Respite Camp COVID-19 Protocols and Procedures


Due to the onset and spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, beginning on March 16, 2020 the Governor’s Office mandated all non-essential businesses closed, instituted stay at home orders, and announced mitigation strategies to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that include the statewide closures of many facilities licensed under 55 Pa. Code.   In response to the Governor’s mandates and ODP guidance, we temporarily closed The Arc of Dauphin County Respite Camps.  In alignment with the Governor’s re-opening of Pennsylvania plan, The Arc of Dauphin County’s Respite Program is anticipated to reopen and commence programming July 24, 2020.  Reopening is contingent on Dauphin County remaining in the “Green Phase” of the Governor’s plan.  The Arc respite camp building, grounds and facilities are solely owned and operated by The Arc of Dauphin County and are not shared space with other members of the public/community.

The health and safety of all staff and campers is essential to our reopening plan.  To ensure the safety and reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19, the following Protocols and Procedures will be implemented and remain flexible and may be adjusted or changed with respect to COVID-19.  

The point of contact for respite camp is Joe Martin, Respite Coordinator.  Joe can be reached at 717-920-2727.  Any questions regarding The Arc’s COVID protocols and procedures, reporting of positive COVID exposure, confirmed positive COVID test/virus or need for information, contact Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs, at 717-649-0179 or email to kseeger@arcofdc.org.  For updates and information visit The Arc of Dauphin County’s Website at:  arcofdc.org.

For COVID resources visit:

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – cdc.gov
  • PA Department of Health – health.pa.gov
  • Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) – myodp.org
  • Autism and Intellectual Disabilities in PA – https://aidinpa.org
  • National Distress Hotline – Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

Pre-opening Strategies

  1. Our Respite Center has been unoccupied and aired out providing ample time for germs to become inactive. Deep cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces within the respite center and camp vehicles will be completed prior to all camp sessions and following all camp sessions. 
  2. The Respite Center has an air conditioning/ heating ventilation system to regulate and ensure a comfortable living environment. The ventilation system is equipped with brand new filters for clean air circulation.
  3. Furniture has been rearranged throughout the Respite Center, including the dining room, bedrooms and common areas, to adhere to the proper six-foot social distancing guidelines. There are no physical barriers or partitions as pathways; seating and furniture are at least six feet apart and not shared.

Dining room:

  • There are four dining room tables separated at least six feet apart. Each camper has an individually assigned table for meals.  There is one chair per table allowing only one camper per table.

Livingroom/common area:

  • There are four chairs for seating in the common living area.  Chairs have been placed on the perimeter of the room and separated at least six feet apart.  Campers will select or be assigned seating for the duration of weekend respite.  If at any time a camper changes their seat, furniture will be cleaned and disinfected before use.

Bedrooms:

  • There are three camper bedrooms with two twin beds in each. Two of those bedrooms will occupy only one camper.  The third bedroom is large enough to sleep two campers with the beds positioned on opposite ends of the room and more than a six-foot distance between them. 
  • There are two staff bedrooms to accommodate the two respite counselors, as necessary. Each counselor will have their own individual bedroom.

Awake overnight staff:

  • Awake overnight staff are positioned in the common area where they can observe all camper bedrooms.
  1. The number of campers will be limited to four campers per weekend to adhere to social distancing protocols.
  2. The registration process has been changed to limit contact with and prevent development of groups gathering; to record body temperature and screen staff and campers for symptoms; and to have campers complete the COVID-19 Health Screening Checklist regarding whether or not they have had any contact with any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  3. The Respite Center has wall mounted, no touch sanitizer stations and no touch soap dispensers at each sink location that is available to staff and campers. Disposable paper towels and hands free trash cans are also available. An individual tissue box will be provided for each camper and each staff member.  Proper hand hygiene signs are displayed at each sink location.
  4. COVID informational signs are visible in both the common areas in the Respite Center and at the main entrance
    1. How to protect yourself and others
    2. What you can do if you are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
    3. Symptoms of COVID-19
    4. Emergency warning signs
  5. Gloves and masks are always available as needed.
  6. Staff has training on COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, observation of individuals for symptoms and disinfecting surfaces.
  7. Staff will adhere to recommended infection, prevention and control (IPC) practices, including proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, putting on and taking off personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.), and disinfecting surfaces.
  8. CDC guidlines will be followed based on community-related exposure, for campers or staff exposed to people with known or suspected COVID-19 or possible COVID-19.

https://arcofdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/CDC-Guidelines-for-Exposure-to-COVID.jpg

