Most recent COVID-19 procedure update from Vocational Services: May 8, 2023
· Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a relatively new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. The virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
· People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported- from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
· People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19
o Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
o Repeated shaking with chills
o Muscle pain
o Sore throat
o Loss of taste or smell
· Other less common symptoms have been reported, such as
o Gastrointestinal symptoms
BARC Developmental Services has procedures for the following situations:
• Positive screens for both individuals and staff
• Someone who becomes symptomatic during service provision
• Return of staff and individuals to a facility post recovery from COVID-19
• Mask wearing by all staff
We continue to follow all guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC), the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and the Departments of Health.
Any associate or contractor who tests positive or is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider is not permitted on-site at any work location, regardless of vaccination status, and must quarantine for the length of time recommended by the CDC at the time of the positive test.
Anyone who becomes symptomatic while at their work location will immediately leave the building and not be permitted to return until the aforesaid standards are met. Any individuals supported who become symptomatic and cannot immediately leave the facility will be quarantined, with staff support, until transportation home can be arranged. Staff providing support to someone who is quarantined will wear appropriate PPE until the person’s emergency contact arrives to take them home. The same standards as above apply for return to the individuals’ day program.
Any individual or staff who is suspected of having COVID-19 based on symptoms or temperature readings, will be asked to immediately schedule an appointment to be tested, and need to leave the facility as soon as someone can pick them up (staff will leave immediately); they will be quarantined until they are able to leave the facility. All areas the person has come in contact with will be disinfected, and when possible, windows and doors will be opened to increase ventilation. It should also be noted all HVAC units have had UV sterilizers installed to assist with keeping the facilities safe. If a staff or person supported who is vaccinated comes in contact with someone who tests positive, but remain asymptomatic, are permitted to come to the program site.
At BPSW, most folks attend two or three days/week, which will be the same days each week. Following this schedule will enable everyone currently enrolled to return on a part-time basis at a level sufficient to minimize exposure. The number of days/weeks each person can attend may change based on needs and staffing.
At BPSQ, a pre-determined number of folks will attend for a full week, and then remain at home the following week to serve the most individuals. The number of days/weeks each person can attend may change based on needs and staffing.
Disposable products will be used as much as possible. Any needed adaptive devices will be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized in a commercial dishwasher after each use and before the
next use. Individuals eat lunch at their workstations which areas are cleaned/disinfected both before and after lunch and any breaks.
Staff will accompany individuals supported to and from the bathroom to supervise their hand handwashing and cleaning of the stall used if this level of support is needed.
At BPSQ, the lunchroom has been reopened for folks in the Workshop program. At BPSW, the lunchroom is expected to reopen in mid to late May.
Staff are not required to wear masks when supporting individuals so long as the rate is 10 or below. If the rate exceeds 10, masks will be required for staff when working with supported individuals until the rate drops to 10 or less for two (2) consecutive weeks.
A sufficient supply of cleaning products, disinfectants, sanitizers, and PPE is available. An inventory of all items will be maintained and materials will be replenished well in advance of being depleted. Staff have been advised how to access these materials.
The facilities will be cleaned throughout the day, as needed. Each evening after the facility is closed, a professional cleaning service will thoroughly clean the buildings.
Visitors are expected to provide advance notice of their visit. All visitors must use the front entrance of each facility to enter that facility. Upon entry, each visitor will follow all health screening protocols, including taking their temperature. They will then be escorted to their scheduled meeting location or training area. Supports Coordinator’s and inspectors can meet with, and observe, those they are scheduled to see with without staff escorting them.
Most individuals who have indicated they wish to return to the day program have been able to do so on a part-time basis. We are diligently working to have those who have not been able to return to do so as soon as possible based on sufficient staffing patterns. When determining the order in which individuals should return to facility-based services, BARC Developmental Services considers the following when prioritizing the order in which individuals will be able to return to facility-based services:
• If the individual lives with family and if the family relies on CPS services to support the individual.
• If the individual has struggled, including with isolation, because the individual
has been unable to receive facility-based services.
• If the individual has a high desire to return to facility-based services.
• Staffing needs of the individual
Presently, at BPSQ folks in the Workshop attend five (5) days and remain at home the following five (5) days. At BPSW, folks who reside with family members have been able to attend the
same three (3) days each week unless they only wish to attend two (2) days/week or less. Those who are supported in a residential program typically attend two (2) days/week, but we are looking to increase these individuals to three (3) days/week if they wish to do so once staffing permits.
Program Specialists will continue to provide updates to this policy to the individuals and their family members on their caseloads as they become available. The most recent update to this policy will also be posted on the agency website under the drop down “News”.