May 1: Coronavirus Update from the CEO

May 1st, 2020

Dear Members of The Arc Family

As we begin the month of May, The Arc of Essex County’s comprehensive COVID-19 service and operations response and prevention plan remains in place as we move forward in response to the evolving Coronavirus situation. Our plans and strategies are reviewed daily based on the information from federal and state authorities and with hope for modifications to safely adjust to the guidance for lessening restrictions.

New Measures:

  • Virtual Clubs, events and activities were rolled out to at- home consumers
  • DSP appreciation lawn signs were deployed for display throughout Essex County

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

As we move into the 3rd month of the COVID-19 crisis, we continue to be grateful for our direct care, operations, and support staff and teachers who move us forward each day by their commitment to each other, The Arc of Essex County, and the individuals and families we serve. From The Arc Family to your family………..

Stay safe and be well,

Linda's Signature.jpg

Linda C. Lucas
Chief Executive Officer