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Public Notice
Public Notice

Date May 27, 2020

Muskingum County Board of Developmental Disabilities Response to COVID-

19/Coronavirus and the re-opening of Business.

We continue to monitor the situation with the COVID-19 as community spread continues in Muskingum County, the State of Ohio's 'Safe At Home" order has been replaced with an 'Urgent Health Advisory: Ohioans Protecting Ohioan's' Health Advisory issued on May 19, 2020; thus we have issued the following updated Business Plan for Reopening.

At the Muskingum County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD), we will continue to base our decisions on the fact that we serve a vulnerable population that requires access to our services and supports.

Our Response Plan:

=       MCBDD administrative office will continue to operate with limited access through June 30, 2020. Visitors are not permitted in the buildings unless they have an appointment scheduled. All visitors are required to have their temperature checked prior to entering any building and must wear a mask at all times. Those needing to contact the MCBDD are encouraged to call 740-453-4829.

=       MCBDD Administrative staff who have been given the authority to telework as much as their position/job permits will be given permission to continue to telework with a revised schedule to begin transitioning to work at the MCBDD office using a staggered schedule. The primary goal of the staggered schedule is to allow those employees returning to the workplace from their telework status to adjust to the new protocols for PPE and sanitation before returning all employees at once. Effective June 1, 2020; those Community Services staff who are currently teleworking will begin working in the office 3 days per week on a staggered schedule to limit the number of employees in the Community Services building. Those admin employees in the school and admin office will return to a regular schedule as they are able to adhere to 10 people or less and barriers have been put in place to maintain social distance. These employees who are teleworking on a staggered schedule are required to remain available to the program and to those on their caseload by phone and/or email, and may be required to have in-person visits if the individual/family requires an in person meeting.

Employee Expectations:

=       Employees are required to comply with all state orders and regulations, including those which require all employees to wear face coverings. Therefore, employees must wear face masks in all MCBDD buildings and while conducting official business outside of the office (unless he/she is working in a single office space or area that has been modified to minimize contact (e.g. plexiglass barrier)) If an employee leaves their work area, a face mask shall be worn.

=       Employees are required to maintain a minimum 6 feet distance between other people and where that cannot be achieved, barriers have been installed in work stations at the MCBDD buildings. Employees, who are meeting in-person with individuals we serve and/or their team members are required to wear face masks and adhere to the 6 foot distancing requirement unless 6 foot distancing is not feasible or their job duties require direct care.

=       Employees are being provided access with technology to hold meetings virtually via Google Meet, which includes phone and video access.

=       When driving for MCBDD business, employees are not permitted to drive together or transport individuals we serve unless they meet the distancing guidelines outlined by the Ohio Department of Health, unless there is an emergency, to which employees are expected to adhere to PPE guidelines.

=       Employees are required to practice regular handwashing and hand sanitizing. Hand sanitizing stations are available at the entrance of each MCBDD office.

=       Employees are required to disinfect their desks/workstations at the beginning of the workday and at the end of their work day.

=       Maintenance employees will regularly disinfect doors, light switches, and appliances three times per day. All common areas will be disinfected when leaving the area to protect others from possible contamination.

=       Employees shall stagger their lunch breaks; lunch rooms shall be limited to 1 O people or less to maintain social distancing. Employees are not permitted to have potlucks/buffet style foods. Employees are not permitted to bring in food to share with other employees.

=       Employees are required to report to the school each morning to have their temperature checked and have a health assessment performed. Employees should self-evaluate for symptoms as well and any employees who are symptomatic or showing signs of illness shall stay home in an effort to not spread the virus.

=       Employees who are symptomatic or showing signs of illness shall apply for use of accrued paid leave under the leave policies as they existed prior to the State of Emergency declared by the Governor on March 9, 2020 and/or as permitted by existing applicable law, including but not limited to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (which includes the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act). The practice of liberally granting all employees the ability to use paid leave solely because they may not feel comfortable working due to the coronavirus, however, is concluded. Any questions concerning leave should be directed to Melinda Russell.

=       Any employee who is suspected to have COVID-19 is to contact their supervisor or Melinda Russell immediately. A deep sanitation of the work area of any employee suspected of having COVID-19 shall occur.

Board Events

=       Any and all in-person agency events continue to be cancelled through July 31, 2020. This includes training, advocacy events, play groups, etc. We will provide updates via social media regarding these events.

=       Continued Response & Contact Information

=       We will continue to monitor this situation closely, adhering to recommendations from public health officials, and we will update our stakeholders as needed.

=       We remain committed to being there for the people we serve.

=       If you have any specific questions, feel free to call your Service and Support Administrator (SSA) or Early Intervention Developmental Specialist or call 740-453-4829. In case of emergencies, please call 1-888-905-0787.