DDD Issues New Day Program Re-Opening Requirements
April 22, 2021
This morning, Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities issued an important update to its Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements.
Since the requirements were released in mid-March, there had been growing, vocal concerns by many groups about the inequities of the requirements, which tied reopening to New Jersey’s COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI). An online petition that garnered thousands of signatures noted that other businesses, schools and events were not subject to this strict requirement.
With day programing closed for more than a year, many are eager to return to programming and the benefits it offers for those with autism and I/DD.
While the CALI requirement was removed as a metric for re-opening, it remains as an indicator for capacity limits. As of the last report for April 10th activity, most of the state remains in the High (Orange) Zone.
In the announcement to stakeholders, DDD highlights the following:
- Day programs are congregate facilities serving individuals with varying levels of risk for developing complications following the contraction of COVID-19. An individual’s risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 is higher if they have not been vaccinated, if the individual is not able to adhere to distancing and masking guidelines, and when COVID-19 activity is higher in their region.
- While all day programs may re-open, capacity is tied to the COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) for the region in which the program is located.
- Operating capacity based on CALI designation is as follows: 25% in Very High (Red); 50% in High (Orange); 50% in Moderate (Yellow); and full capacity in Low (Green).
- Day programs will generally need two weeks to coordinate re-opening but may re-open earlier if they are able to come into compliance with the Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements.
- While vaccination continues not to be required for attendance, all eligible individuals are encouraged to be vaccinated.
- State supplemental payments for congregate day providers are continuing.
Read DDD’s updated Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements.
DDD will discuss the reopening at its next COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m. Register here
For reopening information and links to other important COVID-19 policies, visit the NJ DHS COVID-19 Information Hub
Autism New Jersey can support those with special needs who are seeking a vaccine and require additional accommodations via its clinic with Visiting Nurses Association of Central Jersey. Appointments available. Learn more.
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