April 17: Coronavirus Update from the CEO

April 17th, 2020

Dear Members of The Arc Family

As we are entering week 5 of The Arc of Essex County's comprehensive COVID-19 service and operations response and prevention plan, we remain steadfast in our implementation as we continue to respond to the evolving Coronavirus situation. Our plans and responses are reviewed daily based on the most recent guidance and information from federal and state authorities.

New Measures:

  • Limited supplies of N95 and KN95 masks have been secured and deployed
  • A limited supply of isolation gowns has been secured and deployed
  • Increased use of video and audio teleservices to assist with social isolation, engagement with families, and other Stay-At-Home challenges

Current Closures:

  • Shapiro Center for Early Intervention: Suspended; modified teleservices began 4/1
  • Stepping Stones School: Suspended through May 15; remote learning plan activated
  • Stepping Stones Early Intervention: Suspended until further notice
  • Children and Adult Group Respite and Recreation Programs: Suspended for consumers until DDD/DCF authorize return
  • Adult Day Programs: Suspended for consumers until DDD authorizes return

Ongoing Services:

  • Deployment of iPhones to consumers and programs for remote monitoring (Facetime)
  • Increased use of telemedicine services with Station MD, the DDC and other medical providers
  • Residential Services: No outside visitors; staff only engaged in essential community activities
  • Administrative Support: The main office is open with limited hours, staggered and remote staffing; only essential visitors
  • Increased screening, including infrared temperature checks, for everyone entering residences
  • Program Administration: Staff deployed to Arc locations to support residential services
  • Support staff shopping teams continue to pick up and deliver items including groceries to group homes as needed.
  • Containment scheduling implemented which assigns staff to work in specific programs only in order to minimize the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19
  • Masks distributed to all locations for staff to utilize during shifts in program and when engaged in essential community activities

Our direct support staff are the unsung healthcare heroes for The Arc of Essex County and other I/DD organizations. We continue to be grateful for their commitment to those we serve, most often at their own risk, and thankful for their support of each other, The Arc of Essex County, and the individuals and families we serve. Please be sure to join us in showing the appreciation they so greatly deserve.

Stay safe and be well,


Linda's Signature.jpg

Linda C. Lucas
Chief Executive Officer