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What COVID-19 Means for Families

As a companion to DODD's guidance about the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, the department has provided explanations about how specific guidance relates to families of Ohioans with developmental disabilities.

General

  • Governor Mike DeWine Executive Order
    • Governor DeWine declares a state of emergency which allows state departments and agencies to better coordinate their response to COVID-19.
    • The order allows state departments and agencies to develop and implement new rules and procedures to protect the lives, health, and safety of people in Ohio.
    • All citizens are asked to follow the advice of the Ohio Department of Health.
  • Having a Meaningful Day during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home Order (DODD)
    • Despite Governor DeWine’s Stay-at-Home Order, people with developmental disabilities can continue to have enjoyable and meaningful days.
    • This resource provides content areas people with disabilities can continue to engage in and suggests specific activities people can do, such as physical activities, arts, creativity, and virtual opportunities.

DODD Messages

  • What COVID-19 Standards of Care Means for Families
    • In response to input received from Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), the Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Department of Medicaid collaborated to create this guidance about standards of care for vulnerable populations in hospital settings.
  • What LTSS Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit Means for Families
    • The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), working with the Department of Health, Department of Medicaid, and Department of Aging, created a plan for supporting people in long-term care facilities and homes who may have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). Please do not use this document on its own. Its purpose is to help families understand the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit.

  • Temporary Change to Permit Parents to Provide Waiver Services to Their Minor Children
    • DODD is seeking approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to temporarily allow a parent of a minor child who is enrolled in the Individual Options (IO) Waiver or Level One Waiver to be employed by an agency and be a paid caregiver for their child or children.
    • This would only be allowed when there is an immediate need, and the regular provider and alternate provider are not available or able.
    • This option is intended to address needs that cannot be met through any other means and is only available throughout the state of emergency
    • Permitting and authorizing a parent of a minor child would be a new authorization in the Individual Service Plan (ISP) and must be determined, by the team, that the child has a need for and would benefit from the waiver service and that it falls within their budget and funding range cap.
  • ODH Order Requires Facilities to Notify Residents, Guardians of COVID-19 Cases
    • The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) order issued April 15 requires that all Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) licensed facilities give notice to residents and guardians within 24 hours of t
    • he first time they have a positive or probable case of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the facility.
    • Notification can be electronic, telephone, or written.
    • The notice should never include the name of the staff member or person with disabilities.
    • The notice requirement is only required for the first time a case is reported. If a second case occurs, or other cases occur in the facility, another notice is not required.
  • Guidance: Temporary Changes to Adult Day Services
    • The stay-at-home order and order to limit adult day service locations to fewer than 10 people has changed the daily lives of many Ohioans with developmental disabilities.
    • DODD strongly encourages providers that usually provide support in group settings to do everything possible to continue to support people, in person, within their residence through the various adult day services and/or the Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC) service.
    • Adult Day Support (ADS) has only allowed for services to be delivered in-person and does not allow for those services to be provided in the home of the person with disabilities. Therefore, DODD is seeking approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to temporarily modify the service definition of ADS within its home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers in three specific ways:
      • Include the delivery of ADS services:
        • in the home of a person with disabilities,
        • on behalf of a person with disabilities,
        • and through technological means (phone or other electronic options).
  • Guidance: Best Practices for Family Visitation to Residential Settings (April 2)
    • If your family member resides in a group home, intermediate care facility (ICF), or with a roommate, you must not remove your family member from their home unless essential for their health or safety, because this poses an increased risk of exposing everyone in their home upon their return.
    • Providers have the option to, upon return, place the person in their room for a 14-day quarantine; or to refuse the person from returning until the Ohio Department of Health says it is safe to do so.
  • Guidance: COVID-19 Prevention and Response for Individual and Family Home Waiver Settings (March 19)
    • These are recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in individual and family home wavier settings, including checklists, plain language information, and things that can be done to prepare for and prevent COVID-19.
    • This guidance shares recommendations for what to do when someone has been in contact with someone else know to have COVID-19, when someone has symptoms, and when a DSP is being tested or has been tested with results showing they have COVID-19.
  • DODD's Statewide Support Teams Available for COVID-19 Response (March 14)
    • DODD has many employees who are working to help people with disabilities and their families during this pandemic. Employees cover regions of the state and work together. They include:
      • Community Resource Coordinators,
      • the Office of System Support and Standards,
      • Community Life Engagement managers,
      • and dual diagnosis in mental illness and intellectual disabilities liaisons.
  • Guidance: Environmental Accessibility Adaptations (Home Mods)
    • DODD is asking county boards and providers to place home modification requests on hold, unless the request is needed because there is an immediate risk to health and welfare for the person receiving services.
      • DODD is not denying the request but is unable to support the request, unless it meets the immediate risk to health, safety, and welfare as noted above, and all appropriate documentation is included.
  • Guidance: Waiver Disenrollment
    • Due to the state of emergency, waiver dis-enrollment should only be processed for the following reasons:
      • Voluntary requests (verbal or written)
      • Person moved out of state
      • Person has died
      • Person has spent more than 90 consecutive days in facility (intermediate care facility, developmental center, or nursing facility)
      • Person is incarcerated
  • Guidance: Providers of Waiver-Funded Services
    • Following guidelines of social distancing, providers may limit the delivery of services in community settings when appropriate.
    • Providers may not discharge a person from services only due to the diagnosis of COVID-19.
    • Providers are encouraged to ensure that a person-centered approach to services is maintained by communicating with people receiving services, their families, guardians, and direct support professionals (DSPs) to keep them updated on how they can stay safe during this state of emergency.
    • DODD encourages providers to explore alternative service delivery methods, such as the use of Remote Support or allowing people to receive services in the homes of direct support professionals. People receiving services, guardians, and teams must be consulted and approve these alternatives.
  • Guidance: Independent Providers of Waiver-Funded Services
    • During this state of emergency, independent providers are able to exceed the 60-hour ceiling for providing services, if necessary, to maintain the health and safety of people receiving supports. Independent providers will still require authorization from the service and support administrator (SSA). However, independent providers do not need to wait for the Individual Service Plan (ISP) to be updated or signatures to be gathered. Verbal or electronic authorization will suffice.
  • Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Locations Announced
    • There are places available to visit to get free internet services.
    • A list of hotspot finders and locations by provider is available at innovateohio.gov.
      •  Those without internet access are urged to visit a known hotspot to access the complete list.
  • Prescription Delivery Options Available
    • Many pharmacies are offering delivery options that they may not have provided before.
    • It could be helpful to have prescriptions sent to your home so nobody has to travel out to get medicine during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Resources

