Coronavirus

Allegany Arc has taken a number of steps to limit the risk to our community from the possible spread of coronavirus COVID-19. Human Resources continues to respond to the evolving situation by reviewing and updating related policies and procedures. If you have a covid-related question you would like a response to, please send it to Lisa Tronetti, Allegany Arc’s RN Clinical Quality Analyst, at tronettil@alleganyarc.org.

COVID CEO Updates
October 15, 2020 (PDF)

Allegany Arc Reopening Safety Plans
• Community PreVoc (PDF)
• Expectation Letter for Day Habilitation Reopening (PDF)

Key Information
• At this time, Allegany Arc is NOT closed. Staff at all locations are expected to continue to support the needs of the agency.
• Day Habilitation will resume in the IRAs. Staff are encouraged to contact their manager if they have any questions as to where they should report.
• Allegany Arc buses are currently not providing transportation.
• Allegany County Special Olympics Green Machine practices, activities, competitions, etc. are cancelled until further notice.
• Allegany Arc’s Voice Self-Advocacy group is meeting virtually every Friday at noon until further notice.
• Arc Angels dance practices are being held virtually Tuesdays 5-6pm until further notice.
• Allegany Arc’s Annual Meeting & Staff Recognition Dinner scheduled for May 29, 2020 has been postponed.
• Telecommuting is strongly encouraged when at all possible. To minimize unnecessary contact, management will be as flexible as possible in supporting staff to telecommute – or work from home – if at all possible.
• PWI is open for business, with the following steps effective immediately to keep the work force safe and healthy as we face these difficult times: (1) No visitors are allowed at PWI. Only employees assigned to work at PWI are allowed in the building. (2) A drop box will be placed in the front door vestibule for mail and other necessary drop offs. (3) Any necessary freight deliveries will be made between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm to the back receiving door and the delivery person will be contained in that immediate area. (4) No restaurant takeout deliveries are allowed to the facility.
• As state governance begins to slowly relax restrictions on businesses, Allegany Arc has begun to reincorporate a small number of employees, who are not providing direct care or involved in production, back to resume work in non-residential facilities. This is being implemented while adhering to health and safety checks, environmental cleaning and disinfecting standards, and any governance dictated by CDC, OPWDD, local, and state authority. This reintroduction process is being closely monitored. Please continue to contact us at 585-593-5700 or email hrgroup@alleganyarc.org with any questions or for assistance.
• Staff whose work requires them to be onsite are supported in maintaining social distancing and infection prevention practices.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Q&A:

People served by Allegany Arc
Q: What is Allegany Arc doing to prepare for COVID-19?
A: Allegany Arc’s executive team is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic daily and ensures that we are providing the best care for those we serve, families, employees and community.

Q: Who should I contact to find out if my services have been cancelled?
A: Allegany Arc sent out letters updating families, advocates, etc. of the temporary changes to services. If you are unsure if your services have been changed/cancelled, please call 585-593-5700.

Q: Should I stay home or attend services if I do not feel well?
A: If you are feeling ill you should not receive services and you should stay home. Staying home not only allows your body to rest and aid in the recovery process, but it also allows you to keep your illness to yourself and prevent spreading germs to others. Contact your primary care physician to inquire about COVID testing. If the situation becomes emergent, call 911.

Q: My loved one lives in an Allegany Arc IRA, can I still visit them?
A: Allegany Arc has put visiting restrictions in place to limit residents’ risk of exposure to infection, but restricting visits doesn’t mean you should curtail communication from family and friends. Instead, use email, Facetime, Skype or even make an old-fashioned telephone call to check in. If you are uncertain if you should visit your loved one, please call the IRA manager ahead of time.

Q: When will my cancelled services resume?
A: Allegany Arc will work with OPWDD, the Arc of New York, State of New York, etc. to determine when services will resume. Updates will be posted on this page.

 

Families served by Allegany Arc
Q: What kind of housekeeping hygiene occurs?
A: Cleaning and disinfection is completed each shift (every 8 hours) and after routine use of an item or area. Staff have a process with specific directions on what to clean, how often it should be cleaned, and with what EPA approved disinfection solution.

