April 3: Coronavirus Update from the CEO

April 3rd, 2020

Dear Members of The Arc Family:

We are living in unprecedented times and collectively questioning what is next amidst the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.  As we’ve detailed over the past three weeks, The Arc of Essex County is continuing to monitor and respond to the almost daily changing Coronavirus situation.  We continue to rely on guidance from federal and state authorities while aggressively adhering to CDC health and hygiene protocols.

As you know, the first Friday of each month marks the release of The Guardian, The Arc of Essex County’s monthly e-newsletter.  In this special COVID-19 edition, we highlight how life goes on at The Arc of Essex County while practicing social distancing and look forward to warmer weather and healthier times.

The status of our programs remains the same.  However, we continue to implement new measures in an effort to ensure the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff:

New Measures:

  • 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

Current Closures:

  • Shapiro Center for Early Intervention: Suspended; modified teleservices began 4/1
  • Stepping Stones School: Suspended; remote learning plan activated
  • Stepping Stones Early Intervention: Suspended until further notice
  • Children and Adult Individual and 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:

  • Residential Services: No outside visitors; only essential community activities
  • Administrative Support: The main office is open with limited hours, staggered, and remote staffing; only essential visitors
  • Program Administration: Staff deployed to Arc locations to support residential services
  • Everyone entering the residential programs (including staff) are required to have their temperatures taken prior to entering the home.
  • Support staff shopping teams continue to pick up and deliver items including groceries to group homes as needed.

Our staff, especially those in direct support positions, are the heartbeat of our organization.  We continue to commend them for their unwavering dedication to those we serve.  I encourage you to continue to reach out to thank them and share your appreciation with us.

Stay safe and be well.

Linda's Signature.jpg

Linda C. Lucas
Chief Executive Officer