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Adult Day Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted the personal and professional lives of all Ohioans. Health and well-being have been the primary focus when deciding how to best respond during this state of emergency. Adult day service providers who serve large groups of people have been affected significantly by restrictions on group size. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has issued a new order on March 17, 2021 that replaces the prior ODH order issued in March 2020. Restrictions put into place through this order remain in place until rescinded by the director of ODH or until the governor ends the state of emergency.

Providers will need to continue to find ways to comply with the order and deliver services in smaller settings, in homes, or virtually.

During this state of emergency, small group service within a facility designated for adult day support services and vocational habilitation services where group sizes do not exceed 12 people, not including direct support professionals (DSPs) can be an important option for people with disabilities and their families. To accomplish this, providers must operate at a reduced capacity that allows for six feet of social distancing and must assure each area or cohort accommodates no more than 12 total people, not including DSPs.

Service delivery continues to evolve to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans with developmental disabilities as services are being provided in innovative ways that are both meaningful and safe for all persons involved. This process applies to all facility-based Adult Day Support (ADS), Vocational Habilitation (VH), and Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) Day Program providers, regardless if services were discontinued after the order was issued.

The person-centered team and the provider assurance processes can happen concurrently. There is no order in which they must be completed.

The Adult Day array of services look different during this time of emergency. DODD encourages adult day service providers to continue to be engaged and provide services in creative ways. Further information about service options and flexibility can be found here:

Person-Centered Team Process

  • The person receiving services, their family or guardian, or Adult Day Services (ADS), Vocational Habilitation (VH), or Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) Day Program provider, notifies the service and support administrator (SSA) or qualified intellectual disabilities professional (QIDP) that the person wishes to resume facility-based services.
  • A team, which consists of the person receiving services, their family or guardian, day service and residential providers, and SSAs or QIDPs, will work together using the Risk/Benefit Discussion Guide to inform the conversation about the risks and benefits of the person attending facility-based day services under the new order on March 17, 2021.
  • Once the SSA or QIDP receives a request from the person, parent or guardian, or provider that someone would like to attend facility-based ADS, VH, or ICF Day Program, the SSA or QIDP has seven business days to complete the Risk/Benefit Discussion Guide and outline the plan for resuming facility-based services. The SSA or QIDP, through the team process, may need to revise the person’s service plan to reflect current conditions, services, and outcomes.

Provider Assurance Process

As more Ohioans with developmental disabilities are receiving vaccines, they are looking to safely return to the places, jobs, and activities they love. It is important for people to engage in the activities they choose, with the services they need in the safest way possible. Given the higher rate of COVID-19 transmission and the likelihood of complications for people with developmental disabilities, providers will still need to submit written assurance to DODD that all mandatory standards have been met before reopening or initiating services.

  • The ADS, VH, or ICF Day Program, provider completes the Provider Assurance Form. If facility-based ADS, VH, or ICF Day Program services are provided in multiple settings, a separate form must be completed for each setting.
  • Completed Provider Assurance forms are submitted to DODD (via email: OSSAS@dodd.ohio.gov) and the appropriate county board(s).
  • DODD and the county board(s) will confirm with the provider their receipt of the forms within one (1) business day.
  • The Office of System Support and Standards (OSSAS) will complete a virtual walk-through of the setting(s) with the provider within 48 hours of receiving the provider assurance form.

This process only needs to be completed once per setting. Providers can resume their facility-based services once their assurance documentation is submitted to DODD and the appropriate county board(s), and they have received a confirmation email from both.

For providers who have previously submitted an assurance form and been approved for groups of 10 under the previous ODH order, those services may continue and a new assurance form does not have to be submitted unless the provider is adding areas not previously approved. Any questions about the setting can be answered during the virtual walk-through with OSSAS. If the provider needs to arrange a virtual walk-through later than 48 hours, OSSAS will accommodate the request.  

