we have a full grasp on the response to localized outbreaks of COVID-19 and the Governor’s “Cluster Initiative, with The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) guidance for certified programs and facilities within identified areas of concern. OPWDD shared a summary of guidance on Friday. You can find COVID19 hotspot zones by address here. We remain diligent and are grateful for having “cluster initiative” guidelines in place should we need them.
Scroll down to catch up on how we rolled with the global pandemic of the century. Check-in often to stay informed as we continue to roll with it.
October 1, 2020
While focusing heavily on health and safety issues and ensuring the well-being of the people we support and our staff, the team is also thinking creatively and “out of the box” as we grow into the future. The gathering of current person-centered information is leading us to consider the coolest new options for our agency (opening new businesses and enhancing our Employment Department are two examples of exciting initiatives being considered). One of our core values (our Unifying Principles) has always been Be Innovative. We are flexing those innovative muscles now to ensure people we support have the most robust and progressive services going forward. As our analysis and plans continue to evolve, we will be sure to keep everyone up to date. Stay tuned!
For a little “myth” busting, check out our blog, Our Mission is as Strong as Ever!
August 28, 2020
With a lot of preparation and safety protocols in place, we have opened our THRIVE and Studio 190 facilities to acceptable, safe, and limited capacity. For this first phase, the day services at these facilities are limited to people who are not supported in The Arc of Delaware County residential settings. For people we support in residential settings, day program services will continue to take place in their homes just as we have done from the onset of the pandemic to ensure that everyone is being supported in the safest way possible. Our goal remains, to support people to live as fulfilling lives as any of us can during these unprecedented times. Our plan is in place. We are thankful for the safety protocol guidance from the CDC, OPWDD, and The Arc NY.
Safety plans for both THRIVE and Studio 190 can be viewed using the links below:
Here are brief videos capturing some of the highlights of the safety plans, and showing a walk through of each site:
We’re also excited to welcome children back to our Carousel Children’s Program. The Safety Plan for that program can be viewed here:
Carousel Children’s Services Safety Plan
For information on visiting a friend or family member at their home, you can find our Residential Program visitor’s policy here: Visitor Policy Prior to your visit, please call your loved ones and ask to speak to a staff member who will fill out a visitor document with you before your visit. It’s our aim to keep you all safe. Visits are so important and the connection is important. Everyone is missed. Give us a call if you have any questions or need any assistance in any way with the process set before us.
Here is a brief video capturing some of the details of the Residential Program visitor policy:
Spending time with family and loved ones is important especially during uncertain times or times of change. Please review OPWDD guidelines for home visits before having loved ones home for a visit. Homevisits
As always if you have any questions or concerns please email community relations at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out directly to the program director.
Our Journey From the Start
As you are aware, since mid-March our day programs have been under governors’ orders to shut down to keep everyone as safe as possible from COVID-19. Thank you for your patience as we needed time to revitalize our website and create a place for you to come and be informed of our continually changing protocols.
We are in constant communication with OPWDD and The Arc NY to stay informed of the Governor’s updates, Executive Orders, any new regulations and guidance and how it effects our programs and services and the people we support. Calls are still happening almost daily, if not several times a week, and we are very grateful to be in a collaborative partnership will all involved who’s number one priority is the lives of the people we support and our essential staff.
We quickly rerouted our staff to support our residential department and took extra precaution to create specific teams of minimal numbers for specific locations to minimize COVID exposure. The Arc NY worked with us to assure everyone was well equipped with PPE. Our highly trained medical staff immediately placed entry precautions in place. The restrictions were hard for everyone. The people we support missed their friends and family. We are so thankful for the deep bonds and relationships in place at our residences. Everyone we support was very thankful to have each other in a residential site location, adhering to the “family protocols” put forth by the CDC and OPWDD. Special attention was placed on learning how to diligently wash hands and surfaces as well as how to handle incoming groceries and mail. One person for each location was designated to get supplies and drop them off at the door.
We are in Phase 4 of the New York Forward Plan. We continue to stay updated and follow the guidance provided by OPWDD. As per the guidance, our staff continues to stay minimized and in the original site-specific teams. We continue to create new and fun things to do with proper social distancing and PPE protocols in place as we follow the Community Outings guidelines. Please peruse our blogs to see some of the ways we have been staying connected, engaged and happy.
Everyone was very happy to learn of the recent update easing family visitation restrictions. Our Residential Director and leadership team reviewed the updated guidance and put plans in place to support family members to visit their loved ones while still keeping everyone safe and healthy.
We are busy creating options and brainstorming scenarios with the people we support and families in anticipation of what the next phase will be. There are many unknowns but what we do know for sure, what we are always certain of, is that the lives of people we support will always be first and foremost directing and guiding our planning as we continue to do what we have done for over 50 years, to support people to live personally fulfilling lives of citizenship, joy and dignity.
For a variety of additional resources related to COVID, we invite you to visit The Arc U.S.’s page created for people with disabilities, families and service providers. https://thearc.org/covid/
Please come back and visit this sight often to keep up to date on the quickly changing landscape of a whole new world with the presence of COVID-19.