March 27: Coronavirus Update from the CEO

March 27th, 2020

Dear Members of The Arc Family:

Please be assured that The Arc of Essex County continues to monitor and respond to the almost daily changing Coronavirus situation based on regular and ongoing information and communication from federal and state authorities. To that end, please be aware of the following:

New Measures:

  • We continue to think of new ways to minimize the risk of exposure to our residential programs. To that end, we have transformed our support staff into shopping teams that are picking up and delivering items including groceries to group homes as needed.
  • We have centralized the ordering of critical supplies including hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, gloves, etc. to the main office so we can accurately anticipate the needs for our programs.
  • Additional screening procedures, including temperature checks, have been instituted for staff and authorized visitors entering the residential programs. Immediately prior to entering the home, all must answer related COVID-19 questions and demonstrate a temperature below 100 before allowed to enter.

Current Closures:

  • Shapiro Center for Early Intervention: Suspended; modified teleservices after 3/31
  • 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.

It is only with the extraordinary hard work and dedication of the staff, especially the DSP's, that The Arc of Essex County can continue to provide the necessary direct care and support to our residential consumers in an unprecedented environment. Additionally, please know that there are many Arc Essex staff working remotely, either teaching our Stepping Stones students or supporting administrative functions as well as others working at strategic locations to support the residential operations.

Thank you to all of these extraordinary professionals who are selflessly working hard daily to support consumers and families and keep the agency running while we all wait for the crisis to end. If you know of one of our extraordinary staff, please 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