Once a person’s team completes the person-centered team process, and their chosen provider has completed the assurance process, services may begin for that person.

This process begins with the person’s choice to resume services and is bolstered by a team discussion of the risk and benefits of that decision. Safety is ensured by the provider taking all necessary measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and keeping all who are in their setting as healthy as possible.

Mandatory General Requirements

  • People receiving services must be assessed for COVID-related symptoms before entering the facility (this could be before accessing transportation) using the COVID-19 symptom monitoring log.
  • People receiving services must wash or sanitize their hands before beginning services, and the provider must assist if needed.
  • Encourage the person receiving services to wear face coverings unless there is an exception for medical, functional, or practical reasons, as documented in the person-centered team process.

Mandatory Practices for Arrival and Dismissal

  • People receiving services must be assessed for COVID-related symptoms before entering the facility (this could be before accessing transportation) using the COVID-19 symptom monitoring log.
  • People receiving services must wash or sanitize their hands before beginning services, and the provider must assist if needed.
  • Encourage the person receiving services to wear face coverings unless there is an exception for medical, functional, or practical reasons, as documented in the person-centered team, process, and included in the Team Acknowledgment Form.

Best Practices for Arrival and Dismissal

  • Providers should stagger pick-up and drop-off times to ensure appropriate social distancing.
  • Providers should use curbside pick-up and drop-off. This would include assisting people into the facility.
  • Providers should limit parent and visitor entry into the facility.
  • Providers should limit the personal belongings brought into the facility.

Mandatory Practices for Providing Services Throughout the Day

  • Providers must disinfect all hard and non-porous surfaces daily and after use. Throughout the day, providers must also clean and sanitize high touch areas such as doorknobs, bathrooms, and common areas.
  • Providers must have a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) capacity and must provide training to DSPs on the use of gloves and face coverings.
  • Providers must follow infection control standards, including handwashing before and after contact with people receiving services.
  • Providers must require personnel, who are helping a person with eating or other personal care activities, to use gloves and face coverings.
  • Providers must provide/install hand sanitizer in high-contact areas.

Best Practices for Providing Services Throughout the Day

  • Providers should have the resources and ability to offer activities that will not require handling shared items (unless people handling materials are properly gloved).
  • Providers should plan activities that include limited food consumption (to avoid the need to remove face coverings). If meals are required or necessary, providers should ensure surfaces are cleaned before and after eating, ensure employees wash hands before providing food to people. To the extent possible, providers should utilize single serve packing, which can be easily disposed of after a meal.
  • Providers should assess and plan how to safely administer medication, including avoiding aerosolizing procedures, if possible, and having a private place to use inhalers and nebulizers.
    • When a provider is involved in these activities, the use of N95, eye protection, gown, and gloves is recommended PPE.
    • Providers should be educated on donning and doffing of PPE and disposal.
    • Cleaning and sanitizing of the area must be performed after each use.
    • Consider extending the time between the use of the area given concern for lingering aerosols.
  • Providers should plan activities that maximize social distancing and avoid unnecessary contact between people.

Mandatory Practices for the Physical Environment

  • Providers must designate an isolation space, not utilized for other activities, for anyone who presents with symptoms during service delivery and immediately arrange for transportation to take the person to an appropriate place (residential setting, health care provider, etc.).
  • Providers must operate at a reduced capacity that allows for six feet of social distancing. Providers must assure each area accommodates no more than 12 total people, not including DSPs.
  • Providers must assign dedicated employees for each group/cohort and must maintain those assignments and cohorts to the extent feasible.
  • Providers must have a schedule for deep cleaning, which can occur daily but must occur once a week at a minimum. This should occur outside of normal business hours.

Best Practices for the Physical Environment

  • Providers can use temporary walls to divide a building into smaller areas to serve multiple groups, under the following limited circumstances:
    • Dividers must be at least six feet in height,
    • Dividers must be made from non-porous material or other material that can be sanitized,
    • Dividers must meet any requirements set by the Department of Commerce, local building department, state fire marshal, or local fire safety inspector.
  • Providers should install barriers when 6 feet of distancing is not possible to maintain physical distance.