We are all in this together

  1. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  2. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
  3. To protect yourself and others and limit the spread of COVID-19 the following must be followed by everyone:
    • Wash Your Hands
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      • It’s especially important to wash:
        • Before eating or preparing food
        • Before touching your face
        • After using the restroom
        • After leaving a public place
        • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
        • After handling your mask
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid Close Contact
    • Wear A Mask
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
      • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
      • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
      • Everyone will wear a mask in the respite center and public settings
      • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
    • Cover Coughs and Sneezes
      • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
      • Throw used tissues in the trash.
      • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Monitor for symptoms of COVID – Be alert and watch for symptoms of COVID-19 (this list is not intended to be all inclusive; as the CDC continues to learnsymptoms are being updated as new information is available; visit CDC website):
      • Fever or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • Rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
  4. Protections for high risk camper:
    • Pre-camp staff and camper self-assessment through completion of COVID health screening checklist and temperature checks.
    • Staggered registration times, staff and camper health screening check and temperature checks at registration before cleared to attend the respite camp weekend.
    • Staff and campers cleared to attend are the only ones allowed in the respite center.
    • Avoiding close contact with others (at least six feet separation)
    • Individual seating in dining room and common area with at least six feet separation.
    • Individual bedroom
    • Regular cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
    • Furniture and seating cleaned and disinfected after each use
    • Full cleaning of common areas daily
    • Temperature checks and symptom monitoring scheduled three times daily (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
    • Regular monitoring for COVID symptoms 24 hours daily.
    • Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) practices including proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, use of personal protective equipment (masks, gloves…). Coping support and education as needed.

Protocol for Staff

  1. Prior to coming to work, staff will self-assess for signs/symptoms of COVID-19, take their temperature, and complete a self-check using the Arc’s COVID-19 Health Screening Tool (see attached). If any item on the screening tool has a yes reply or staff registers a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, they are not eligible to work the respite camp. Staff should self-isolate/ quarantine and follow CDC guidelines.
  2. Staff, who through the self-assessment process defined above, who are not precluded from coming to work, will, upon arrival and before working with campers, complete The Arc’s COVID-19 Health Screening Tool and temperature check. If any item on the screening tool has a yes reply or staff registers a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, staff will not be able to work the scheduled hours for the weekend respite. Staff will be asked to go home and follow the CDC guidelines consistent with results identified on the screening tool.
  3. Staff will maintain social distancing from others at all times. If an individual needs assistance, staff will take precautions to reduce the potential spread of germs by wearing gloves and a mask. 
  4. Staff will wear a mask when in common areas and around campers and staff.
  5. Gloves and mask will be worn when handling food, utensils, when cooking, and when physically assisting a camper, using proper IPC practices.
  6. Staff will use proper hand hygiene/hand sanitizing and respiratory etiquette.

 Protocol for Campers

  1. Respite camp will only be open during the Governor’s reopening “Green Phase” for Dauphin County. Campers must reside in a “Green Phase” county to attend the respite camp. 
  2. Pre-registration for camp is required. Each camper will be given a specific time to arrive to check in, and arrival times will be at least fifteen minutes apart between campers to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 and ensure social distancing.  If a camper arrives while another camper is still checking in, the new arrival and any support staff must remain in their vehicle until directed by The Arc staff to advance to the check-in location. 
  3. Prior to coming to the Respite Center, campers and any support person must self-assess for any signs/symptoms of COVID-19, take their temperature, and complete a self-check using the Arc’s COVID-19 Health Screening Tool (see attached). If any item on the screening tool has a yes reply or the camper/support staff registers a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher they should stay home and are not eligible to attend the respite camp. Camper’s should contact the Arc’s respite Coordinator informing them of the self-assessment results and inability to attend. Campers/support person should self- isolate/quarantine and follow CDC guidelines. 
  4. Campers who through the self-assessment process identified above are not precluded from coming to camp, must complete The Arc’s COVID-19 Health Screening Tool and have their temperature taken before entering the respite facility and before being cleared to attend the weekend respite. If any item on the screening tool has a yes reply or the camper registers a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the camper will not be able to attend the respite weekend. Camper will be required to go home and follow CDC guidelines consistent with results identified on the screening tool.
  5. Campers will be required to wear a mask or shield (needs to cover the nose and mouth of the person wearing it) in common areas and around other campers and staff, while adhering to social distance guidelines of six feet apart. Campers can get a break from wearing a mask when isolated from others (i.e. in their bedroom).  If another person joins them in their bedroom or they re-enter the common areas a mask must be worn.  Campers are requested to bring masks of their preference.  Masks will be available, as needed. 
  6. Campers will use proper hand hygiene/hand sanitizing and respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette. Education/support is provided to assist campers with proper IPC practices as needed.
  7. Staff are available to assist campers with coping with the challenges of COVID and The Arc advocate is available to campers and their families. If anyone needs to connect with a trained crisis counselor, they should call the National Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  8. Campers will each have an individual container for their personal toiletries to take with them to the bathroom at time of need.
  9. Individual’s picking up campers at the conclusion of each respite weekend will ring the respite door bell and staff will bring camper to them. No visitors will be allowed in the Respite Center.

