COVID-19 Safety Plan for Certified Day Program Reopening



NOTE: Guidance bullets below are not a substitute for provider review and adherence to content of Interim Guidance Regarding the Reopening of Day Services Certified by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

Signage – applies to certified sites and other locations controlled by the provider

  • Ensure program building entrances have signs that alert that non-essential visitors are not allowed.
  • Ensure signs are posted throughout the program building to provide instruction on the critical COVID-19 transmission prevention and containment activities identified in the companion document Interim Guidance Regarding the Reopening of Day Services Certified by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

N/A: Without Walls Program

A. Entrance to Site Based Programs

Pre-Entry/Pre-Participation Screening:

  • Screen all individuals, staff, and essential visitors prior to entry into the day program site and/or participation in services/service delivery:
    • per infection control standards for protection of screener and screened person,
    • to include temperature check and required questions on exposure and COVID-19 Symptoms, per NYS DOH and OPWDD guidance documents.
  • Maintain daily documentation of all screening of individuals, staff and visitors in compliance with OPWDD and NYS guidance and policy.

Response to Signs and Symptoms and Departure:

  • Safe management of any individual, staff or visitor who fails initial/pre-program screening or is exhibiting signs or symptoms during service delivery, to include:
    • Facilitating departure as soon as possible, and
    • Safely manage separation from people not exhibiting symptoms, until they depart.
  • Ensure instruction is provided to any individual or staff sent home due to symptoms to contact their health care provider and written information on healthcare and testing resources.
  • Ensure the day program immediately notifies the local health department and OPWDD about the suspected case.

Participation and Return to Program/Service:

  • Ensure staff members know to report and how to report positive COVID-19 test results,exposure/possible exposure, and signs and symptoms to their supervisor.
  • Ensure individuals do not participate in day services while they or a member of their household or certified residence is being quarantined or isolated.
  • Maintain medical documentation allowing an individual or staff member who was COVID-19 positive to return to program site/services.
  • Ensure any return of an individual or staff to programs/services occurs only in adherence to OPWDD and NYS DOH guidance regarding quarantine periods and fever free durations.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

All staff and people served will be screened for signs and symptoms, per applicable OPWDD, DOH, and CDC guidelines prior to entering the vehicle. Anyone who has symptoms, is in isolation or quarantine, is COVID positive, or resides in a home with someone who is being quarantined or isolated will not be permitted to enter the vehicle/attend day program.

AIM Services will follow the local Department of Health and OPWDD’s guidance regarding staff and/or people supported resuming Day Services. In the event someone is isolated or quarantined, all program staff will be trained on OPWDD and the local DOH’s guidelines regarding returning from isolation/quarantine.

B. Social Distancing Requirements:

Ensure effective practices to facilitate social distancing when distancing is not possible, including the following:

  • Reduction of total number of individuals served at one time, in order to reduce congestion and facilitate easier social distancing;
  • Plans to maintain no more than 50% occupancy in small/confined spaces within a program, such as a staff break room;
  • Potential use of physical barriers within site-based spaces;
  • Planned use, capacity and arrangement of furniture and/or work equipment in program rooms, work spaces and meal and seating areas to allow for social distancing of at least six feet apart in all directions (i.e. 36 square feet) and limit density. (Note an individual’s needs may require individual to staff distance to be less than six feet);
  • Use of signage and floor markers/distance markers denoting spaces of six feet throughout program area spaces, common spaces, waiting areas, entry, exits and other areas of travel;
  • Facilitate one directional foot traffic where necessary in narrow spaces, using tape or signs with arrows;
  • Install physical barriers, as appropriate, especially when physical distancing is not feasible between program/work spaces;
  • Support and education of individuals to learn physical distancing/use of markers, patterns of movement, and other program strategies;
  • Maintain a staffing plan to prevent employees who should need to “float” between different rooms or different groups of individuals, unless such rotation is necessary to safely support individuals due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. staff absence).
  • Provide adequate space and operational practices (e.g. staggered break times) for staff to adhere to social distancing while completing independent tasks (i.e. paperwork) and when taking breaks (i.e. eating or smoking).

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

All staff and people supported will be educated on applicable guidance from OPWDD, DOH, and the CDC, as well as AIM’s Infection Control Guidelines and COVID-19 Addendum.

“Floating” of staff throughout the program will be limited to situations that are neccessary to safely support the people who attend the program.

AIM will provide appropriate PPE (cloth face covering, surgical masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, etc) to staff and program participants. The Director of Clinical Services is responsible for maintaining the appropriate quantity of PPE. The Manager of the Day Program is responsible for monitoring the PPE supply in the vehicle and requesting additional PPE from the Director of Clinical Services.

