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News  Coronavirus Update for DDS Providers (March 13)

COVID-19 guidance and information for DDS providers
3/13/2020
  • Department of Developmental Services
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Dear DDS Community:

I’d like to provide an update on the DDS response to COVID-19.  As you know, Governor Baker has declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth and we at DDS are taking all necessary precautions and actions to protect the individuals we all serve as well as our combined staff. 

First, thank you all for your hard work over the past days and your continued support and collaboration. 

 

COOP Plans

All providers should review their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP plans) and begin preparing to implement. Please share your COOP with your DDS Regional Office so we have the latest contact information. 

 

Meetings and Events

All work-related travel for state employees has been discontinued until further notice. 

We are advising our employees that all regular internal business, such as ISP meetings and provider contract meetings, may continue to be conducted remotely using conference calls, WebEx, and other group communication tools.  

 

Nursing Homes and Facilities

DPH has ordered restrictions for visitation of all nursing homes, and I have extended this policy to our facilities at Hogan and Wrentham and state operated group homes.  We are directing all staff who conduct visits to nursing homes (ABI, PASSR, Active Treatment Specialists) not to visit nursing homes until further notice and to conduct all business remotely or over the phone.

 

EHS Program Guidance

Please find current EHS guidance for your program type here:

·         For congregate care programs

·         For community day programs

·         For in-home caregivers

·         For assisted living residences

Find all guidance here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-recommendations

This DPH site and these guidance documents will continue to be updated, so please review regularly.

 

Program Closures

If a decision is made to close your program for any reason, providers must:

·         Contact guardians of individuals

·         Contact other providers that serve impacted individuals, including transportation

·         Contact your DDS Area Office

 

If an individual you serve or member of your staff has symptoms of illness or potential exposure to COVID-19, please take these steps:

·         Contact the primary care physician and follow their guidance

·         Contact the DPH epidemiology line: (617) 983-6800

·         Contact your DDS Area Office

 

Communication

Please keep the families and guardians of the individuals you serve updated on the steps you are taking. 

DDS is working with our partners at EHS and fellow state agencies as well as ADDP and The Arc of Massachusetts to be prepared and stay coordinated. 

For specific questions, please contact Deputy Assistant Commissioner Michelle Harris at michelle.harris@mass.gov

For the latest information from DPH on Covid-19, please visit: mass.gov/covid19

 

Thank you, 

Jane Ryder

Commissioner

Department of Developmental Services

Department of Developmental Services  

The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community.
Image credits:  Coronavirus Graphic (Pete Linforth from Pixabay)
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