COVID-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Protocols

Re-opening for participants began August 17, 2020.

Participants must speak with a C.E.R.T.S. employee to make arrangements prior to returning to program.
NCC site: Melissa MacCord 302-731-0301, x 104 / KC site: Colleen Clark, LPN 302-731-0301, x 210 ,

DDDS Requirements for Service Recipients
• DDDS is requiring all service recipients to take temperatures at their homes and to record daily temperature and symptom screenings before gaining access to programs. If a temperature over 99.5F (37.5C) is present, the service recipient may not come to the program.
• If any of the following symptoms are present, the service recipient should not attend their day program: chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of taste or smell, difficulty breathing, fatigue, diarrhea, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or muscle/body aches.
Service recipients with any of the aforementioned symptoms will not be readmitted to the day program until they have received a negative COVID-19 test.

Transportation Requirements for Service Recipients
Both Logisticare (1-866-896-7211) and DART Paratransit (1-800-553-3278) are requiring that riders wear a mask.

Please call your transportation provider to get clarity on requirements and ensure transport is set up for your participant.

C.E.R.T.S. Request of Group Homes/Families
• Send in a face shield or clear mask with your participant DAILY. Participants cannot attend programming
without wearing one throughout the day, and we must be able to clearly see their face for medical reasons.
• If your participant uses a Hoyer lift, please send in a sling for his/her personal use during the program day.
• Send in several changes of summer clothes. We do not have extra clothes on hand.
• Send in wipes, attends, liners, tube feeding supplies (if needed) and any other necessary personal items.
• If you took any equipment home when we closed, please make arrangements to return the equipment if you want your participant to have access to it when s/he returns to the program.
• Frequently wash his/her clothes, coats/jackets and or blankets used during transport.
• Frequently clean and disinfect bookbags or backpacks.
• Clean and disinfect wheelchairs and/or any transport equipment.
• If we call you because your participant is exhibiting signs of illness, please make arrangements to pick him/her up immediately to avoid spreading the sickness. If your participant is not picked up in a timely manner, we may call 911 and have them taken to the ER in order for his/her safety and that of the other participants/staff.

Creating a Safe Environment: (based on guidance from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, Department of Public Health, and the Center for Disease Control)
• Educating staff: Prior to participants returning to the program, we will spend several days providing additional education to the direct support staff. The content will be based on best practices regarding COVID19 and general safety from OSHA and the CDC. In addition, staff will be re-oriented on the importance of handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, not touching one’s face, sneezing/coughing into the elbow, staying home when sick, making alternative child care plans in the event that daycares or schools are closed.
• Changing programming to maintain social distance of six feet, as is required by DDDS for the day program to reopen. Staff will work to ensure this distance is maintained between participants. Activities may not look the same as they did prior to the pandemic. For example, groups of people will not be working on an art project gathered around a table. They will not eat lunch sitting side by side.
• Wearing face coverings (masks/face shields) during the day (participants and staff). DDDS is requiring participants to wear either or a mask or face shield. If you choose a mask for your participant, make sure it has a clear plastic shield at the mouth for nurse observation capability.
• Modifying our participant arrival/departure process as follows: In the morning, a C.E.R.T.S. employee will receive participants at the front door. In the afternoon, the participant will be brought to the front door for departure. Bus drivers, parents and caregivers will not be able to accompany the participant to the program area upon arrival or departure. While waiting for entrance into the building and upon entrance, everyone should be wearing a face covering and maintain a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing.
• Taking temperatures of ANY PERSON entering the building beyond the front door area. Any person with a temperature of 99.5oF or greater will not be allowed to remain in the building. Participants will not be able to join in program activities, but will be monitored by staff in a separate area away from their peers until picked up by a caregiver. If the participant is not picked up in a timely manner, we may call 911 and have him/her sent to the hospital for the protection of other participants and staff. As per the DDDS guidance on re-opening of day programs, a person exhibiting symptoms of illness cannot return until they have received a negative COVID-19 test.
• Continuing to use hospital grade disinfectant on tables, furniture and equipment in between uses and after personal care of participants. This will be done no less than every two hours, as per DDDS requirement.
• Completing extra cleaning of high touch surfaces, such as door handles, telephones, light switches and keypads.
• Posting an advisory sign at the front door, warning anyone exhibiting signs of any illness to keep out of the building.
• Suspending temporarily all community outings.
• Canceling visiting programs (art therapy, pet therapy) temporarily.
• Postponing pending admissions of new participants.
• Holding meetings via teleconference instead of on-site.

Planning for Operational Continuity
The C.E.R.T.S. senior management team has developed a plan for operational continuity in the event of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The plan accounts for staff absenteeism and determines the minimum number of employees required at each site daily in order to safely conduct programming. In the event that the minimum staffing requirement cannot be met, operations at that site will be cancelled and the program closed for that day. Closure information will be posted on Facebook and on the our website ( and families/group homes will be contacted by a C.E.R.T.S. employee by phone, before 7:00 a.m. IF YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION HAS CHANGED, PLEASE ADVISE OF THE NEW NUMBER IMMEDIATELY TO ENSURE YOU CAN RECEIVE A MESSAGE IF NECESSARY.

Anyone with questions about COVID 19 should find their answers at RELIABLE sources such as:
• The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at
• DPH Public Call Center 1-866-408-1899. The call center is currently staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday
through Friday. There will be a recorded message after hours.
• DPH will also receive pubic email inquiries and questions at

We realize this is uncharted territory and ask for your patience, understanding, and compliance as we take the above steps to ensure your loved one and those involved with C.E.R.T.S. make it through this time without incident.

Do you have questions not yet answered? If so, please contact Melissa MacCord (New Castle County site) at or Colleen Clark (Kent County site) at