Dear Families, Friends, and Supporters of The Arc of Dutchess:
This is a difficult time for everyone, and here at The Arc of Dutchess, our hearts are torn. In consideration of all that confronts us, hard decisions must be made to protect the people we support and our dedicated members of staff.
Due to concerns related to the mitigation and containment of COVID-19, and in keeping with guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our local and state Departments of Health and New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), The Arc of Dutchess is instituting the following measures beginning March 17 and until at least March 27, 2020:
- We are closing our Lagrange and Dover sites which will also impact people who receive day habilitation and community pre-vocational services.
- Individuals living in our certified IRAs will receive support and care at their homes and forgo attendance at their typical day services program.
- Clinic services will be provided on a priority basis as determined by the appropriate clinician.
- All Direct Support Professionals (DSP’s), regardless of department, will be reassigned to assist in the Residential Department to continue providing for health and safety concerns for the people we support in their homes.
- Families that prefer to have their family member with them can do so; however, we request they manage their living environment for at least two weeks, possibly more, to minimize the chance of a potential exposure.
- We implemented a Visitor Policy that disallows visitors at any Arc of Dutchess site until further notice.
- The people we support who are employed in the community and followed by a job coach will be guided by the protocols established by their particular employment site.
- Our Administrative Offices will continue to be open to assist families and individuals in this challenging time.
As you all know, the coronavirus is an evolving situation. We receive new information and guidance hourly, and will do our very best to keep you informed of our decisions and rationales as they occur. As we head into this week, we ask everyone to send gratitude to our community health care professionals, first responders, EMTs and all others who are working to keep us safe.
Please also keep in mind our direct support workforce who are juggling childcare, keeping their family safe, staying healthy themselves, and getting themselves to work so the people in their care will eat, be safe, receive appropriate care, and stay healthy. They cannot work remotely. They must “show up”, and in doing so, they show us the very best of the human condition. Please don’t forget them in your thoughts as we work to protect and support who and what matters here in Dutchess County.
Executive Director, The Arc of Dutchess