ACS Corona Virus Preparedness Plan Update
November 20th, 2020
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Dear ACS Families and Partnering Providers,
It has been several months since our last message, and we hope this one finds each of you in good health as we enter the holiday season. As you are likely aware, the case counts in Utah are rapidly rising. We are continuing to take every reasonable precaution to protect the participants in our programs and we are reviewing state and CDC recommendations frequently. We have also consulted with the state UHERT team to ensure that we are following best practices for the settings in which our services are provided.
As you can imagine, many adjustments have been made to refine our policies and procedures in response to COVID 19 over the past eight months. This message would be incredibly long if we were to include every detail of the current policies but we would like to highlight those we feel are the most important as we enter the holiday season and the new year.
Daily Health Screenings
We will continue to require health screenings for anyone entering the building, both staff and participants, and respectfully request that if your participant becomes ill, or is showing COVID symptoms, that they stay home and that you screen their symptoms with the COVID 19 hotline. If it is determined that testing is the best option, please communicate this with us so we know where you are at in the process.
Visiting a Program Site
Program site visits have been, and will continue to be, restricted. We request that necessary visits be conducted via zoom or another technology-based platform and that you not enter the programming space for any reason when possible. Drop off and pick up should continue to occur “curbside”.
Due to the close contact that occurs when participants are riding in the vans, we are not currently transporting any participant who can not independently wear a mask. We have reduced the number of participants per van route to ensure as much social distancing as possible and any trip into the community during programming hours is scheduled for 10 mins or less in the van.
At this time, we are not supporting any community-based activities where participants can not practice safe social distancing. We have also instructed our supported living staff to limit community access for their safety, as well as the participant’s safety. This means that we are only going into the community with participants for essential purposes. Our priority will continue to be protecting your loved ones and our staff.
Return to Services
- Following a positive COVID test result- Participants are expected to quarantine for 14 days from onset of symptoms and be 72 hours symptom free without medication before they will be cleared for return to programming.
- Following an exposure to someone else who has tested positive for COVID- Participants are expected to quarantine for the full 14 days from the date of exposure prior to returning to the program. There is an option for testing AFTER 7 days following exposure. If the participant’s test is negative, they can return to services after pre-screening.
- Following illness with a negative COVID test result- Participants who become symptomatic but test negative for COVID are still expected to remain home until they are 72 hours symptom free without medication.
- Following 90+ days absence from programming - If your participant has not attended the program for more than 90 days a re-enrollment process is required prior to return. This will entail a review of the most recent PCSP, annual service documents that need to be signed, and a review of any changes of medical or behavior concerns.
In addition to our regularly schedule holiday hours, we have decided to close the SSL and Draper Day Service Hubs on Black Friday, November 27, 2020 and Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, 2020. Currently, we are planning for the Tooele program to remain open on both days.
We encourage each of you to closely consider interactions throughout the holiday season and to be mindful of current CDC recommendations for casual social gatherings. We know that there have been many sacrifices made throughout this year and these sacrifices are especially difficult as we enter the holiday season.
The current CDC exposure risks guidance for gathering are as follows:
- Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
- More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
- Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
- Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.
While we respect that each of you will make your own decisions, as you have the right to do so, we ask that you respond honestly when answering the screening questions so that we may ensure the safety of all those your decisions may impact. If you are choosing to include program participants in any interactions during the holidays that would include the higher to highest risk descriptions we may ask you to refrain from an immediate return to programming to ensure their health has not been compromised.
We want to wish all of you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. We appreciate you and the trust you have placed in us to keep your loved ones safe and healthy as they are in our care.
Kendra, Dan, and the ACS team