April 24: Coronavirus Update from the CEO

April 24th, 2020

Dear Members of The Arc Family

The Arc of Essex County’s comprehensive COVID-19 service and operations response and prevention plan continues to be implemented as we move forward in response to the evolving Coronavirus situation. Our plans and strategies are reviewed daily based on the most recent guidance and information from federal and state authorities.

New Measures:

  • Increased and expanded COVID-19 stipends for staff working residential shifts
  • United Way and DDD donated PPE supplies received
  • Increased opportunities to spread awareness and appreciation of our DSP’s (Jersey 4 Jersey, local and state news articles)

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

Thank you to our direct care, operations, and support staff and teachers who take each day together as another good day forward. We continue to be grateful for their commitment to those we serve, most often at their own risk, and appreciate their support of each other, The Arc of Essex County, and the individuals and families we serve. We are a stronger Arc Family……together.

Stay safe and be well,

Linda's Signature.jpg

Linda C. Lucas
Chief Executive Officer