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Temporary Amendments to Policy and Procedure During Pandemic State of Emergency – ADS Specific

During the pandemic State of Emergency, it is necessary to adjust our policies and procedures frequently to meet needs of individuals, employees, and comply with changes in federal, state, and local regulations. Business operations must all shift to ensuring the health and safety of our individuals, employees, and the community at-large.

The procedures listed below are the operational/procedural amendments to Open Door policies that will be in effect during this time.  Due to the rapid changes presented with this unprecedented pandemic, it may be necessary to temporarily implement emergency procedures and alter any current policy in place. Management will send these alerts through email and post on our website.

Amendment Summary:

1. Health screening of individuals, employees, visitors, vendors, or anyone at facility or site:

The State of Ohio has ordered certain health screening of all employees, visitors, and individuals during this pandemic crisis. Open Door will comply with CDC/EMA/State of Ohio direction which requires EACH employee, visitor, vendor or anyone entering Open Door to take their temperature and record before being permitted to enter work area for each shift.

2. Supplies:

Open Door is working very diligently to obtain needed supplies during this period of crisis. As you know, some items have been limited. The administrative team will be shopping and trying to purchase items to limit staff and individual exposure. We have created an electronic form online that can be completed by any staff at any location at any time to request emergency food, supply, Personal Protective Equipment or other needs. Administration will try to obtain items immediately and will secure drivers to deliver these items directly to the location to staff/individuals. This is to limit outside exposure as much as possible. Open Door will comply with COVID-19 PPE reduction guidelines to use for emergency priorities.

3. Visitors, Volunteers, & Interns:

NO Open Door employee is allowed to have any outside visitors at ANY work site or location at this time. This includes NO volunteer or interns at this time unless essential to health/safety.

ICF – Open Door adheres to all CDC, ODH, and DODD recommendations regarding Visitations at the ICF locations.

4. Essential Employee Designation:

ALL Open Door employees that provide direct or medical service in any capacity are considered ESSENTIAL personnel. Therefore, in the State of Emergency or order for shelter in place, Open Door employees are required to still report to work due to the critical nature of our work. Open Door has letters to designate ESSENTIAL STATUS, VERIFICATION OF EMPLOYMENT, AND CARD for employees to carry with them. These should be presented if any questions arise regarding the ESSENTIAL designation of your position. 

5. Incident Hotline On-Call & Incident Reporting procedures:

All incident reporting, UI, MUI, and investigative procedures remain in effect per Open Door policy. They are available 24/7 to report any urgent issue and will convey immediately to the executive team. All communications for emergency situations should follow our current emergency policies in 7.00 series. The Incident investigations should be completed to prohibit face-to-face contact at this time, unless absolutely necessary for emergent abuse/neglect cases only. The Risk Management Coordinators may utilize virtual or telephonic interviews and electronic statements to gather needed information during this time. They should utilize fax, email, and electronic methods to obtain needed documents from outside locations at this time.

6. Events, Activities, Transportation, & Community Experiences:

Open Door facilities have been separated into spaces that allow distancing for up to 12 people in each section with bathroom and dining space in each. Open Door will limit events or activities at ADS sites to no more than 12 people to congregate in a separate space indoors (for example: art exhibitions/shows, company sponsored dances/parties, etc.) Whenever possible, Open Door will make the attempt to keep individuals in the group with the same people that they reside with or participate in activities with. Open Door will not rotate groups at this time to reduce exposure. Community experiences/ transportation will be provided per team agreement and all community experiences require the same sanitation, PPE, and preventative screening measures as in-house.

7. Isolation Designation & Quarantine Procedures:

If anyone is exhibiting symptoms or not feeling well while at ADS site, the staff will immediately notify the Medical Services Manager and Incident Hotline.  The staff will assist individual to the quarantine/isolation space.


CAC has dedicated spaces that can be utilized in the instance of needed isolation, quarantine, etc. CAC is already equipped with isolation PPE, emergency supplies, and equipment. If quarantine is initiated, our staff will work together to ensure one person is assigned to this designated location to oversee health and safety and provide coordination with team/residential provider. Open Door will work with residential provider/family on safe transportation arrangements.

8. Tours & Intakes:

Tours and intakes should be limited to emergency needs only at this time. Whenever possible, intake meetings and tours should be completed virtually or after hours when no one is present.

9. Admissions:

For admission to ADS programs, teams must complete risk/benefit analysis, consider PPE compliance and address any issues clearly in the individual plan. The ADS program reserves the right to request proof of vaccinations and/or negative COVID test before admission with attestation that the individual has not been exposed to anyone with COVID or symptoms of and that they have been quarantined for at least 14 days prior to admission. Programs will be implemented for Individuals who are experiencing issues with wearing facial coverings to assist them with doing this.  We have many different face shields and masks to try. We also will give them mask-free time away from others, if needed.

10. Individual Funds:

Whenever possible, face-to-face contact should be avoided for funds exchanges. Therefore, ADS will receive one monthly spending check to cover the monthly plans.

11. COVID-19 Communications, Updates, & Procedures:

The Executive team is committed to transparent communications during this time, therefore, all notices will be sent through mass email distributions.  IF you are not receiving mass email communications, please subscribe through our website or email/contact Melissa Combs at mcombs@opendoorcolumbus.org

Anyone is welcome to receive these updates including community partners, guardians/families, individuals served, employees, etc. Additionally, we have created a dedicated page on website where all COVID-19 response updates will be posted for easy reference.

12. PPE:

Due to the national shortage of PPE, Open Door has adopted the recommended crisis time protocols. The full PPE will be prioritized to the quarantined and isolation spaces where positive cases are being cared for or in sites with potential exposures present. There is a huge supply of PPE at the corporate office that can be delivered to any location at any time.


Each location will be provided with thermometer, gloves, masks, sanitizers, etc. Each location may request supplies through online COVID request form.

13. Sanitation & Environmental Infection Control:

All Open Door locations have been provided with proper sanitation guidelines/Environmental infection control information and can request any needed supplies through the COVID REQUEST FORM. Sanitation/cleaning lists are completed and documented as per the attached checklist. Frequent sanitation with approved cleaners assists with the reduction in transmission of COVID.

All employees will follow attached guidance on handwashing and use of hand sanitizers.

14. Nursing

All ADS staff will have Medication Administration Certification. The Medical Services Manager will be available during ADS hours for any medical need or emergency. All medications and treatments will be provided according to physician order sheets. The residential provider is responsible to have medication delivered to ADS or ADS may pick up when doing route if arrangements are secured.

15. Communal/Family Style Dining:

The CMS guidance from March 13, 2020 indicates risk factors identified in transmission related to congregate/communal dining. This includes guidance to separate individuals with proper distancing recommendations and guidance based on staff availability, individual ability and needs, environmental constraints. Open Door will continue to follow any CMS update regarding communal dining.

Meal practices have been temporarily altered to allow for:

  • Serving food in safe, alternate areas for those assessed to be able to feed self
  • Identifying high risk individuals and ensuring that they remain at least 6 feet distance from others especially while eating/drinking
  • Arrange meal sittings so that roommates are sitting together when possible
  • Alternate meal times if needed to ensure proper safety measures (rotate times)
  • Staff MUST perform handwashing or sanitizing EACH TIME when switching assistance between residents
  • Meal time focus should be on safety, proper handwashing, hydration, proper diets/texture modifications, and food service.

Guidance for Discontinuing Transmission-Based Precautions in COVID-19 Patients

Open Door follows ODH/CDC guidance regarding discontinuation of precautions.

Last Revised: 7/29/21

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