Summit DD Coronavirus Safety Precautions and Health Measures

Wednesday, March 25, Update:

Life is different today than it was just a few weeks ago. With so many of the things operating differently now, you might be wondering who you can turn with questions or for help? Fortunately, there are a number of community organizations ready and willing to help. Together, we can do anything. Together, we will get through this.

See the listing of resources for anything from helping to managing anxiety, to getting groceries and household necessities.


Monday, March 23, Update:

Over the weekend, the Governor and the Department of Health (ODH) executed several orders that directly affect the lives of people with disabilities and their loved ones.

Please rest assured that the stay-at-home order issued on Sunday, exempted essential functions such as Human Services, like Summit DD and the many disability providers throughout Summit County. We want you to know that our staff will continue to provide the essential services that you or your loved one count on, while remaining committed to the safety of staff, providers and those we serve.

To further prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Amy Acton also issued an order to restrict group sizes at adult day services to no larger than 10 people, including the staff of the provider. These orders impact Adult Day Support and Vocational Habilitation services provided here in Summit County and throughout Ohio. This order goes into effect at 9:00 pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

What does this mean for my Day Program?

All of this changing information can be confusing and overwhelming; however, Summit DD and your provider will assist you through each step of this process. Your day program provider will be reaching out with details about any changes that you might experience to your day program. They will also work with both residential providers and SSAs regarding these changes as needed. Times like these call for flexibility as we navigate each person’s situation, but know that our SSAs will work with you and your team to ensure the continuity of your services, whatever those may look like based on these new directives.

Throughout these challenging times, the dedicated staff here at Summit DD remain committed to you and the many providers we work with. We will continue to support our provider community as we assist in their recruitment of qualified, caring people in an effort to avoid a shortage of Direct Support Professionals. Anyone interested in providing direct care is encouraged to contact DirectSupport@SummitDD.org. We will continue to connect those interested in becoming a direct service professional to local providers looking to hire immediately.

Even in challenging times, the spirit and dedication of those around us continues to inspire us. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility. It is positive attitudes that will see us through. We encourage everyone to continue to connect using phones, video conferencing and social media. We are in this together and those connections are more important now than ever.

Additional Resources

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) has issued guidance and FAQs to assist families and answer your questions.

Questions? Please contact us with any additional concerns or questions.


Friday, March 20, Update:

Summit DD staff will continue to provide services and support to individuals, families and disability providers using remote work capabilities, in accordance with physical distancing recommendations from County and State health officials. Public access continues to be suspended to our three locations in Tallmadge, Barberton, and Cuyahoga Falls.

Summit DD is currently working to help disability service providers prepare for an expected shortage of Direct Support Professionals. Any resident impacted by unemployment and interested in providing direct care is encouraged to contact DirectSupport@SummitDD.org. Summit DD will connect you to local providers looking to hire these vital positions immediately.


Monday, March 16, Update:

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Summit DD will be restricting all public visitors. At this time, only Summit DD staff will be permitted to enter the building. We thank you in advance for your understanding. We will continue to monitor guidance from federal, state and local officials.


Sunday, March 15, Update:

On Sunday Governor DeWine announced further preventative guidelines for public spaces and gatherings. Therefore, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Summit DD will implement a Remote Work period for staff such as Service and Support Administrators (SSAs), Referral and Support Specialists (RSSs), Developmental Specialists (DSs), Navigators and a number of other classifications in an effort to limit the number of people gathered at the Summit DD offices.

We remain committed to the safety of our staff while ensuring the continuity of your services. While your Summit DD contact may not be in a Summit DD building, they are available by phone, email or video conferencing. (You can find our SSA and RSS Directory by clicking here.)

We are continuing to monitor the situation as it develops, sometimes hourly, to adjust our responses to new guidelines. This is the best of what we know today and we will continue to communicate as we know more. We will continue to make contingency plans for conducting all of our essential operations remotely. We encourage all staff and the community to follow all of the recommended CDC, ODH and SCPH, guidelines and social distancing measures to protect yourselves and loved ones.


