June 24, 2020
We hope you and your family are doing well and enjoying the start of summer. It has been three months since our day programs closed due to the pandemic, and we know this has been challenging for everyone. We look forward to when it will be safe to gather again!
The good news is we have now received clear guidance from the Minnesota Department of Human Services allowing a very limited reopening, which we’ve linked and summarized below. However, the rules still do not allow us to fully reopen yet, which means some people will have to wait longer before returning to day services. While this may be frustrating, we know the state has everyone’s health and safety top of mind.
You can read the state guidelines in their entirety. In summary:
- Everyone, regardless of where they live and their risk for COVID-19 complications, has the right to make an informed choice about community employment services.
- Onsite day services at one of our facilities may only be provided to people living in their own homes or family homes. Unfortunately, we are only able to offer remote services at this time for those living in licensed residential settings.
- Occupancy is limited to a maximum of 50 people per facility, including staff.
- We must deliver services in shifts with a maximum of three hours per person per day. Cohorts must be set up of 10 or fewer people, including staff, throughout the program day.
- We must have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place and enact extensive health and safety procedures including health screening, masks, social distancing and frequent cleaning. See OP’s plan summary.
These state guidelines regarding size and hour limits mean we cannot yet reopen all of our facilities. We will start by opening our Asplin Center in Plymouth by late June to a few individuals focusing on production work. This first phase includes individuals who were receiving services at Asplin prior to the pandemic, as well as those from our other four locations.
We also have made a very difficult decision to not renew the lease of our Anoka County facility in Coon Rapids when it expires in late July. We plan to continue to to serve the Anoka area through community-based services and employment options but will not have a facility presence there.
In additional news, we’ve started doing remote services for a limited number of individuals, which has gone very well, and we recently received state permission to expand these services to people living in group homes. As we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we continue to support people in OP residential programs and those who work in the community at their own jobs or with an OP Supported Employment Team (SET). Gradually, we will ramp back up our day services as quickly and safely as we can, while remaining patient and flexible as we navigate this ever-changing situation.
As far as next steps, OP staff have been reaching out to individuals and teams about interest in returning to day services and adapting to our new health and safety procedures. People who have not yet heard from us should email email@example.com or call 952-930-4202 for more information.
To view our COVID-19 updates, please see previous updates below. Our procedures will be modified as needed with the health and safety of persons served and staff as our top priority. If you do not currently receive emails from OP and would like to, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our list.
Thank you and please stay safe.
- Update from May 18, 2020
- Update from May 1, 2020
- Update from April 8, 2020
- Update from March 31, 2020
- Update from March 26, 2020
- Update from March 16, 2020
- Update from March 15, 2020
- Update from March 13, 2020
- Update from March 6, 2020
If you would like to learn more about COVID-19, please see the following web sites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
As always, if you have questions please contact your OP representative or email email@example.com. Thank you!