Coronavirus Update

June 4th, 2021

Dear Members of The Arc Family:

Summer is around the corner. New CDC guidelines have masks off for so many. We are heading full steam in the right direction just in time to enjoy the lazy, hazy days ahead! For The Arc of Essex County, this light at the end of the COVID tunnel means day programs are opening, Camp Hope is at capacity for 7 weeks, residents are planning vacations, and everyone is embracing the optimism that has filled the air in New Jersey. Although many COVID guidelines effecting services are yet to be relaxed by DHS, DDD, DOE, and DOH, we are all eagerly anticipating the changes and planning for their implementation.

While the re-opening of services has begun, we have not ignored what has been learned throughout the past year. The Arc Essex plan includes a thorough evaluation of services and programs so that as we re-open, we are delivering the highest quality programs, services, and supports in the most responsive and reflective way.  Re-imagining and re-creating go hand-in-hand with our re-opening plan.

One of the most important lessons emphasized over the past year, is that the greatest asset of The Arc of Essex County is our staff. This organization would not be on the positive side of this pandemic without the effort, strength, and commitment of the staff in every position, in every location. Our appreciation is indescribable as we continue counting on them all to keep us moving forward.

As we look to the future and put the pandemic behind us, The Arc remains focused on staying on top of the most recent guidance from all state and federal partners so as to implement quality, creative strategies, provide and expand needed, innovative services, mitigate lingering risk, and protect health and safety for all. The health, safety, engagement, and happiness of our community are the most important focus of The Arc of Essex County. Our efforts to consistently implement this focus can only be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our staff, supporters, and the entire Arc Essex family. We remain thankful and appreciative for their hearts, minds, and hands as we work to honor our commitment to support our Arc family, now and in the future.

With that future more firmly in sight, our Arc Essex COVID updates will also be re-invented into news briefs, updates, and highlights to be found in the monthly Guardian newsletter.

Thank you all for staying with me and with The Arc of Essex County through the thick and thin of the COVID experience.  Stay safe and be well.

Linda's Signature.jpg

Linda C. Lucas
Chief Executive Officer


  • Congregate adult day programs began opening statewide May 10 with limited capacity
  • Congregate respite and recreation programs and activities to begin in June for children and adults
  • Community Based Supports and HAP continue and expand with in-person services supporting individuals (CBS) and families (HAP) to engage in community activities
  • Camp Hope almost at capacity for summer 2021; ESY at Camp Hope option available


Current Status of Programs and Services:

  • Shapiro Center for Early Intervention: In-person and telehealth services continue
  • Stepping Stones School: ESY begins in July with in-person and100% remote option
  • Stepping Stones Early Intervention: Virtual sessions continue into summer
  • Children Group Respite and Recreation Programs: Saturday in-person respite resuming June 26 with limited dates throughout the summer; activities primarily at Camp Hope
  • Arc Essex congregate adult day programs: Re-opening began May 10 at 3 program locations with limited capacity
  • Community Based Supports and Individual Respite: Continually increasing with a current caseload of 12
  • Virtual activities calendars will continue for at-home and residential home consumers on


Please check back for updates.