  • Charting the LifeCourse Integrated Star for Social Distancing (March 27)
    • Social distancing is new and hard, but there are many resources and supports you may have available to you that have never been used before.
    • This tool helps you think about what supports you have to live a good life during this period of change.
  • Having a Meaningful Day during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home Order (March 27)
    • Despite the Governor DeWine’s Stay-at-Home Order, people with developmental disabilities can continue to have enjoyable and meaningful days.
    • This resource provides content areas people with disabilities can continue to engage in and suggests specific activities people can do, such as physical activities, arts, creativity, and virtual opportunities.
  • Social Stories (March 20)
    • Explaining to loved ones can be difficult during uncertainty and change.
    • Social stories are a way to help someone understand what is happening and how to regulate their thoughts and feelings, which can have a big impact on their response to change.
    • There are many free resources for learning about and using social stories.

Plain Language, General Info

  • Plain Language about Day Programs Closing (April 2)
    • To prevent spread of COVID-19, new rules have been made to keep everyone healthy.
    • This simple language resource, with pictures, says why programs are closing.
  • Plain Language Information on COVID-19 (March 19)
    • This simple language resource, with pictures, explains what COVID-19 is, how it is spread, what happens if you have it, how to stay healthy, and what to do if some you live with or a direct support professional (DSP) gets sick.
  • COVID-19 Information for Families (March 19)
    • This simple resource shares how to stay healthy, how to plan and prepare for COVID-19, and what to do if someone is sick.