Mandatory Practices for Confirmed Cases

  • Contact the local health department about confirmed cases or exposures and work with the local health department to facilitate contract tracing, notifications, and testing, as requested by the local health department.
  • Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any person who develops symptoms while at the facility and shut down their area for deep sanitation after identification of any person receiving services or staff who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Initiate appropriate care and tracing with their local health department.
  • Notify the appropriate county board of developmental disabilities about confirmed cases or exposures.

Personnel Flexibility

To deliver needed services and support to people with developmental disabilities, residential providers may need to augment their staff, as people will not be leaving their homes to attend day services and may need additional Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC) services in their homes.

Adult Day Support and Vocational Habilitation service providers may provide HPC services in the following ways.

  • If the Adult Day Support or Vocational Habilitation service provider is already certified to deliver HPC services, the provider may submit claims for HPC services directly to DODD through the Medicaid Billing System (eMBS). 
  • If the Adult Day Support or Vocational Habilitation service provider is not already certified to deliver HPC services, the provider can still utilize its staff to deliver HPC services by using one of the following two approaches: 
    • The provider may subcontract with a residential services provider. The residential services provider would bill DODD for the HPC services through eMBS and use the funding received to reimburse the Adult Day Support or Vocational Habilitation provider for the services rendered by their employees. 
    • The provider may apply through DODD’s Provider Services Management (PSM) system to have HPC added to their existing certification. Once the application has been submitted, the provider can utilize the “Communicate” feature within PSM to alert DODD that the application is a request to add HPC to an existing certification for an Adult Day Support or Vocational Habilitation provider. Upon receipt of the alert through the “Communicate” feature within PSM, DODD will expedite the processing of the application for HPC. The provider will be able to bill HPC through DODD’s eMBS for services rendered for any date on or after the date the application is submitted. 
    • Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is not a barrier to providing additional needed HPC.  
  • Adult Day Support and Vocational Habilitation service providers may also become certified in an expedited process to provide Residential Respite and Participant-Directed HPC services to people in need of those services. 
  • Providers may explore the availability of an alternative workforce, such as college students or people without high school diplomas or GEDs, as well as the possibility of working with local county boards of developmental disabilities to identify other potential groups of people in local communities. The staff person may be placed in a direct support position immediately. Providers must ensure that newly hired or reassigned DSPs have condensed training to recognize and report major unusual incidents (MUIs) and unusual incidents (UIs), as well as universal precautions. The training must include, at minimum, the definitions of MUIs and UIs and the agency’s procedures for reporting. 
  • If provider agencies need to share DSPs, a statement can be accepted from a DSP’s primary employer stating that the DSP has required training and background checks for them to work for a different agency. These employees must still receive person-specific training (including crisis intervention, if necessary) and site emergency response training.  A provider who chooses to utilize non-traditional DSPs in direct support positions must initiate appropriate background checks, driver’s abstract (if driving), and the required registry checks, but may place the staff person on the schedule immediately. RAPBACK is not required unless the staff person maintains a direct support position after June 1, 2020. Online CPR/first aid classes will be accepted until further notice. CPR/first aid certification as required by rule must be obtained if the staff person maintains a direct support position beyond the state of emergency. DSPs without current CPR/first aid may provide direct supports as long as the DSP is working with a nurse or at least one other DSP who has current CPR/first aid certification. 
  • Even with the lenient training requirements described above, medication administration training requirements have not changed. All independent providers and DSPs who are responsible for administering medication must have medication administration training. Providers whose certifications are expired for no more than 180 days may continue to administer medications and get renewal of certifications during that extension.  
  • Providers who are employing a high volume of new staff and/or new clients are reminded that EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) visit logging requirements remain in effect. The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is monitoring EVV visits as part of a larger strategy to identify people at risk during the crisis who may not be receiving the support they require to stay healthy and safe. However, it is understood that no available EVV device and other barriers may exist when logging a visit during service delivery. Please keep in mind that any visit that is not recorded in real-time can be entered manually online at a later point. EVV is not used to deny claims payment at this time.
  • If provider agencies need to share DSPs, a statement can be accepted from a DSP’s primary employer stating that the DSP has the required training and background checks for them to work for a different agency. These employees must still receive person-specific training (including crisis intervention, if necessary) and site emergency response training.  Additionally, HPC services may be provided by the utilization of DSPs currently employed by Adult Day Array provider agencies.
  • If the Adult Day Array service provider is already certified to deliver HPC services, the provider may submit claims for HPC services directly to DODD through the Medicaid Billing System.
  • If the Adult Day Array service provider is not already certified to deliver HPC services, the provider may enter into a sub-contractual arrangement with the residential services provider.  The residential services provider would bill for the HPC  services to DODD through the Medicaid Billing System and use the funding received to reimburse the Adult Day Services provider for the services rendered by their employees.
  • The provider may apply through DODD’s Provider Services Management (PSM) system to have HPC added to their existing certification. Once the application has been submitted, the provider can utilize the Communicate feature within PSM to alert DODD that the application is a request to add HPC to an existing certification for an Adult Day Support or Vocational Habilitation provider. Upon receipt of the alert through the Communicate feature within PSM, DODD will expedite the processing of the application for HPC. The provider will be able to bill HPC through DODD’s eMBS for services rendered for any date on or after the date the application is submitted.
  • Please note the certification requirement for EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) training is being waived at this time for new providers and existing providers adding HPC services during the state of emergency. Providers who have not completed training will not be able to access EVV data and log visits. Because EVV is not used to deny claims payment at this time, this will have no impact on reimbursement for services provided.
  • Providers who wish to continue delivering HPC services after the state of emergency has subsided will be required to take EVV training and begin logging visits at a later date.

