UPDATE FROM CEO, HOWARD GANTER, ON PROGRAMS, SERVICES, AND SAFETY IN REGARDS TO COVID-19

 

   

The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence

 

      The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence


March 18, 2020

Dear Families and Care Providers, 

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has directed all providers to temporarily suspend operations of site-based day programs beginning March 17, at 5:00 p.m. At The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence, these closures include our Day Habilitation sites and Prevocational programs. Additionally, in Jefferson County we have closed our preschool program until April 20, 2020; when we will reevaluate and follow the guidance of the State Education Department.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of our programs at this time. We continue to monitor all guidance from local, state and federal agencies, and will stay in close communication with you about our response as the situation develops.  

We realize the impact suspension of our day programs has on our families, staff, and the people we support; however it is critical we take action to limit the spread of illness. We appreciate your understanding as we work together to ensure the health and safety of our community. 

We are making every effort to minimize the disruption of services and the emotional impact of evolving restrictions for the people we serve under unprecedented circumstances. We are continuing to operate our residential locations and are providing day habilitation services in those sites. At this time, we are waiting for guidance on the provision of Community Habilitation, Supportive Employment, and Respite Services.  Our Qualified Intellectual Disability Professionals and Vocational Services Professionals will be reaching out to families whose relative resides with them to determine any needs and work to address ways we can assist in services or supports.  We will assist families and those we support based on the guidance from OPWDD and DOH.

The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence continues to emphasize best practices for infection control at all our sites. We are actively working with The Arc New York, OPWDD, and state and local health departments to develop response plans and procedures that prioritize the health and safety of our families, individuals and staff, while minimizing disruption of essential services.  We have reached out to our vendors and have adequate supplies of food and essential items at this time, as well as sanitation and disinfectant supplies.

We are discouraging visitors to our residential sites and taking temperatures of those we support several times a day.  We continue to clean common areas on a more regular basis with disinfectant and are using sanitizer along with encouraging regular handwashing.  We are limiting staff working in sites so we have consistency for those we support and as a measure to manage potential exposure.  We have a plan in the event of exposure that follows the guidance of CDC and DOH.

All of us at The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence remain committed to serving our families in these challenging times. If you have concerns about meeting the immediate support needs of your loved one, please reach out to Michael Capone in Jefferson County at 315-836-1260 or mccapone@jeffrehabcenter.org and Michelle Quinell-Gayle at 315-386-3529 or mquinell@slnysarc.org and we will work to identify alternative solutions.   Also, for possible emergent needs or questions after 4:00 p.m. on the weekday or on the weekend, please call the Administrator on Duty at 315-778-4878.

We thank you for your continued patience and partnership.  Hopefully with the actions we are and will be taking we will safeguard those we support and the staff.  All updates to our communications will be put on our website, which is www.thearcjslc.org.  


Sincerely,  
Howard Ganter
Chief Executive Officer