Q: How do you know staff aren’t sick?
A: COVID is in our community and people can have the virus without any symptoms of illness. However, prior to entering a home, each staff has their temperature checked and is questioned about any symptoms. This health check occurs in the middle of each shift also. We have communicated and support staff to call-off their shift if they have symptoms of illness. All staff have been supplied with cloth face masks to be worn at all times. Their face masks are laundered at the end of each shift and readied for staff to use when they return. We have shared a variety of training with all staff on infection control, hand washing, social distancing within the home, prevention, etc. Our nursing staff is available to staff for support at all times too.
• Staff are symptom checked at the start of each shift, and every 12 hours thereafter if still working.

Q: What happens if my loved one shows symptoms?
A: Staff are trained to recognize early symptoms and to respond quickly. For instance if a person shows loss of appetite or lethargy – staff will contact either the house RN or Station MD for the person to be assessed. Staff will implement the instructions given by the RN or MD.  We will continue to stay in contact with you if any of this happens. We are prepared and able to isolate a resident who is presumed to have COVID but does not need to be in the hospital, assuring they are cared for by staff they know and who know them best.

Q: How can my family and I prepare for COVID-19
A: Create a household plan of action to help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in our community:
• Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan and discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
• Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications, particularly older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.
• Make sure they have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
• Get to know your neighbors and find out if your neighborhood has a website or social media page to stay connected.
• Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
• Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.

Q: What steps can my family take to reduce our risk of getting COVID-19?
A: Practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your home to do the same. These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).

Q: What should I expect when visiting an Allegany Arc site?
A: In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is requiring a temporary suspension of visitation to our residential programs, effective immediately (3-19-2020). Click here to view a letter that is being sent to families, advocates, etc.
• We are currently allowing limited visitation (click here to view visitation memo) at the residences with the following guidelines to ensure that the visits are safe for the people we serve, their loved ones, other people living in the home, and staff (click here to view guidelines).
Click here to view the visitation log

Q: What should I do if I think my loved one has COVID-19?
A: If your loved one has a mild illness; we recommend staying at home.Consider using treatments that you would use for the common cold, including fever reducers, humidified air, and cough suppressants. You should contact your primary care provider to inquire about testing. Testing is widely available and encouraged. If your primary care provider is not available, then call the ER to ask about testing. If the situation is emergent, call 911.

 

Employees of Allegany Arc

Q: Are Allegany Arc employees required to wear face masks?
A: A requirement went into effect Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m. stating that all employees of essential businesses or entities who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Allegany Arc is providing such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law.

Q: What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
A: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Click here for details.

Q: How can we prevent the spread of germs at work?
A: As with most communicable diseases, common hygiene practices are the foundation for avoiding the spread of germs.

Q: What should the employees that are unable to work and have been instructed to go home do?
A: The DSP/Life Coach employees are essential staff and will continue to work. All other staff need to be available to support them. Employees who have been sent home are to first use any vacation, personal, floating holiday time. After this time is exhausted, sick time will be used. Employees who are full-time or part-time who do not have any accrued time will be paid through March 27, 2020. As shifts become available, the agency will be contacting staff to cover these shifts. There will be an expectation staff will work in the residential programs when contacted. Refusal to work without appropriate reasoning (instructed from their doctor/DOH they are quarantined at home) or other illness/restrictions will be in jeopardy of not being paid.

Staff: If you are looking for hours to work, contact Heather Perkins at 607-382-6651 or Liz Shutt at 585-808-7520. Please do not contact the Residential Managers has they are busy focusing on ensuring people are getting the care/support they need.

Q: Why is Allegany Arc’s administration facility closed?
A: In cooperation with Federal, State and Local public health initiatives, Allegany Arc’s administrative staff will be migrating to a 100% work from home structure for the foreseeable future. Our agency intends to make every effort necessary to support our clients and community while our administrative staff is working from home. Please continue to contact us at 585-593-5700 or email hrgroup@alleganyarc.org with any questions or for assistance.

As state governance begins to slowly relax restrictions on businesses, Allegany Arc has begun to reincorporate a small number of employees, who are not providing direct care or involved in production, back to resume work in non-residential facilities. This is being implemented while adhering to health and safety checks, environmental cleaning and disinfecting standards, and any governance dictated by CDC, OPWDD, local and state authority. This reintroduction process is being closely monitored. Please call 585-593-5700 to determine which buildings/facilities are open or email hrgroup@alleganyarc.org with questions or concerns.