Onboarding DSPs

As the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) responds to coronavirus (COVID-19), please continue to exercise flexibility to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families. DODD appreciates the unique role that providers of service and direct support professionals (DSPs) play throughout the developmental disabilities system.

Due to the state of emergency, DODD waived many requirements regarding the onboarding and training of DSPs. This list includes all related guidance and some available resources to agency providers for onboarding new DSPs.

Initial Training

  • New training requirements
    • Ensure that newly hired or reassigned staff have condensed training to recognize and report major unusual incidents (MUIs) and unusual incidents (UIs), as well as universal precautions. The training must include, at minimum, the definitions of MUIs and UIs, as well as the agency’s procedures for reporting.
  • Condensed training resource
    • The Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) created a DSP Abbreviated Training video and accompanying PowerPoint presentation.

CPR/First Aid

Medication Administration

Updated April 2*

BCII and/or FBI Background Checks

  • Guidance regarding background checks
    • If a provider is unable to initiate the required Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) and/or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) check before employment, the provider can employ an applicant and has up to 10 calendar days to initiate the BCII and/or FBI criminal record check.
  • Background check locations
    • Ohio Attorney General’s website
    • Please call ahead before traveling to any location to verify they are open and providing fingerprinting services at this time.

Reimbursement

In this critical time, everyone will be required to work collaboratively, operate differently, and be proactive to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It is important for people to engage in the activities they choose, with the services they need in the safest way possible. Given the higher rate of COVID-19 transmission and the likelihood of complications for people with developmental disabilities, DODD is asking teams to work closely with people with developmental disabilities and their families to determine the safest way to deliver adult day or employment services.

Through the person-centered team process, the team should consider, at any time in the process, alternative ADS, VH, or ICF Day Program options, including virtual or in-home services, as facility-based services may not be the wish of every person or the desire of every team.

