News Room

May 8, 2020 COVID-19 Agency Update

5-8-2020

To our entire Arc family of Supporters and Friends,

With this week’s news of Governor Murphy’s extension of the “stay at home” order until June 5th, we realize now more than ever that we are in for the long haul of this pandemic.   We continue to keep our protocols in place (Hand washing, surface cleaning, Social Distance, use of PPE, visitations of only medical necessity) and our thoughts remain positive.  The question of testing has been a topic recently as we start to think about how we will restart the many programs that have been suspended.  As with all other guidelines surrounding COVID-19, we take our guidance from the Center for Disease Control

(CDC) and the NJ Department of Health.   The current guidelines for testing are:

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 – call your physician

Your physician will provide you a prescription to get tested if he/she feels it is warranted

It may be recommended that if your symptoms are mild, that you recover at home

Many testing sites will only allow testing with a prescription and/or symptoms

There are multiple testing sites in NJ – all with different testing criteria

All but two of these site require the presence of symptoms for testing (Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center – both are drive thru testing sites)

The highest priority for testing at these locations will be given to health care workers and workers in congregate living settings, and symptomatic first responders, as well as to asymptomatic NJ residents who have been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive.

For our employees,   testing is a personal choice.   Our recommendation (again based on CDC guidance) is that any employee experiencing symptoms or who has had exposure to someone who has tested positive, should call their personal physician immediately and request a script for testing.   If unable to test, that employee must quarantine for 14 days and can return to our agency after receiving clearance from their physician.   

Knowing that many individuals we work with have underlying health conditions and/or are in a high risk group, the NJ Department of Human Services has taken steps to enhance the testing opportunities for individuals with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities especially  those whose who reside in congregate settings like group homes.  Testing in the Developmental Centers has started.

We will continue to watch and learn about all of the testing opportunities, how to access them and recommendations for those we serve and our employees.   Our hope is to be able to obtain sufficient and reliable test results in the upcoming weeks so that we can start to consider our re-opening strategy.

All of us at The Arc wish all of you the best of health and safety during this ongoing pandemic.  A special note of appreciation for all of the Mom’s who are deserving of some extra attention and acknowledgment this Mothers Day!!

Sincerely,

Lauren Frary

Executive Director