FAQ Regarding Resuming Required In-Person Support Coordinator Visits with Consumers

Published On: May 13th, 2020Categories: Advocacy Papers, SCA

The following are FAQ’s regarding the resumption of in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below the question are ideas for DDD administration to consider adopting for the reintroduction of required face to face visits by Support Coordinators.

We believe it is unrealistic to expect an SC to be required to visit their entire caseload in one month as the current moving forward of the visit schedule in iRecord now requires. Therefore, we recommend that DDD stagger the reintroduction of face to face visits so no more than 1/3 of an SC’s caseload have required visits reintroduced in each month. This will ensure all consumers will receive a visit within 3 months of resuming the monthly visit requirement. Missed home visits should take priority in setting out the resumption schedule.

As broad based testing increases exponentially, if SC’s are required to do in-person visits, we believe they should be treated as priority workers and should have access to available testing, if they meet the requirements to receive a test.

We believe any resumption of required visits must 1st ensure the health and safety of all meeting participants. This includes postponing all required visits that are scheduled to occur during a period when a household or facility is following all quarantining guidelines established by the state. We also believe respecting the wishes and concerns of consumer’s, Guardians, Families and Providers while also ensuring the general well-being of the consumer must be the fundamental principle when resuming visits. In the event a consumer, guardian, family or provider do not want a face to face visit on a premise, an alternative setting visit site should be proposed, for example, a home visit could occur outside the home, let’s say on the families’ porch or property. This will allow for social distancing between the parties and the use of masks by all parties while also allowing the SC to ensure the Consumers is well physically and emotionally.

If an alternative site is not possible, electronic visits allowing face to face interaction (zoom, Teams etc.,) should be allowed to constitute a face to face visit.

If both an in-person visit and/or electronic visit are not possible then the SC can still do a telephone visit while moving the contact visit icon to the next month.

If consumers, guardians, families, and providers wish to have an in-person meeting every effort must be made to ensure the safety and protections of all participants.

a. All participants need to ensure social distancing to the greatest extent possible is maintained during the meeting. If this is not possible then an alternative setting for the meeting should be established. If not feasible, the meeting requirement can be waived.

b. All participants need to agree to utilize DDD’s guidance for individuals and families regarding obtaining the current physical condition and exposure to someone with COVID-19 before entering a home while also agreeing to have their temperatures taken before the meeting to try to ensure they are not ill before a meeting begins. Those who answer yes to any question in the questionnaire or have a current temperature will not be able to attend the meeting. If the home is quarantined the meeting will be postponed and the meeting requirement may be waived due to COVID-19.

c. All non-participants should be required to wear PPE, including masks during a meeting. Participants will have the choice of wearing or not wearing PPE.

The State is providing some PPE for Providers of Group Homes. Access to this resource should be made available to SC agencies. In addition, since the state has access to purchasing resources that are far superior to the resources of most SC agencies, we believe the state should either purchase PPE for distribution to SC agencies, or provide lists of PPE providers that SC Agencies can use to purchase PPE.

SC agencies should be included in any state or Federal law that will protect them from liability and lawsuits, if required to do in-person visits and unknowingly are ill with COVID-19 and possibly spread the disease to a consumer, provider, or family member.

We believe any resumption of required visits must 1st ensure the health and safety of all meeting participants. This includes postponing all required visits that are scheduled to occur during a period when a household or facility is following all quarantining guidelines established by the state. We also believe respecting the wishes and concerns of consumer’s, Guardians, Families and Providers while also ensuring the general well-being of the consumer must be the fundamental principle when resuming visits. In the event a consumer, guardian, family or provider do not want a face to face visit on a premise, an alternative setting visit site should be proposed, for example, a home visit could occur outside the home, let’s say on the families’ porch or property. This will allow for social distancing between the parties and the use of masks by all parties while also allowing the SC to ensure the Consumers is well physically and emotionally.

If an alternative site is not possible, electronic visits allowing face to face interaction (zoom, Teams etc.,) should be allowed to constitute a face to face visit.

If both an in-person visit and/or electronic visit are not possible then the SC can still do a telephone visit while moving the contact visit icon to the next month.

If consumers, guardians, families, and providers wish to have an in-person meeting every effort must be made to ensure the safety and protections of all participants.

a. All participants need to ensure social distancing to the greatest extent possible is maintained during the meeting. If this is not possible then an alternative setting for the meeting should be established. If not feasible, the meeting requirement can be waived.

b. All participants need to agree to utilize DDD’s guidance for individuals and families regarding obtaining the current physical condition and exposure to someone with COVID-19 before entering a home while also agreeing to have their temperatures taken before the meeting to try to ensure they are not ill before a meeting begins. Those who answer yes to any question in the questionnaire or have a current temperature will not be able to attend the meeting. If the home is quarantined the meeting will be postponed and the meeting requirement may be waived due to COVID-19.

c. All non-participants should be required to wear PPE, including masks during a meeting. Participants will have the choice of wearing or not wearing PPE

The State is providing some PPE for Providers of Group Homes. Access to this resource should be made available to SC agencies. In addition, since the state has access to purchasing resources that are far superior to the resources of most SC agencies, we believe the state should either purchase PPE for distribution to SC agencies, or provide lists of PPE providers that SC Agencies can use to purchase PPE.

SC agencies should be included in any state or Federal law that will protect them from liability and lawsuits, if required to do in-person visits and unknowingly are ill with COVID-19 and possibly spread the disease to a consumer, provider, or family member.

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