Since July of this year, county boards of developmental disabilities have funded the state match needed to support the Acuity C rate for all center-based Adult Day Support (ADS) and Vocational Habilitation (VH) services.  This reimbursement level will remain in place for services delivered through December 31, 2020.

Services delivered on or after January 1, 2021, will be reimbursed at the Acuity B rate for all center-based ADS/VH services for people whose acuity group assignment is A, A-1, or B.  Reimbursement for people whose acuity group assignment is C will be at Acuity C rates.  Providers are asked to continue to utilize the Restart billing codes for people whose Acuity group assignment is A-1, A, or B.  Traditional ADS/VH billing codes are to be utilized for people whose Acuity group assignment is C.

Read more details in the Modified Enhanced Reimbursement for Center-Based Services guidance.

Current flexibilities that exist for providers:

  • ADS/VH can be provided in a person’s home, virtually, or on behalf of when determined appropriate through the person-centered planning process.
  • Personnel flexibility
    • ADS/VH providers may provide Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC) and Residential Respite.
      • Subcontracting with residential providers; or
      • Expediting adding these services to their provider certification
    • Onboarding DSPs
    • Sharing of direct support professionals (DSP) across agencies
    • Subcontracting with DSPs certified as independent providers of HPC
  • Reimbursement:
    • STEP billing code
    • Restart billing code

Increased flexibility with STEP Billing Code

During the COVID-19 pandemic, via Appendix K, DODD was able to approve the adult day support (ADS) and vocational habilitation (VH) service to be provided in modified ways to ensure essential adult day and employment services were available in smaller groups and in alternative settings. Appendix K revisions were available May 11, 2020 and are available through January 26, 2021.  DODD is working with state and federal partners at the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend or reapply Appendix K beyond that date. These revisions allowed DODD to approve adult day support and vocational habilitation service to be provided in someone’s home, virtually, or on behalf of. These are in conjunction with these services already being able to be provided in a developmental disability specific facility and/or a community setting.

To support ADS and VH being provided in the alternative ways (in small groups: in a person’s home, virtually, on behalf of) DODD created a billing code for providers to use when offering these services in these ways.

STEP Specifics Effective January 1, 2021:

  • Providing ADS and/or VH in a group no larger than 5 people, not including a DSP.
  • Providing ADS and/or VH in someone’s home, virtually, on behalf of, in the community, or in a combination of these ways. 
    • Services should not be delivered in a facility-based ADS or VH site, except for when a drop in is needed. A provider delivering ADS and/or VH in this way, may drop into a congregate setting. Groups must remain separated from ADS/VH cohorts within the congregate setting. People may remain within the congregate setting the amount of time necessary to address individual needs.

STEP Billing Code Rate:

  • The STEP billing code reimbursement rate is based on the service rates for Acuity Group C.
  • Services can be billed in 15 minutes or a daily rate. Please see ADS and/or VH rule regarding daily billing requirements.
  • County boards do not need to request an Administrative Budget Override for each person who utilizes ADS/VH STEP. DODD’s billing system will recognize that these billing codes are to be paid at the rates established for Acuity Group C.
  • If a person meets the established criteria, the provider may bill for the Medical Add-On and/or Behavioral Add-On as appropriate.

 

STEP Billing Codes:

As a rule, routine Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC), Shared Living, and ADS are not permitted to be billed concurrently. Any potential for overlaps between HPC or Shared Living services and this modified adult day service option will need to be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis and only authorized when supported by a documented need.

Providers who are interested in delivering ADS/VH in these alternative ways should contact the local county board to discuss which people might need and benefit from ADS and/or VH services delivered in this fashion.

DODD’s Medicaid Billing System will be able to accommodate claims with the STEP billing codes

The chart below includes the STEP billing codes and PAWS Roll-up codes which includes both 15-minute unit codes and the new day unit codes.

