Covid-19 Update for August 3, 2020
It has been a while since The Arc of the Quad Cities Area has sent out a general update regarding the status of operations. This is partly due to the fact that we have been busy planning, strategizing, gathering information and talking directly to the people we serve and their families. Using this time and the information gathered, we have been diligently working to ensure services and supports are offered in safe, practical and effective manner. The State of Illinois has sent guidance to day programs that allow for a soft opening in August with minimal people and then operations can resume at 50% of room capacity starting September 1, 2020. In accordance with the State of Illinois guidance outlined below and organized by program is a summary of some key operational updates.
The Arc of the Quad Cities Area continues to offer quality, person centered supports in our 24-hour residential programs. In order to do so we continue to implement social distancing practices, appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and additional hygiene and cleaning practices. Over the last couple months we have begun to schedule more and more safe visits from family members, however, we still are not approving overnight visits. If a person wishes to go home with a family member, they will need to remain with them long enough to develop a strategy for return that will follow an individualized plan developed with our nursing staff that takes into consideration the health of the household. Group home individuals and staff continue to find new and creative ways to ensure everyone is engaged in programming and has the chance to safely be a part of their community. Please continue to work with your assigned QIDP for updates on the activities or general happenings at each home, or to make arrangements for visits.
The staff at Arc Industries continues to ensure we are maintaining production standards and are keeping the business customer’s happy. Arc Industries has also been hard at work adding, building, and installing the needed safety precautions to ensure that when the greater workforce returns to the site they will all be safe. Since the State decided to allow a soft opening of services in August, Arc Industries has reached out to a small number of subcontract workers to begin work on August 10, 2020. We then anticipate welcoming more workers back on September 1 and September 14 in accordance with State’s guidance on re-opening of services. Due to the many changes needed at Arc Industries, the program will only be open to individuals who had previously been working and who have the ability to work while adhering to the additional safety precautions. Subcontract workers who live independently or with family have been identified as the priority for bringing back to work and then those that live with supports will considered for return on Sept 14.
Community Day Services
Community Day Services staff has been hard at work these last few months making sure each residential home had the needed staff supports, supplies, and technology to keep people living in the home active and engaged. The Community Day Services program has been planning how reinvented services will be delivered at The Arc Building and Opportunity Center to ensure to the best of our ability that everyone remains safe and healthy when they return. In addition to offering programing at these two locations, Community Day Services will be expanding to offer fully community based programming that will ensure safety while accessing the portions of the community that are open and accessible by the general population. The program staff will work with a few participants on a soft opening on August 10, 2020. Then we hope we can welcome more people back on September 1, 2020. The Arc of the Quad Cities Area is prioritizing these services for people who live independently, with family, or are served by another agency. Individuals who live in a The Arc’s group homes will continue to receive their day services from day program staff in each home with appropriate access to the community.
Community Employment Services
Community Employment Services has continued to work to ensure we are developing, retaining and strengthening our partnerships with community employers. As with many people around the country, we have seen a reduction in the workforce that has affected the people we serve. However, Community Employment staff continue to work with our vocational rehabilitation clients to help them build a career.
Community Supports program staff provides the needed and necessary support for people with intermittent services to continue to thrive as best as possible. The program continues to offer in-home service and has provided a lot of education to help people understand safe social distancing and other guidelines. This program continue to accept new referrals for expansion.
Self-Direction Assistants and QIDPs for Home-based Services have remained in contact with the individuals and families served to ensure we are aware of their intentions for services. Through the use of Personal Support Workers this program is also working to reinvent how it provides services to ensure that everyone they serve remains safe, healthy, and connected to the community. The program is working to break down barriers that may exist for people in getting needed services and is willing to work creatively with people to address their individual needs, wants and desires.
The Assistive Technology program has continued to get, repair and education people on their individualized needs for assistive and adaptive equipment. This has helped to ensure people maintain their greatest level of independence while living through these challenging times. The program has also recently been awarded a grant to expand the amount of technology we can offer to ensure people are connected to others and in control of their own lives as much as possible.
There is a lot more information about the above described services that is and will be available and I encourage anyone with questions to reach out to their assigned QIDP.
If you have any ideas, comments, or concerns you would like to share about these current operations or some of the described future operations please reach out to myself at 309-786-6474 or contact The Arc directly through the website at www.arcqca.org.