News

October 26, 2020

COVID-19 Update
In response to the current increase in COVID-19 cases in our community, please be assured that RCS has and continually is taking steps to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 within our facility.

In addition to taking temperatures and requiring face coverings at all times (except when eating or drinking), please know that we are doing the following every day:

• Maintain at least six feet of distance from each other
• Ensure frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer
• Wipe and sanitize all frequently touched surfaces
• Perform symptom monitoring checks
• Stagger program arrivals/departures
• Stagger break periods
• Limit access within the building
• Plastic curtain partitions installed in classrooms and work stations
• Reduced classroom sizes in order to maintain six feet of distance
• Consult regularly with Sheboygan County Public Health Dept.

This certainly is a challenging time for everyone, and we strongly believe that all of
these measures have helped us to minimize the risks at RCS. When we are notified that someone has tested positive, please be assured that RCS takes appropriate action to minimize the risk to others. Please know that we do not believe anyone is a direct contact at RCS when someone tests positive. Public Health deemed us to be low risk because of all the steps we have put into place and that we continue to maintain. Our staff has been doing a great job of communicating any issues as they arise, and we will immediately put into action a plan for those individuals involved, which most of the time means staying home until it is safe to return. We follow CDC guidelines as well as Public Health to assist us.
 
It is our top priority and goal to keep everyone safe. We are continually making changes to our strategies so that we keep our risk low at RCS. It takes all of us working together to minimize the risks. Thank you.

Martha A. VandeLeest
President
 
https://www.facebook.com/rcsempowersinc/videos/1165809737120698/

Phase 1 Criteria for Participants

RCS Case Managers will identify potential candidates for return to Day Service or Prevocational Service in Phase 1 based on the following criteria.

  1. Ability to understand and follow through with social distancing, hand washing, covering when coughing/sneezing.
  2. Ability to wear a face covering or face shield.
  3. Ability to understand and follow through with not sharing items, only using tools and supplies given to them (not sharing art supplies, tablets, etc.).
  4. Can recognize and report when they are not feeling well.
  5. Does not require personal care or other service requiring close proximity to staff.
  6. Has transportation to and from RCS Empowers (No Heidenreiter Bus).
  7. Preference for people attending Day Service or Prevocational Service five days per week (no split schedules with Day Service and Work in Phase 1).
  8. Is not considered “high risk” according to CDC guidelines:
  1. People 65 years and older
  2. People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    1. People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
      1. People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
      1. People who have serious heart conditions
      1. People who are immunocompromised
      1. Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
      1. People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
      1. People with diabetes
      1. People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
      1. People with liver disease
  3. For Prevocational Service: With training, is independent in following sanitization procedures.

Health and Safety Measures

  • Temperatures will be taken upon arrival. People with temperatures above the identified threshold will not be able to remain at RCS.
  • Participants and staff will wear face coverings which could include face masks, bandanas, or face shields. RCS will provide masks or face shields and wash/sanitize them.
  • Shared congregating spaces like the Atrium, Coffee Lounge and Leisure Area will not be open.
  • Color-coded walking paths will identify one-way traffic routes and provide the best flow through the building to reduce contact. 
  • Microwaves and refrigerators are not in use so people will need to plan lunches accordingly. Food Service is operating for those who would like RCS meals. Meals orders must be placed by Thursday of each week for the following week. During Phase 1, participants must remain on site for lunch.
  • Start and end times will be staggered to reduce potential for contact between people.
  • Additional sanitizing measures have been added throughout the building.
  • Handwashing will be required at multiple times throughout the day. Each classroom has a sink as well as hand sanitizer.  The work floor has additional hand sanitizer.
  • Plexiglas and other clear barriers will be used throughout the building as an additional safety measure.
  • Participants and staff who are not feeling well will be asked to stay home. If someone becomes ill while at RCS, he/she will need to go home immediately. They will be isolated from the group until transport takes place.
  • RCS will provide training to all participants via Webex or phone before they return to RCS so they are prepared for the changes that are taking place and understand what they need to do.
  • If a person tests positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone who is positive, RCS will use guidance from the Public Health Department to identify how long to quarantine and when the person can return to RCS.