Waiver

Service Title

 

Unit Type

DODD Billing Code

PAWS Roll-up Code

 

 

 

 

 

IO

Adult Day Support - STEP

15 Minute

ADT

A25

IO

Adult Day Support - STEP

Day Unit

ADU

A25

IO

Vocational Habilitation - STEP

15 Minute

AVT

A25

IO

Vocational Habilitation - STEP

Day Unit

AVU

A25

 

 

 

 

 

LV1

Adult Day Support - STEP

15 Minute

FDT

F25

LV1

Adult Day Support - STEP

Day Unit

FDU

F25

LV1

Vocational Habilitation - STEP

15 Minute

FVT

F25

LV1

Vocational Habilitation - STEP

Day Unit

FVU

F25

 

 

 

 

 

SELF

Adult Day Support - STEP

15 Minute

SDT

S25

SELF

Adult Day Support - STEP

Day Unit

SDU

S25

SELF

Vocational Habilitation - STEP

15 Minute

SVT

S25

SELF

Vocational Habilitation - STEP

Day Unit

SVU

S25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IO

Adult Day Support - STEP - CI Add-on

15 Minute

ADO

A25

IO

Vocational Habilitation - STEP - CI Add-on

15 Minute

AVO

A25

 

 

 

 

 

LV1

Adult Day Support - STEP - CI Add-on

15 Minute

FDO

F25

LV1

Vocational Habilitation - STEP - CI Add-on

15 Minute

FVO

F25

 

 

 

 

 

SELF

Adult Day Support - STEP - CI Add-on

15 Minute

SDO

S25

SELF

Vocational Habilitation - STEP - CI Add-on

15 Minute

SVO

S25

 

Facility-based ADS and VH Services

ADS and VH services delivered in facility-based day programs are reimbursed through the existing ADS and VH rate structure, which utilizes the Acuity Group assignment for each person to determine the appropriate reimbursement rate. The duration of the service determines if the services are billed in fifteen-minute units or as a daily unit.

This approach includes any ADS and VH services that involve the person receiving services in an ADS or VH site as part of the service delivery day, even when the service delivery day includes various types of community activities.

Homemaker/Personal Care Services

If a person needs HPC services, they should choose from available, certified HPC providers. If no certified HPC providers are available to deliver the services due to the COVID-19 crisis, ADS and VH providers who are not certified to deliver HPC services may deliver and be reimbursed for services that would traditionally be categorized as HPC.

As these services are HPC, they cannot be reimbursed through the STEP model. These services are reimbursed through the existing ADS and VH rate structure, which utilizes the Acuity Group assignment for each person to determine the appropriate reimbursement rate. The duration of the service determines if the services are billed in fifteen-minute units or a daily rate. During the current state of emergency, this option may be utilized until the ADS and/or VH provider becomes certified to deliver HPC services or until a certified HPC provider can be obtained.

Providers currently certified in only ADS and/or VH are encouraged to apply to become certified to deliver HPC services to access the HPC rates for their delivery of HPC services.

As Ohio’s economy continues to reopen, Ohioans with developmental disabilities are looking to safely return to the places, jobs, and activities they love. It is imperative that people can engage in the activities they choose, with the services they need in the safest way possible. Given the higher rate of COVID-19 transmission and the likelihood of complications for people with developmental disabilities, providers will still need to submit written assurance  to the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) that all mandatory standards have been met before reopening or initiating services.

Transportation

The Ohio Public Transit Association has developed the following guidelines and best practices for public transit and human service transportation agencies during the coronavirus disease of 2019.

General Questions

Can Adult Day Support (ADS) and Vocational Habilitation services be billed at the same time someone is also receiving HPC or Ohio Shared Living (OSL)?

Yes, if two different providers (employees) are delivering services at the same time and the individual needs 2:1 staffing.  Otherwise, the provider of the service (either ADS or HPC) that person is receiving would bill for the appropriate service.

