ACS Corona Virus Preparedness Plan Update
August 1st, 2021
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Emergency Operating Procedures (EOP) – 1 August 2021
Considering the continued rise of COVID-19 case counts in Utah, ACS has determined that to protect the health and welfare of the people served, staff and the public, regular operations are not practical or prudent at this time. Continuing operations as normal presents substantial risk to the health and safety of those participating in activities during which physical distancing measures may be difficult to maintain.
The Center for Disease Control states that COVID-19 is easily spread from person to person between people who are in close contact with one another. The spread is through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks and may be spread by people who are non-symptomatic. The CDC is now recommending that all persons, fully vaccinated or not, wear masks in public indoor areas where high transmission of COVID-19 has been identified. Utah is currently experiencing high transmission rates and in speaking with other agencies, it has been noted that those from the disability community have been among those impacted.
ACS does not require vaccination or proof of vaccination for staff or program participants. However, some activities may be altered for those who state that they are not vaccinated, and exposure quarantine times may vary depending on vaccination status per the Health Department. ACS encourages all individuals to get vaccinated who can do so safely for their own protection against the more serious side effects of the virus.
It is the intent to safeguard the lives of all persons present in our settings and to residents, business owners, employees by safeguarding the scope of our community access and visitors to our settings.
Mask and PPE use is not a replacement for common sense and use of physical distancing when possible. From what experts know, mask add around 5% to the protection of other measures such as physical distancing and limiting exposure.
The overall goal during a PHE is to provide necessary services balancing public/site safety and providing quality care, reducing isolation, encouraging learning and growth consistent with the settings services are provided at.
We expect the current guidance to not be loosened for a couple of months and likely next spring before any form of mask and physical distancing requirements are removed.
Health Department guidance is utilized to assist with individual cases related to the public health emergency as they arise.
We are providing this current guidance based on the rising spread of the virus in Utah and the fact that we support some individuals who are not vaccinated who are more susceptible to serious side effects of contracting the virus. We have based this guidance with vaccinations in mind on our general EOP Yellow and Orange phases.
Pursuant to President Biden’s Executive Order, ACS transportation services are considered commercial transportation services with occupants from more than one household and are subject to the mask mandate. (Occupants includes all staff and clients in the vehicle)
During this phase, all ACS based transportation of 10 minutes or more requires strict mask wearing (no exceptions for medical reasons). All persons who are capable to do so must wear masks while congregating for transportation (UTA, supports, etc.) or utilizing ACS based transportation (Vans and personal vehicles). SLN trips should be limited to 10 minutes for unvaccinated clients when possible and the staff must wear a mask while transporting clients at all times.
Van transportation should be limited to 2/3rd capacity (2 per row)
Occupants who are not vaccinated should only participate in short trips into the community for activities of under 15 minutes of travel time and must wear a mask.
Occupants who are vaccinated may participate in activities with travel time of up to 30 minutes and must wear a mask. Trips over 30 minutes require administrative review by Kendra or Dan.
Avoid when practicable locations or areas of high traffic (convenience stores, etc.).
Mask wearing is mandatory for all staff when working with or likely in proximity of other staff or clients. If there are ADA issues for staff wearing mask, please discuss with your Area Director. For the Day Hubs, mask wearing is required for all staff while working in the programming areas.
All clients who have demonstrated they are capable of wearing masks, must do so. Clients who cannot wear a mask, additional care must be taken including enforcing physical distancing whenever practicable and using PPE’s when staff are required to interact closely with them more than a few minutes.
Vaccination status is not currently used as a determining factor for mask wearing or physical distancing.
All Day Hubs should keep all exterior doors closed and locked. Utilize curbside drop-off and no-contact transfer of property whenever practicable. Visitors should be limited to professional staff on the client’s teams without prior approval by the Area Director.
Tours are allowable after pre-screening, discussion with the Support Coordinator and other visitors on our current precautions and consider zoom meetings where appropriate.
Physical distancing must be maintained whenever practicable. Record close contacts of more than 10 minutes in the tracking tool.
Utilize full PPE’s when assisting participants with transfers in the bathroom or other extended required close contact for unmasked clients.
Emergency drills must be conducted with physical distancing in mind considering there will be unmasked or unvaccinated participants in the evacuation practice.
We are not strictly enforcing stable groups at this time but mixing of groups should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.