Day Service Structure

  • Day Service will be offered to 24-26 participants who will be split into four groups (6-8 participants per group depending on room size).
  • Each group will have one instructor. Participants will remain with the same instructor every day.
  • Each group will be assigned to one classroom or space that allows for everyone to remain at least six feet apart.
  • Lockers will not be used. Personal belongings like jackets and lunch boxes will be kept in the classroom.
  • Lunch will be eaten in the classroom. Meals from the RCS kitchen will be delivered to the classroom.
  • No sharing of supplies (markers, pens, art supplies). Each participant will have their own container of supplies which will be sanitized.
  • Groups may go outdoors for fresh air and exercise. Social distancing and other precautions will remain in place while outdoors.
  • No community outings during Phase 1.

Prevocational Service Structure

  • Prevocational Services will be offered to ten participants initially.
  • All work will be in the Packaging department.
  • Participants will be assigned to a work station and will use the same work station each day.
  • Work stations will be sanitized as needed during the day and at the end of each day.
  • Schedules
    • Start times and end times are staggered to ensure proper follow through of requirements for arrival and departure: 7:45, 8:00, 8:15, 8:30 arrival times.
    • Participants cannot be scheduled for more than 6.5 hours or less than 5 hours per day and will be scheduled full time (Monday-Friday) (7:45-2:15, 8-2:30, 8:15-2:45, 8:30-3)
  • Lockers will not be used. Personal belongings must be kept to a minimum and will be stored at the work station. Work supplies (timecard, pencil, gloves, sanitizing materials) will be stored in a washable bin.  
  • Seats in the Commons will be marked to maintain adequate spacing for breaks and lunch. Participants will be asked to return to the same seat each time they use the Commons.

Visitors

  • No non-essential visitors will be allowed in the building. Anyone entering the building, including essential visitors, must wear a face covering.
  • The RCS Visitor Entrance remains locked and is manned on a limited basis. Visitors should call or make prior arrangements with an RCS staff member to greet them upon arrival.
  • Meetings will be conducted virtually whenever possible.

Drop Off/Pick Up

  • Vehicles should pull up to the Participant entrance sliding doors. Remain in your vehicle until an RCS staff member takes your temperature and asks you to come in. You will need to wear a face covering to enter the building.
  • For pick-up, vehicles should pull all the way up to the furthest east door (#5) in front of the building and wait for participants to be escorted to the vehicle. Please do not come into RCS to pick someone up.  

Conclusion

Participants returning to services will be asked to sign a pledge indicating that they will, to the best of their ability, follow these expectations. As we move forward in reopening on-site services, we will closely monitor progress, assess practices, and keep health and safety at the center of everything we do. This will be a team effort and we appreciate your support. In the coming weeks, we will be developing Phase 2 to bring additional participants back to RCS. We recognize that each person will need to assess their readiness to return to services. We have learned that remote services are a great option for many people and we will continue to provide those services including RCS Connects, 1:1 services, and Job Coaching/Employment Supports. If at any time you have questions or concerns, please contact your RCS Case Manager or a member of management.

RCS Empowers, Inc. Pledge of Personal Responsibility and

Expectations for Participation in Services

I,__________, am aware that COVID-19 has directed the need to implement new procedures to help promote the health and safety of everyone. I understand that it is important that we all practice steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  

Therefore, I will, to the best of my ability practice:

  • Proper social distancing at RCS and outside of RCS as recommended by health department directives. At RCS this includes:
    • Staying 6 feet apart whenever possible
    • Following designated walking routes at RCS
    • Avoiding contact with others whenever possible (no handshakes, high fives, hugs)
  • Good hygiene which includes:
    • Properly washing my hands for 20 seconds
      • Before I start work
      • Entering/Exiting a classroom
      • After using the restroom
      • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing my nose
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After removing my gloves
      • After finishing work
      • As directed by RCS staff
    • Using hand sanitizer when handwashing is not possible
    • Wearing a mask or face shield as required
    • Covering any cough or sneeze
    • Avoid touching my face
    • Properly sanitizing my area and the items I use at RCS as required
  • Any other recommendations from RCS designed to keep me and others healthy and safe.

Should I become ill, I promise to contact RCS to let them know of my condition.  I will stay home for the length of time recommended by RCS.  If I am exposed or suspected to be exposed to COVID-19, I will notify RCS as soon as possible and will self-quarantine for the length of time recommended by RCS.  I will also adhere to testing guidelines and work with my own primary care providers if it is suspected that I could have COVID-19. 

If I am unable to follow the expectations set forth by RCS Empowers, Inc., I understand that I will be asked to remain home until I am able to comply with these expectations and/or RCS Empowers Inc., is able to safely accommodate me.

Signature                                                                                                                             Date

Guardian Signature (if applicable)                                                                             Date