Daily Monitoring

  1. There will be daily, ongoing observation for any COVID-19 symptoms that may signify potential sickness.
  2. Staff and camper temperatures will be taken three time each day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and they will be monitored for symptoms of COVID-19. If a staff member or camper registers a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, they will be sent home.
    • If a staff member becomes ill or shows signs/symptoms of COVID-19, they will be asked to leave and follow CDC guidlines. If unable to drive, the staff person will self-isolate in their assigned bedroom until their transportation arrives.  To ensure the health and safety of the staff member, EMS will be contacted, if needed.  Staff backup plan will be incorporated. 
    • If camper becomes ill or shows signs/symptoms of COVID-19, the parent or guardian will be called immediately to pick up their camper. Camper will self-isolate in their bedroom until transportation arrives.  If the ill camper is in the shared bedroom, the non-ill camper will be relocated to alternate individual sleeping quarters.  To ensure the health and safety of the campers, EMS will be contacted if needed.
    • Bedroom of the ill camper or staff will be closed to all staff and campers and will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after 24 hours or longer.
    • If a camper or staff test positive for COVID-19 or are given a diagnosis of having COVID-19, the Respite Center will be closed off to everyone for at least 24 hours; after which time it will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in time for reopening respite camp services.
    • If any staff or camper begin to show severe symptoms of COVID-19, 911 will be called immediately. Emergency warning signs of the coronavirus include:
      • Constant trouble breathing
      • Persistent chest pain or pressure
      • Confusion
      • Trouble staying awake
      • Blue lips or face
  3. Suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
    • Suspected means that a person has been tested for the COVID-19 virus and is awaiting the test results, or a test has been ordered by a health care professional, and the person has not been tested yet.
    • Confirmed means that an individual was tested for the COVID-19 virus and the test was positive or an individual was diagnosed with COVID-19 by a health care professional even if no test was completed.
  4. Staff and campers who have suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (as defined above) must immediately notify The Arc of Dauphin County’s COVID-19 point of contact, Ken Seeger at 717-649-0179.  Upon notification, The Arc of Dauphin County will notify any staff, campers, and emergency contacts of any other campers they may have been in close contact with who are suspected of or confirmed as having COVID-19.  Notifying information will not contain any personal identifying information.  It will be limited to an informative statement to those present at the time that explains that they have come in contact with an individual that has or may have COVID-19.  Suspected and confirmed cases of campers will be reported in the EIM system, while staff will be reported to ODP’s Regulatory Administration Units consistent with ODP Announcement 20-049, 20-061; 20-065 and 20-086.  The local Department of Health will be notified of any confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. 
  5. Daily disinfecting
    • Bathrooms cleaned and disinfected following each use (focus on frequently touched surfaces)
    • Shower room cleaned and disinfected following each use
    • Tables and chairs cleaned and disinfected after each meal
    • Furniture and seating cleaned and disinfected after each use
    • Shared objects will be cleaned and sanitized after each use (i.e. Wii system, Ipad)
    • Overnight staff to clean and disinfect common areas daily
  6. All meals will be served to campers. Disposable paper plates, cups and plasticware will be used and discarded in a hands-free, closed lid trash can after each meal. 

Community Trips

  1. Community trips are limited to outdoor venues that will allow for ample social distancing (at least six feet) and small group sizes limited to governor’s guidelines.
  2. All campers and staff will wear masks during transportation and while in the community.
  3. The Arc’s ten passenger transit van will be used for transportation. Campers will have assigned seating in the first and third rows with a seat separating passengers within their respected row.
  4. Adherence to recommended infection, prevention and control (IPC) practices including proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer will be provided that contains at least 60% alcohol. Support and guidance for proper hand hygiene and application/use of hand sanitizer will be given, as needed.
  5. If there is a need to use a restroom we will assess to make sure there is adequate soap and paper towels, or hand sanitizer will be provided containing at least 60% alcohol.

 I have read and understand the re-opening protocol and procedures and agree to abide by the re-opening plan. 


    Camper Signature                                                                Date




    Parent/Guardian Signature                                                 Date                                                   

The Arc of Dauphin County


ifavreau@arcofdc.org
Phone: 717-920-2727
Fax: 717-920-2730
2569 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA 17103

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