Information & Updates
Our primary goal is the health and safety of the people we support and our staff. We want to assure you that we are carefully monitoring the situation through updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the state of Maryland. The Arc is an essential business, it is critical we continue to provide services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Please see the Protocol section for updated mask usage and other requirements. UPDATED August 13, 2020, 8:30AM
Employees will return to regular office operations. The Arc’s Headquarters (HQ) in Severn will be open Monday-Friday, 8:00AM to 4:30PM and the Annapolis Regional Office will remain closed. The Mid-Shore Regional Office will close effective September 2020 with Eastern Shore administrative staff working virtually.
The Arc’s mainline will continue to be answered Monday-Friday, 8:00AM to 4:30PM. You can reach us at 410.269.1883, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health and safety are our top priorities. We are adhering to a strict, daily, professional cleaning schedule, and the following procedures remain in effect for staff and visitors:
- All administrative employees and Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are required to wear a fabric facemask (which can be homemade) or a surgical facemask while working at all times, regularly wash hands, and follow all protocols outlined on signs throughout the building.
- All guests are required to wear a facemask. If your request can be completed without entering the office, please do so. If your business must be conducted in the office, please stand on the social distancing circles, and follow all protocols outlined on signs throughout the building.
- Only required, in-person training will take place. All trainings are limited to 10 people and will follow all social distancing guidelines.
Impact to Programs & Services
The Arc will begin to resume limited services aligned to DDA’s Appendix K. These modifications are until further notice.
- Community Living: All Arc group homes and personal support houses will continue to operate, and people supported should plan to stay home. Visitors are permitted with visitors staying outside, wearing facemasks, and social distancing. Day and overnight visits with family or friends, not at the group home or personal supports house, may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.
- Personal Supports: Personal Supports will operate with services encouraged to be provided in a person’s or family’s home. Community outings can be determined between the person supported (and their family) and the DSP.
Anne Arundel County Day Services: Virtual Services or in-home Day Services for those receiving 1:1 support remain in effect. For those receiving 1:1 Day Services, limited community outings may be permitted and should be determined between the person supported (and their family) and the DSP. Please contact Brittany Ellis, Assistant Director of Day Services with all questions, and to sign up for virtual services.
Anne Arundel County Employment Services: Modified services for persons served who are working remain in effect. Virtual Services will continue to be offered for those not working. Limited Arc transportation and on-site job coaching may be offered, on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Laura Degler, Assistant Director of Workforce Development for questions, or to sign up for virtual services.
Mid-Shore Day & Employment Services: Modified services for persons served working remain in effect. Virtual Services will continue to be offered for those in Day Services or not working. Limited Arc transportation and or on-site job coaching will be provided on a case-by-case basis. For those receiving 1:1 Day Services, limited community outings may be permitted and should be determined between the person supported (and their family) and the DSP. Please contact John Rutkowski, Director of Programs, Mid-Shore with questions, or to sign up for virtual services.
Fiscal Management Services: The FMS Team will continue to serve SDS stakeholders in a telework capacity. Stakeholders can continue to use team members’ contacts as indicated on the FMS Contacts & Resources document and can continue to open customer service tickets. In the event that you are having difficulty receiving a timely response to an inquiry (within 24 hours), please feel free to reach out to Tracy Davis, Director of FMS, whose information is available on the FMS Contacts & Resources document. Important payroll notice: all timesheets are due by Friday at noon, until further notice. See FAQ’s for more information. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will send out further communication if access to services change.
Admissions meetings, information & referral, and family navigation will continue to occur virtually. All events, information sessions, and non-essential training sessions for families remain canceled.
Aligned to Governor Hogan’s Executive Order, The Arc is requiring all Direct Support Professionals to wear a face mask while working. Due to the national shortage of surgical face masks, we encourage DSPs to wear washable, fabric face masks.
The Arc continues to monitor the coronavirus situation in Maryland. The Governor, Maryland Department of Health, and the Developmental Disabilities Administration urge all of us to follow universal precautions recommended by the CDC. Managers and Team Leaders will review these protocols with staff at every shift until further notice.
Guidance for Group Homes & Personal Support Houses
- Travel from the homes is restricted to essential activities, such as attending approved medical appointments or medical emergencies.
- Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Use only paper towels to dry hands.
- Frequently disinfectant surfaces (at least daily); including light switches, door handles, and faucets.
- Visitors are permitted with visitors staying outside, wearing facemasks, and social distancing. Please contact your Regional Manager/Assistant Director if someone from outside the house needs to visit.
- Day and overnight visits with family or friends, not at the group home or personal supports house, may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.
- Follow social distancing guidelines when participating in essential activities outside of the home, such as going for walks or other exercise activities.
- Contact your Regional Manager/Assistant Director for instructions on how to acquire needed household supplies.
Guidance for Employees
- All employees, including Direct Support Professionals, are required to wear a fabric facemask (which can be homemade) or surgical facemask while working at all times. Facemasks should cover your nose and mouth at all times. In an Arc office, administrative staff may remove their face mask when alone in a private office, conference room, cubical, or outside where employees can social distance. Face masks are always required. It is important that the mask is clean and covers your nose and mouth. The Arc has provided houses with surgical face masks for staff that do not have a fabric mask. All masks should be locked in the med cabinet. Hold each other accountable to ensure facemasks are worn at all times.