C. Gatherings in Enclosed Spaces

  • Modifications to day program/service hours as needed, to allow blocks of service provision while maintaining reduced capacity and group size.
  • Planned group size, which will be limited to no more than fifteen (15) individuals who receive services. The restriction on group size does not include employees/staff.
  • Ensure the group (≤15) of individuals receiving services and staff working with them areas static as possible.
  • Ensure that different stable groups individuals and staff, have no or minimal contact with one another and do not utilize common spaces at the same time, to the greatest extent possible.
  • Stagger staff and/or individual meal and break times to maintain social distancing.
  • Adhere to social/physical distancing practices identified in the safety plan.
  • Prohibit shared food and beverages and buffet style dining.
  • Require that food brought from home must require limited preparation (i.e. heating in microwave) during day services and be packed appropriately.
  • Ensure reusable food utensils and storage containers are washed in the dishwasher on the hottest wash and dry setting.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

Please contact AIM Services for COVID-19 Guidelines regarding Cleaning and dining guidelines

D. Day Program Schedules and Activities

  • Modifications to day program/service hours as needed, to allow blocks of service provision while maintaining reduced capacity and group size.
  • Focus on activities with little or no physical contact and which do not rely on shared equipment, to the extent possible.
  • Schedule individual’s activities to reduce density and allow for social distancing.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

Day Program service hours will be modified as needed. Though up to 15 people attend the program, people are supported in consistant small groups. This better allows for social distancing and limited physical contact.

As much as possible, outdoor acitivites and indoor activities in small groups will be scheduled. The staffing pattern in the program allows people to engage in a multitude of individualised activities with limited physical contact with other people.

Any shared equipment will be disinfected between users, in accordance with AIM’s Infection Control Guidelines and applicable guidance from the CDC, DOH, and OPWDD.

E. Personal Protective Equipment:

  • Ensure all staff wear an appropriate cloth or disposable face mask/covering that covers both the mouth and nose, at all times while providing services, consistent with all current Executive Orders and OPWDD guidelines (unless medically contraindicated / not tolerated.
  • Ensure all essential visitors wear a face mask or covering, providing a face mask onsite at no cost, if visitors do not have their own which meets requirements.
  • Support individuals receiving services to wear face coverings, as tolerated, whenever social distancing cannot be achieved.
  • Maintain an adequate supply of required PPE on site (and available to staff for when needed for community-based services) to minimally include masks and gloves, and with gowns and face shields as needed.
  • Train all staff on proper use of PPE including when necessary to use, donning, doffing,disposing and/or reusing and sanitizing when appropriate.
  • Retain documentation of trainings in the employees’ personnel files and per agency procedures.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

AIM will provide appropriate PPE (cloth face covering, surgical masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, etc) to staff,visitors, and people served if/as needed. The Director of Clinical Services is responsible for maintaining the appropriate quantity of PPE. The Manager of the Day Service is responsible for monitoring the PPE supply for the program and requesting additional PPE from the Director of Clinical Services. All staff and visitors are required to wear masks when participating in the program or riding in the vehicle. The people served in the program will be encouraged to wear a mask when unable to socially distance, unless unable to due to a medical condition and/or their developmental disability.

Education has/will be provided to staff receiving PPE in accordance with AIM’s Infection Control Guidelines and Covid addendum and applicable DOH, CDC, and OPWDD guidance.

F. Hygiene and Cleaning

Personal Hygiene to Reduce Transmission:

  • Ensure strict adherence to hygiene requirements to reduce transmission as advised by NYS DOH and the CDC.
  • Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations at each location to include:
    • Handwashing: soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels.
    • Hand sanitizing: alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical, and where the need for frequent hand sanitizing is expected;
  • Train staff to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds using techniques per NYS DOH and CDC guidance, including the conditions that require handwashing.
  • Support individuals to wash their hands frequently/when needed, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds using appropriate techniques as tolerated.
  • Encourage and facilitate use of hand sanitizers by staff and individuals upon arrival to and departure from program and through the day, providing supervision/support of use by individuals as needed.
  • Address any individualized needs affecting the unsupervised availability of hand sanitizer.

Cleaning and Disinfection of Environment, Equipment and Supplies:

