Following Governor DeWine’s “Restart Ohio” guidelines, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is permitting the re-opening of Adult Day Service (ADS) programs, but within very specific and significant group size, social distancing, and physical environment restrictions.
Each ADS group cannot exceed 10 people (staff and individuals served in that count), must provide 6-ft social distancing, must have separate access to entrances/exits and bathroom facilities, must be separated from other groups by physical barriers, and cannot share space with another ADS group.
These restrictions pose considerable challenges to the physical environments at Broadening Abilities (BA) and Willoughby Branch (WB), and will obviously significantly restrict the number of individuals able to participate at BA or WB to a fraction of the individuals participating pre-COVID.
We have made every attempt to modify environments and institute enhanced sanitation and health screening protocols for staff and individuals served…with the goal of accommodating those individuals who do not have access to full residential and day waiver-funded services and/or supports. We believe we have now accomplished this goal such that BA and WB can re-open on Aug. 24th, 2020…both with limited capacity per DODD restrictions.
Beginning next week, Service and support Administrators (SSAs) will be contacting those individuals and families who do not currently have access to fully-funded residential and day services/supports. SSAs will discuss DODD assessment, BA or WB program structure, including Non-medical Transportation (NMT) options, as well as other private ADS options, to determine the best person-centered ADS option for each individual.
We applaud our Lake County Waiver Provider network who have expanded their homemaker personal care services to meet the needs of individuals and families during COVID-related closure of ADS programs. With DODD now allowing the opening of these ADS programs, many Providers have expanded or created new options to serve those individuals they serve residentially, as well as offering options for new individuals to participate.
We also applaud our SSA staff who have been unfailingly accessible and dedicated to supporting individuals and families throughout the COVID pandemic. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times.