- When an employee wears a surgical facemask, the mask must be discarded at the end of their shift, and a new surgical facemask must be used the next time they work. The Arc provides surgical facemasks.
- All employees should wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Use only paper towels or hand drier to dry hands.
- In the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis, enhanced PPE will be provided to the DSPs working in that house.
- When in an Arc office, employees and visitors must follow all protocols outlined on signs throughout the building(s).
- Employees should keep their employee ID Badge with them as proof of your employment and essential employee status.
- Employees should not come to work if you are sick or have been around anyone who has a suspected an/or confirmed cases of the flu and/or coronavirus. If you are not feeling well, regardless if you have coronavirus symptoms or not, DO NOT come to work and contact People & Culture. If you have been around or live with someone who suspects they have coronavirus or have tested positive for coronavirus, DO NOT come to work and contact People & Culture. If you suspect you have coronavirus or are being tested for coronavirus, DO NOT come to work and contact People & Culture.
- If an employee has been out sick, please contact People & Culture before returning to work. Clearance from People & Culture is needed to return to work.
- Live-in employees who may be experiencing flu or coronavirus symptoms must consult People & Culture for guidance and should not access other parts of the house except their personal space.
- Employees who have or are planning to travel out of the state or country must contact People & Culture before returning to work, even if symptom-free and may need to quarantine based on local and state health guidelines.
- All meetings and trainings are being conducted virtually unless there is an in-person requirement.
COVID-19 Transportation Protocols
- All Arc vehicles used to transport people supported must have a supply of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and surgical masks in the vehicle. Employees should contact their managers about obtaining these supplies, as needed.
- Frequently-touched hard surfaces such as door handles, buckles, and armrests should be disinfected between passengers (if providing transportation for more than one person during the day) and after the trip is finished
- Employees and people supported must disinfect their hands, using hand sanitizer immediately upon entering the vehicle.
- Both employees and the people supported should wear a facemask while in the vehicle (if the person we support is able). People who do not have a facemask will be provided one.
- Employees should encourage people to sit in a seating pattern that provides the most distance between people.
- If the weather permits, it is encouraged that windows to the vehicle should be lowered to increase airflow and the AC fan should be turned on high.
- Employees using their personal vehicles to provide transportation to people supported are encouraged to follow all COVID-19 Transportation Protocols.
- All Arc driving and transportation policies and procedures continue to be in effect.
If your Team Leader, Manager, or a family you support states anything different than the protocol listed above, DO NOT follow their direction and contact People & Culture right away.
All phases are tentatively scheduled at this time. These dates are subject to change as we monitor the COVID-19 conditions in Maryland. I will keep you updated with any changes
Phase Three – September 8, 2020
All office protocols remain in effect for employees at HQ and the Mid-Shore Regional Office. For all Living Options & Services: people are encouraged to stay home whenever possible. Attendance at day programs will not be permitted, and employment will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Day Services with limited and/or modified community outings will be provided. In-person supports for people in Employment Services will resume on a limited basis. Some community activities will be permitted. A plan on how to resume providing in-person Day Services will be made by mid-August.
Phase Four – TBD 2021
Phase Four would resume all Arc activities back to pre-COVID-19 operations with all restrictions and protocols lifted.
Can you sew? The Arc Central Chesapeake Region is accepting donations of facemasks and other PPE items. These reusable masks will continue to provide safety and security for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and our essential frontline workers, our DSPs.
If you are willing to make some masks, or you have fabric and/or elastic or other PPE items you would like to donate – please call 410.384.4072 or email email@example.com.
What items does the Arc accept?
At this time we are accepting all donations of:
- Facemasks (surgical and homemade)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hand Soap
We are not accepting donations of clothing or household items.
What do I do if I have symptoms of coronavirus or the flu?
- For people we support, consult your Nurse Case Manager and coordinate this with your Regional Manager/Assistant Director to keep people quarantined from others in the home; Report concerns and questions to your Nurse Case Manager Immediately. The Chief Program Officer must be aware of any person served who may have or is diagnosed with coronavirus.
- Employees should stay home if you are experiencing any of the symptoms or have been around confirmed cases of the flu and/or coronavirus. No employee will lose their job for missing work during the coronavirus.
- For employees who miss work related to the coronavirus, they will need to use sick leave first, then other accrued leave to cover their time off. If a staff exhausts all leave, People & Culture will approve leave without pay. Contact People & Culture if this occurs.
- If you are out of work related to coronavirus, before you return to work, you must contact People & Culture to be cleared for return to work. We encourage you to consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns, please advise them of your profession.
- Live-in employees who may be experiencing symptoms must consult People & Culture for guidance and should not access other parts of the house except their personal space. Before returning to work, employees must contact People & Culture to be cleared.
- You must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to work; We encourage you to consult a healthcare professional
- Live-in staff who may be experiencing symptoms must consult their Regional Manager/Assistant Director and should not access other parts of the house except their personal space until symptom-free for 24 hours
I am an employee of The Arc. Who do I call with questions?
When will offices reopen?
The Arc’s Headquarters (HQ) in Severn, Annapolis and Mid-Shore Regional Offices will open with limited operations and a limited number of employees on-site. The Arc’s mainline will continue to be answered Monday-Friday from 8:00AM to 4:30PM. You can reach us at 410.269.1883, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.