Friday, March 13, Update:

One thing Summit DD has learned about a pandemic outbreak, such as Coronavirus (COVID-19), is that information and recommendations come very quickly and change on a daily, sometime hourly, basis. Because of this, our leadership team has assembled daily briefings to ensure that our guidelines adhere to the newest information available and that we can keep those we serve and our staff up-to-date with vital information to make informed decisions. We will continue to post these updates as information becomes available.

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor DeWine made several key announcements in hopes to shorten or lessen the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on our communities. Our Summit DD team also participated in a conference call with local health and government officials to coordinate efforts. The following are our updated guidelines we have at this time:

  • Impact of K-12 Closings: Many of you are aware that K-12 schools were ordered to close for three weeks, effective the end of school on Monday, March 16. This directive affects both parents of school age children on our staff as well as families that we serve. We anticipate staffing impacts and ask you to bear with us, as we will do everything we can to ensure the continuity of your services.
  • Updated Guidance on Home Visits/Team Meetings: As we mentioned previously, our goal is to minimize the risk to staff and individuals to the best of our ability. Therefore, we have asked staff to limit face-to-face contact as much as possible. At this time, we are encouraging staff to coordinate phone meetings and video conferencing in place of in-person meetings and visits. These efforts not only help protect our staff, but they protect you, your family and others that we serve with compromised immune systems.
  • Summit DD is currently open: Until otherwise advised, our buildings remain open for business. We have evaluated access to our building and taken steps necessary to cancel upcoming events and trainings at our locations. As such, there will be significantly less outside foot traffic on our premises.

We cannot stress enough that precaution is the best prevention for community spread. Thank you for your continued understanding during this evolving situation.

Prevention and Resources

For tips and information on the measures we are taking to help ensure safety of staff and those we serve, please see the information below.


Thursday, March 12, Original Post:

Like many of you, Summit DD has been monitoring the information and recommendations from health officials very closely.  As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve here in Ohio and across the nation, we want to do all we can to help slow the spread of the virus.

Our top priority remains the health and well-being of those we serve and our staff as well as the greater Summit County community. Using information from top health experts such as, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Summit County Public Health (SCPH), we put together the following recommendations to help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and our staff.

Prevention: 

According to health experts, COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person.

  • The CDC recommends regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stay home if you are sick or if someone in your home is sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Events:

Using ODH guidelines on mass indoor gatherings and community events, we evaluated the events Summit DD is currently participating in or sponsoring. Based on the ODH recommendations, many events have been cancelled or postponed through the end of April. We encourage you to check our online calendar for updates and details. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our approach appropriately as the situation develops.

Home Visits/Team Meetings:

While we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with those we serve, in order to maintain the health and well-being of everyone involved, we asked our staff to reach out prior to any home visit or meeting to as a few questions. You may be asked questions such as: Do you or a family member have flu-like symptoms? Have you or a family member recently traveled to (or been in recent contact with people who have traveled to) China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy or Iran? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, we have asked that our staff reschedule your appointment. This extra step helps ensure not only the health of our Summit DD staff and their families, but also other families we serve who may have a loved one with higher medical needs or a compromised immune system. Additionally, you can request a virtual visit or meeting with your Summit DD contact via phone or video-conferencing applications like as FaceTime or Microsoft Teams. This option allows you to relay important information without an in-person meeting.

We cannot stress enough that if you or a family member are feeling ill that you should cancel any appointments with your Summit DD contact.

Cleaning Precautions:

Another way Summit DD is actively working to slow the spread of the Coronavirus is by following the CDC’s additional Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection recommendations. Our facility crews have heightened their cleaning efforts and frequency. We have provided additional signage and sanitation supplies in our common areas to help keep our work spaces clean and safe for employees and visitors.

Summit DD has taken extra steps to keep our workplace safe for our staff and those we serve. We will continue to be in contact with local health officials and make adjustments as more information become available. These are uncertain times, but we remain dedicated to our mission.

Additional COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources:

Below are additional resources to keep you informed with the latest information regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

© Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board