Q: How does mail transfer within the agency work when the administrative offices are closed?
A: While our offices may be closed, our administrative team is available via email, phone, online meetings and video conferencing to continue to serve you. We encourage people to use other means available to communicate and send information at this time other than inner-office mail. Please scan and email all documents instead of using inner office mail or sending hard copies until further notice.

Q: Can I tell employees if a co-worker has tested positive for the coronavirus or other communicable disease?
A: No. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) privacy rules restrict employers from sharing personal health information of an employee. Employers should inform employees that possible exposure has occurred in the workplace without disclosing any identifying information about the individual who tested positive.

Q: Can I ask a staff member if he or she has the coronavirus?
A: Employers can ask an employee how he or she is feeling in general but should not inquire about a specific illness as that could rise to the level of a disability related inquiry under the ADA.

Q: Should I notify Allegany Arc if I have been exposed, have symptoms, and/or have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus?
A: Yes, any employee who becomes ill with COVID-19 coronavirus symptoms are to notify their supervisor. While outside of work, if an employee begins experiencing symptoms, has been exposed to someone that is exhibiting symptoms, or has tested positive, the employee should contact Human Resources by telephone at 585-593-5700 x 517 or if unable to contact anyone, send an email to hrgroup@alleganyarc.org with details. Be sure to contact your direct supervisor as well. It is very important to be tested if you think you have been exposed or if you are showing sign(s) of acute, unexplained illness. If a person has been tested, they should not only be in contact with their primary care provider, but in contact with the local department of health as they have an important role in tracking positive or presumptive positive cases in the community. They also give direction on what to do while waiting for COVID test results or what to do if your test is positive. The Center for Disease Control has a Coronavirus self-checker on it’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Q: What should I do if I need a COVID-19 test or treatment and I am not covered by an Allegany Arc-sponsored medical plan?
A: If you have coverage through another employer or plan, please contact your insurance company to ask about coverage for both the COVID-19 Test and COVID-19 treatment. Testing fees can be waived for essential employees. Just let your local hospital or testing site know if you are an essential employee. Do not forgo testing just because you are not insured. If you are not an essential employee, talk to your primary care provider, local department of health, or local hospital for more information.

Q: What assistance is available to help me cope with the emotional impact of the situation?
A: Allegany Arc provides resources to help its staff cope with these types of life events through its Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Call 1-800-252-4555 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the staff.

Q: Are there resources to assist with my wellness/health during this pandemic?
A: Below are some useful resources that are available to your and your family during this time.

Brook Personal Health Companion: Independent Health is now offering free access to Brook for everyone, including non-members, during the current health crisis. The Brook Personal Health Companion can help employees and their families stay healthy in times of changing schedules or periods of stress. The app provides employees access to a team of health coaches 7 days a week and can be accessed right from your phone. The following YouTube link below provides more information on this service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz2GHYaN_rw&feature=youtu.be

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): EAP is a life management program that is available to all staff and their families. They offer assistance with areas such as stress management, financial difficulties, legal consultations, drug and alcohol abuse, and more. If you are visiting the EAP website for the fist time, be sure to register for an account. All you will need is your personal information and to input Allegany Arc as the company name. www.theEAP.com or 1-800-252-4555

Tele-Medicine Benefit: When you can’t reach your primary care physician, tele-medicine benefits provided through TeleDoc allows you to connect by phone with a U.S. board-certified doctor. This services is available 24/7! Teledoc is currently offering a $0 Co-pay. www.independenthealth.com/telemedicine or call 1-716-631-8701 or 1-800-501-3439

Clarity Wellness Community: 24 Hour crisis hotline available. Allegany County: 1-888-448-3367. Wyoming County: 1-800-724-8583. If you feel like you or someone you love could benefit from leading a healthier life, Clarity Wellness Community offers a variety of services. Available for individuals with or without insurance. At this time, all Clarity services are through tele-medicine services and any co-pays, coinsurance or annual deductibles for in-network tele-health services have been waived for the duration of the declared disaster emergency period. https://www.claritywellnesscommunity.org/blank