We encourage everyone to continue following all previously released guidelines and safety protocols regarding COVID-19 to ensure the health and wellness of the people we support, our employees, and their families. Safety precautions such as social distancing, hand washing and the appropriate use of PPE, like masks, are required and continue to be very important in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The Arc Montgomery County recognizes that it is becoming safer for the people supported in Community Living (residential) to resume some important activities, per the recent guidelines released by the CDC and Maryland’s Developmental Disability Administration. Consequently, The Arc has established new procedures that will allow some residents, who have been fully vaccinated, to visit family and/or friends. Additionally, The Arc will also continue to allow outdoor visitation at Community Living homes. However, virtual visits through Zoom, Facetime, etc. are still preferred and highly encouraged.
The following precautions must be followed with regard to visitation at any residence operated by The Arc Montgomery County.
- No visitation is permitted if any person supported within the home has been diagnosed or is symptomatic of COVID-19.
- All visitations must be approved and arranged in advance through the Assistant Directors and/or Team Coordinators.
- Indoor visitation is not permitted at this time.
- There are risks associated with visitations, so visitors will need to agree to all policies and procedures related to approved visits.
- Visitors will be screened prior to the visit. For the safety of the people we support and our employees, the following people will not be permitted to visit:
- Anyone who has COVID-19 and has not yet completed isolation, as recommended by CDC or the health department;
- Anyone who has any symptoms of COVID-19;
- Anyone who had close contact (defined as spending more than 15 minutes within six feet) with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- Visitors will be required to wear a well-fitting mask
- If tolerated, residents should wear a well-fitting face covering.
- The safest approach is for residents and their visitors to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet.
- If both the resident and the visitor are fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) while the resident and visitor wear well-fitting face coverings.
- Residents who are not fully vaccinated will not be permitted to have close contact with visitors.
- Hand sanitizing will be required by the resident and the visitors before and after visits.
Finally, note that visitation could be restricted if COVID-19 test positivity for the community where our homes are located rises above 10%, or the residents of a home have not been fully vaccinated.
Community Living residents who have been fully vaccinated may also leave their homes to visit family and/or friends. Due to the high risks associated with COVID-19, residents who have not been vaccinated are still not permitted to visit family and friends.
The following requirements must be met for residents who have been fully vaccinated to visit family and/or friends.
- None of the family and/or friends being visited:
- Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 for which they have not yet completed isolation, as recommended by CDC or the health department;
- Have any symptoms of COVID-19;
- Have had close contact (defined as spending more than 15 minutes within six feet) with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- All residents, regardless of vaccination status, must be tested for COVID-19 either 48 hours before returning to the Community Living home or immediately after returning. If residents return before receiving the test result, they should remain in their rooms until they receive a negative test result.
- While outside the home, all residents, regardless of vaccination status, should:
- Maintain six feet of physical distance from anyone who is not a member of the household they are visiting;
- Wear a face covering, if tolerated;
- Avoid crowds, poorly ventilated spaces, and any setting whether other people are likely to not be wearing face coverings (e.g., restaurants).