Precautions and Safety

Aug 4 2020

Precautions and Safety

Update 7-28-20: Around the country we are seeing increases in coronavirus cases while in the Tristate area we are experiencing a decline in cases and as a result, New York has entered Phase 3 in its reopening plan.  To protect New York’s successful containment of COVID-19, the State has joined with New Jersey and Connecticut in jointly issuing a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.  This travel advisory was updated on July 28, 2020 and effects travel to the following 34 states including Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.:

Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

Update 6-26-20: Since we are an essential provider, and we have been operating during this time, as a result, we are not listed in the regional opening plan and there is no current change in how we are operating during this crisis. We are continuing our shelter in place mandates and are awaiting guidance from The Department of Health and OPWDD as to when we can resume some of our services and what restrictions we will need to put in place when we open. Our management team has started to develop a strategic plan mapping out the months ahead and a detailed plan for resuming some of our support services. We are all anxious to get back to our regular routines, but our priority is always the safety and health of our workforce and the individuals we support.

Update 5-15-20: The Arc Westchester is constantly monitoring information and guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York Department of Health (DOH), and working directly with The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and The Arc New York to address safety protocols specific to our field and the people we support.

We request all of us to remain vigilant in following the latest executive order extending a stay in place until May 15 set forth by Office of the Governor:

  1. Wear masks and gloves whenever you are out of your home, traveling or engaging in necessary activities
  2. Continue infection control protocol like hand-washing with soap and water frequently

Definition of face covering:  Face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, and face shields.

We have taken ALL steps to keep our community safe. Deep sanitizing has taken place and continues to take place daily using CDC/EPA approved products, sanitizing of the common areas and offices at ALL Arc Westchester locations. Hand sanitizer is available immediately upon entering any of our locations. We have provided visual signs to instruct visitors of our required protocols. 00

We are limiting the number of employees entering our building. They are required to enter a security code.  In accordance with requirements from regulatory agencies and public health experts we are screening all visitors, including vendors, who need to enter any of our buildings for any purpose. Visitors will need to respond to the following three questions prior to being given entry:

  1. Have you traveled to another country in recent weeks? Which country?
  2. To your knowledge, have you had contact with any Person Under Investigation for Coronavirus within the last 14 days, or with anyone known to have coronavirus?
  3. Do you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath)?

If any visitor answers “YES” to any of the questions, they will not be granted entry. We are requesting all screened visitors and staff entering one of our building sites to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival.

Please be mindful of the following precautions, recommended by the New York State Department of Health to minimize contracting the virus which are very similar to the usual steps we take to avoid the cold and flu:

  1. Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  4. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  5. Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  6. If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  7. Consider telecommuting.
  8. Consider staggering working hours if you must go to work.
  9. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
  10. Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
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Art by: JOHN ISRAEL
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