  • Strictly adhere to sanitation requirements as advised by NYS DOH guidance documents.
  • Implement the following minimum standards regarding cleaning and sanitizing:
    • Frequent cleaning and rigorous disinfection of high-risk areas/high touch surfaces;
    • Use of only EPA registered products for disinfecting non-porous surfaces;
    • Adhere to proper dwell times for all cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants per manufacturer recommendations as indicated on the product label; and
    • Ensure adequate ventilation to prevent inhaling toxic fumes.
    • Maintain site cleaning logs indicating the date, time, and scope of cleaning.
    • Keep cleaning products, sanitizers and disinfectants secure and out of reach of individuals who may misuse;
    • Safely and immediately discard used gloves, paper towels or other disposable items after sanitizing or disinfecting, tied in a trash bag and removed from the environment.
    • Clean and disinfect all areas and equipment used by a person exhibiting symptoms upon their departure from the area and prior to use of the area or equipment by other individuals or staff.
    • PPE use and hand hygiene when cleaning and disinfecting causes safety hazards.
    • Provide ventilation with outside air safely and when possible.
  • Limit use of shared objects/equipment. Ensure shared items are cleaned and/or sanitized after each use. Require hand hygiene before/after contact and glove use when feasible.
  • Prohibit use of items/objects that cannot be cleaned and sanitized (i.e. soft object, cloth placemats, etc.) unless clinically required.
  • Prohibit bringing personal items from home, except when clinically necessary, then have a plan for regular cleaning and disinfection including immediately prior to departure.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

Infection prevention and control practices are essential in maintaining a clean and safe environment for everyone, as they reduce the risk of the potential spread of infections. Please see the attached COVID-19 Guidelines for non-site based Day Services.

G. Transportation

Ensure that the following measures are implemented for the transport of individuals to/from day services to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk, when providing or contracting for transportation:

  • Ensure only individuals and staff traveling to and from the same day program be transported together; individuals or staff from other day programs should not be intermingled for purposes of transportation at this time; individuals transported together are encouraged to be cohorted for purposes for day programming also, in order to reduce further intermingling;
  • Reduce capacity on buses, vans, and other vehicles transporting individuals from multiple residences to 50% of total capacity;
  • Individuals and staff who reside/work together in the same home may be transported together to day program(s) in the same vehicle without a vehicle capacity reduction;
  • As possible, stagger arrival and departure times to reduce entry and exit density.
  • To the extent possible, restrict close contact of individuals and staff from different households by not sitting near each other or the driver.
  • If there are multiple doors in a bus or van, utilize one-way entering and exiting. Provide instruction for individuals to exit the vehicle one at a time and wait for driver or staff instruction before doing so.;
  • Ensure staff and the driver always wear face coverings in the vehicle. Social distancing must be maintained for individuals who cannot tolerate wearing a mask and, when possible, such individuals should be transported alone or with members of the same household. Ensure staff who cannot medically tolerate the use of a face covering are not assigned to transport individuals.
  • After each trip is completed, clean and disinfect the interior of the vehicle before additional individuals are transported; and
  • Where appropriate and safe, roll windows down to permit air flow.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

AIM’s COVID-19 Transportation and Community Outings Guidelines will be posted in the program and in vehicles.

Community Activities Guidelines

  • If any person supported or staff working in the program is suspected or confirmed positive for COVID-19, People shall not participate in the Day Services Program.
  • Groups shall include no more than 15 people, excluding staff.
  • Low risk, outdoor activities are encouraged whenever possible
  • Trips to stores, outdoor restaurants, salons, etc. should be extremely limited
  • Planned community activities should be limited to one location per day per person participating
  • Wash/Sanitize hands immediately before leaving the home and immediately upon return home
  • Bring sanitize on all outings and ensure everyone is washing or sanitizing hands throughout the outing, after touching door handles, counters, shelves, railings etc.
  • Social Distance
  • Masks are to be encouraged for all individuals at all times. Everyone medically able must wear a mask when unable to social distance.

Transportation Guidelines

  • Only transport staff and people served from the same program.
  • All vehicle occupants must be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 immediately prior to entering the vehicle.
  • Capacity of vehicles should be reduced to 50%
  • Avoid having people sit directly next to each other.
  • All passengers, including people served, must wear a mask unless they are not medically of behaviorally able to tolerate wearing a mask. Staff who cannot wear a mask are not permitted in the vehicle. Please contact the Director of Clinical Services for additional information.
  • Use one door for entrance and one door for exiting, when possible.
  • After each trip is complete, sanitize and disinfect the interior of the vehicle.
  • Roll down windows for air flow as appropriate.

H. Tracing and Tracking

  • Notify the local health department and OPWDD immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by an individual or staff at their site.
  • If a staff or visitor test positive, procedures for day service cooperation with the local health department to trace all contacts in the workplace and notify the health department of all staff, individuals and visitors who entered the facility dating back to 48 hours before the positive person began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive,maintaining confidentiality as required by federal and state law and regulations.

Identify how you will ensure the above and any related strategies:

The Director of Clinical Services is responsible, in conjunction with the Director of Human Resources, the Associate Executive Director, Executive Director, and Director of Administration for ensuring, upon being informed of any positive test of a person served or staff, that OPWDD and the local health department are immediately notified.

In the event of a positive test, the Agency will follow all guidance from and collaborate with the local department of health and OPWDD with regard to contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, returning to work/program, etc.


Please use this space to provide additional details about your program’s Safety Plan, if appropriate.

Please see contact AIM Services for additional COVID-19 Guidelines.