COVID-19 Updates - November 2020
With the uptick in cases in New Jersey, The Arc Gloucester remains ever vigilant in the mission to keep the individuals we serve and our employees safe. We continue to practice social distancing, wear masks, regularly sanitize and disinfect, and pay close attention to the updates in local, state and national regulations.
A few things we've done to stay safe and adapt to the changes:
- Launched Virtual Programming in August for the individuals we serve. This allows us to continue to provide necessary programming to individuals remotely, and the success has been wonderful! We offer a variety of classes to choose from Monday through Friday, all taught by our Achievement Center staff. Click here for a list of classes and to register!
- Ramped up content and engagement on our unique, secure social media platform for our individuals, ASuggestion. Individuals across our programs can engage with each other and our DSP staff to engage in content they find interesting and fun! We look forward to developing the platform further.
- Gathered PPE and continue to collect masks, gloves, sanitizing necessities, and all that we need to keep our staff/individuals safe.
- Since March, established COVID-19 screening questions/temperature checks at all our facilities.
- Staff meetings are largely virtual, only in-person if absolutely necessary--and social distancing measures are maintained at any in-person meeting
- Held a virtual Halloween Party for the individuals in the residential programs, complete with a Costume Contest and Pumpkin Decorating Contest. The Residential Programs who won received a Pizza Party!
- Continued to raise money through online fundraising to support our programs
Plans for November:
- Thanksgiving will be different for many this year--our individuals included. Many individuals we serve are not travelling home this year to protect both their families and our programs from potential COVID-19 infection. In an effort to keep the individuals we serve and their families/loved ones connected, we've created "Adopt A Group Home Thanksgiving!" The Arc Gloucester will provide each Residential Program with a Thanksgiving Dinner, encouraging the programs to cook their favorite sides and appetizers together. We're asking you to consider donating a Bakery dessert to one of the programs! You can even attach a personal message if you want to add a special touch. We will deliver the desserts with the Thanksgiving Dinner!
- You can stay connected to The Arc Gloucester by following us on social media! Don't forget, we have a new Facebook!
As we progress into the end of the year, we continue to monitor local, state and national regulations. Any new regulations/recommendations applicable to our programs, staff and community will be observed ASAP.
As always, with any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out at 856-848-8648.
Urgent Statement Regarding COVID-19 Legislation
Community Providers in the Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities space are working around the clock (24/7) 365 days per year to give services and care for the individuals we serve. Our staff put their lives on the line everyday to perform these services during this pandemic. We are essential employees but have not been specifically named as health care providers by the State of NJ.
This is particularly difficult for us as we have to navigate the FFCRA HR 6201 legislation without knowing if we are exempt from this; as other entities deemed healthcare providers are. Just like the Hospitals need their staff to come in everyday in order to care for people; so do we. Additionally, since Hospitals are overburdened...if Community Providers cannot adequately staff their programs, the consequences would compound the situation.
This is why we (Community Providers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities) need the same exemption and we need the State of NJ to formally acknowledge this in writing. Other states (like Indiana) have designated Community Providers for individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities as healthcare providers. We are struggling to keep a workforce in place.
Most of the services we provide cannot be performed remotely. It would be very helpful to Community Providers if the State of NJ would clearly designate us as health care providers as that would help stabilize our workforce; during this health crisis.
We need your help! Please call your legislators and urge them to assist in moving this forward.
Jake J. Jones, CEO The Arc Gloucester
The Arc Gloucester thanks Wawa and Starbucks for providing free coffee to healthcare workers during this difficult time. The Arc Gloucester's employees continue working every day providing exemplary care to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are proud of the work that they do and grateful to Starbucks and Wawa for recognizing their commitment to the health and wellbeing of a more vulnerable population.
To The Arc Gloucester Families and Stakeholders:
These challenging times remind us just how important our programs and services are to the individuals, families, and communities we serve. With that in mind, please know that our leadership team is working tirelessly and taking every precaution to make sure that we continue to operate in a safe and effective manner throughout this extraordinary situation.
Like many other businesses and organizations, we have taken important steps to safeguard you and the community, including educating our workforce on how to stay safe by following CDC guidelines and recommendations, increasing frequency of communications via email, modifying work arrangements when appropriate and allowable and connecting virtually instead of meeting face-to-face. We have also postponed in-person training and fundraising events that put people in closer proximity to each other.
As you are likely aware, there is a widespread shortage of disinfectant products and masks. Our leadership team is working with our state and local health departments to acquire additional supplies as they are essential to our ability to maintain the health and safety of our staff. We are distributing the supplies we have on hand and prioritizing based on program needs and volume.
As the situation rapidly changes, we will continue to evolve our response to it. Even as we respond to this unprecedented event, we must continue to ensure The Arc Gloucester continues to position itself for an even stronger future.
Thank you for your continued support.
Jake J. Jones,
Updates Regarding Programs and COVID-19 as of 3/16/2020, 8 PM
- Visitors: Due to the serious health issues that can occur as a result of exposure to the Covid-19 virus, The Arc Gloucester is restricting visitors at our residential programs. The safety and well-being of the individuals we provide services to is our utmost priority. We encourage friends and family to stay in touch with their loved one by calling or emailing the group home.We are also asking that visitors refrain from coming to our day programs, office of support services, and administrative office unless absolutely necessary. Anyone looking for employment information can visit the employment tab to download an application. Vendors and other guests are asked to call our administrative office for assistance instead of visiting in person. The number for our administrative office is 856-848-8648. We want to do our part to help control this virus and keep our community healthy. Thank you.
- Travel Camp: Travel Camp scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled. Individuals who were registered to attend will receive a full refund.
- Life Long Learning: The Spring Semester of Life Long Learning has been cancelled. Individuals registered to attend will receive a full refund.
- Day Programs: All day programs remain closed until further notice per the DDD.
See below for a statement from the DDD regarding recommendations/mandates in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:
"DDD is calling for immediate actions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). No later than Tuesday, March 17, all Division-funded, facility-based day services have been directed to close until advised otherwise. Additionally, the Division has directed that community outings facilitated by providers that are not for the health or safety of an individual should be discontinued immediately."
The Arc Gloucester encourages you to join us in monitoring state and national public health websites for the most up-to-date information and guidance.
- New Jersey Department of Health Coronavirus Information
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Information
- New Jersey Department of Human Services Coronavirus Information
We will continue to provide updates as the situation develops.
Announcement Regarding COVID-19
To The Arc Gloucester Families & Stakeholders:
In consideration of the developing health crisis among us, The Arc Gloucester leadership team has been working diligently to keep abreast of updates from National, State and Local Authorities while evaluating our operational process and procedures to mitigate service interruptions.
At this time, due to the escalating health risks to our vulnerable population, we have decided to take steps that will minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus in order to best protect the safety, health and welfare of our service recipients, caregivers, support staff and families. With that, The Arc Gloucester will be temporarily closing all day programs until further notice, effective close of business 3/13/2020.
We will continue to communicate as the situation develops.
Thank you for your continued support.
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