If the OSL provider is an independent provider who is working outside of the home and the individual needs assistance during the day because the OSL provider is working and the individual cannot go to a day program, then a second provider could be paid to come in and deliver ADS or HPC (as appropriate) while the OSL provider is away. If the OSL provider is an independent provider who does not work outside the home, the OSL provider will continue to bill OSL daily rate, as it is set up as an all-inclusive per diem. It is always anticipated that the number of hours of service needed might vary from day to day. 

If the OSL provider is an agency provider that pays an employee to deliver the shared living services and that employee also has another job outside of the home, then the same logic would apply if the agency needs to send a different employee into the home because the person can’t go to the day program.  The agency could bill for both OSL and whatever service (HCP or ADS) the other employee delivers.  If the employee who does the OSL does not work outside of the home, the agency should not need to augment the OSL services.  

If a provider is certified under both HPC and adult day does it matter which service is billed?

No, this decision will need to be made at the individual and team level which service is most appropriate.

If an ADS provider needs to bill HPC and works in a 24/7 home, does the provider need to subcontract with an HPC provider to stay under the 96 units/day?

The billing system can accommodate more than 96 units per day during the state of emergency as long as there is more than one provider delivering services and multiple DSPs are needed.

Are people with developmental disabilities who receive the Group Employment service and work at enclaves (less than 10) impacted by this order? Are they still able to go to work, if the workplace is open?

The order given by ODH Director Amy Acton on March 21 was related only to Adult Day Support and Vocational Habilitation services. The department wants to ensure that people with developmental disabilities who are in community employment are not impacted by this order, as some employers more than ever are needing their workforce. People with developmental disabilities are an important part of the workforce in Ohio. It is going to be important that all providers supporting people in community employment follow universal precautions and take necessary steps recommended by the CDC and ODH to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

How do we contact DODD for support?

In this critical time, everyone will be required to work collaboratively, operate differently, and be proactive to limit the spread of COVID-19. During this state of emergency, DODD fully realizes there are on-the-ground issues that require flexibility from normal operations and additional assistance from the department. DODD support teams are available and consist of staff ready to help county boards and providers. DODD has set up a dedicated web page for department communications and links to helpful resources that will advise people with disabilities, their families, service providers, direct support professionals, county boards of developmental disabilities, and the community at large.

DODD Support Teams

In this critical time, everyone will be required to work collaboratively, operate differently, and be proactive to limit the spread of COVID-19. During this state of emergency, DODD fully realizes there are on-the-ground issues that require flexibility from normal operations and additional assistance from the department.

DODD support teams are available and consist of staff ready to help county boards and providers.

DODD has set up a dedicated web page for department communications and links to helpful resources that will advise people with disabilities, their families, service providers, direct support professionals, county boards of developmental disabilities, and the community at large.

For specific questions about COVID-19 and additional information and resources, DODD urges you to use the Ohio Department of Health’s call center. Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634), or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Governor DeWine addressed the state on Friday, Dec. 4, in a press conference, sharing information about vaccine distribution in Ohio.

Initially, there will be a limited number of vaccines available, and Ohio is committed to making it widely available for those who want to receive it as quickly as possible as shipments arrive. In conjunction with the recommendations of medical experts from ACIP and NAESM, Ohio has identified who will be among the first to receive those very early shipments in Phase 1A, should they choose to be vaccinated:

  • Healthcare workers and personnel, who are routinely involved in the care of COVID-19 patients
  • Residents and staff in nursing homes
  • Residents and staff in assisted living facilities
  • Patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals
  • People with developmental disabilities and those with mental illness, who live in group homes or centers, and staff at those locations
  • Residents and staff at our two homes for Ohio veterans
  • EMS responders

Using all the tools available to help prevent the spread of the virus continues to be critical until a substantial number of Ohioans can be vaccinated. Continuing to wear masks and social distance will reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Proper prevention measures coupled with the vaccine will provide the best protection from COVID-19.

As vaccine supply increases, the state will continue to vaccinate Ohioans who choose to receive it.

Vaccine Related Resources

Ohio Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Understanding COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines