The stay-at-home order for Kansas may be coming to an end May 3, but unfortunately the risk of COVID-19 will not go away because we begin to leave our homes or businesses reopen. The threat of the virus remains. We have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for the people we support and staff.
As an essential organization, we continue to offer services to those we support by working in their homes, instead of at the Elmore Center or in the community.
A team of JCDS staff that includes direct support professionals, team leaders and clinical staff, are working on a transition plan to ensure that when our onsite services reopen, we do so in a safe environment in accordance with guidance from Johnson County Government, the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, and the Managed Care Organizations.
In the coming weeks, we will begin phase one of offering services at the Elmore Center again, but with a limited number of people receiving services and staff members onsite, who will follow health and safety protocols. We will reassess after 30 days if we can expand services to include eight more individuals and two more staff members. Individuals participating in phase two will receive services in a separate area from the phase one team. The Elmore Center will remain closed to visitors until further notice.
An infection control plan, which includes enhanced cleaning protocols, has been established for the day and residential programs, and it will be utilized at the Elmore Center.
At this time, we do not have a date for reopening Papercrete Works or Emerging Artists, but please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the most up-to-date information regarding when products will be available for purchase from those programs.
Many individuals who received services through our community employment program have experienced the same job loss as the millions of others in the U.S. Additionally, to protect their health and the health of their family members and roommates, some individuals chose to refrain from working. However, many are still working, whether at an essential business like a grocery store, or they were offered the opportunity to work from home. Our employment specialists still support individuals who are seeking employment, or who need employment support during this time.
The volunteer program will remain suspended for in-person volunteering into the summer. We will reassess regularly, and utilize volunteers remotely, if possible, until it is safe to invite volunteers to work directly with the people we serve.
The safety of the people we support and staff is the most important factor in determining our plans of action during this pandemic.
DSPs have continued to provide exceptional care to individuals, and administrative staff have been successful working remotely on critical operations. We have maintained quality, effective service and employee engagement during the stay-at-home order, which is a testament to the dedication JCDS staff have for this work and each other.
We will keep you updated on the phases of our transition plan. If you have any questions about day or employment services, please contact the Director of Day and Employment Services, Beth Johnson.
See the Phase 1 Reopening Guide for JCDS.