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In his press conference on Saturday, March 21, Governor DeWine announced the closure of Adult Day Services programs for people with developmental disabilities across the state of Ohio, effective Monday, March 23. The exception would be those programs with settings of 10 people or less, which includes staff and individuals served.County Boards received additional guidance about this decision the evening of the announcement from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD). The Questions & Answers information below provided by DODD will offer further clarity for individuals, families and guardians.Please note: Not all day services programs are closing. The Governor’s order states that in an adult day services location, no more than 10 people can be in a confined space. This includes people receiving services, direct support professionals and staff.Also: Please keep in mind that some providers have established no or limited visitation policies. We recommend that families contact the residence manager before visiting.Questions & Answers for People with Disabilities and their Families
QuestionIf a person lives in a group home or supported living setting, what options are available when the day program closes?
AnswerThe residential or day services provider will arrange for in-home activities appropriate to the person’s needs and interests.
Residential and day services providers, however, may continue to plan home and community activities for people who live together, much as other households are doing during this time. These activities must be consistent with the advice of public health authorities to avoid large gatherings or areas where groups of people congregate.
Please keep in mind that public health authorities may be restricting certain activities.
QuestionIf a person lives in a private or family home, what are the options when the day program closes?
AnswerIf the person already has authorized hours for in-home providers for services that meet the needs of the person, no action is needed. Providers will continue to provide those services and be reimbursed as usual.
The person may also contact a Service and Support Administrator (SSA) to arrange for in-home services from a residential or day program provider as needed. Due to the circumstances, the SSA may not be able to approve an updated service plan before the service is provided. Please work with the SSA to update the service plan as soon as possible.
QuestionWith the day program closed, will in-home providers be permitted to provide more hours than authorized in the service plan?
AnswerYes, during this period, in-home providers may work more than the hours approved in the service plan. The ODDP budget limitations on HPC services, Remote Support, and respite services within the Individual Options (IO) Waiver will be temporarily lifted to allow for the needed flexibility in service levels. It is expected that more Level One Waiver enrollees may need to access the three-year emergency services benefit within that waiver. Due to the circumstances, the SSA may not be able to approve an updated service plan before the service is provided. Therefore, please work with the SSA to update the service plan as soon as possible.
The in-home provider should track the additional hours worked and document the services provided. The provider will be able to submit these claims for reimbursement after the SSA updates the service plan.
Information for Families of Individuals Living in Residential Waiver Settings
QuestionCan family members visit people who reside in a supported living setting?
AnswerYes, however, some providers are establishing screening protocols to ensure the health and safety of all people living and working in the home. Families should contact the residence manager ahead of the visit to see what those protocols may be and what families need to do before visiting.
Families should also follow the ODH recommendations and limit in-person interactions with people who are not residing with them. To communicate remotely, families can use other options of contact through technology, phone calls, social media, or writing letters or cards. While it is very important to practice social distancing, it is also important that families virtually stay in touch with one another to prevent further feelings of isolation.
QuestionCan family members take people home from supported living settings for a visit or until this situation passes?
AnswerYes, however, the residential provider may restrict a person from returning if the person poses a risk to other household members due to COVID-19 exposure or symptoms. Therefore, families must be ready and able to provide support for an extended time, including a backup plan if the family members become sick. A discussion and planning session with the person’s residential provider is strongly encouraged. Also, please review the COVID-19 guidance documents provided by (ODH).
QuestionCan residential providers refuse to take people back into the supported living setting?
A provider cannot refuse services unless the discharge process is followed. However, providers may establish screening protocols to ensure the health and safety of all individuals living and working in the home. This may include things like medical clearance or screening by provider staff.