OPWDD Certified Day Program Safety Plan

The Day Program Safety Plan is designed to ensure safe and structured guidelines to welcome back participants to onsite day programs at Gateway. We want you to know that we continue to work diligently to protect both the individuals we serve and staff at Gateway as we adapt to the new normal of the pandemic. The below plan is in accordance with the guidance document, Interim Guidance Regarding the Reopening of Day Services Certified by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

If you have any questions about the Safety Plan, please contact the Chief Quality and Compliance Officer at 845-331-1261 ext. 227.


  1. Signage

The following educational flyers will be posted at multiple locations throughout certified program space;

  • Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19- DOH poster
  • Face Masks and Coverings for COVID-19- DOH poster
  • Wash Your Hands- CDC Poster (also posted in identified program bathrooms)
  • Agency sign informing of social distancing practices

The following agency specific flyers will be posted at the program entrance;

  • Sign requiring masks to be worn upon entering the building
  • Sign requiring temperature and questionnaire completion for all staff and visitors prior to entrance
  • Sign informing non-essential visitors are not permitted in certified program space

A. Entrance to Site Based Programs

Employee Screening

  1. All employees must screen for symptoms and temperature, either prior to or upon entrance to the site and every 12 hours thereafter if still on shift and record in the appropriate log.

a) If an employee, while entering or on-site, has a fever (100 degrees or above), they need to leave the site/facility immediately and notify their supervisor. Contact Tracing and Infection control procedures will be initiated (see protocols on Infection Control and Contact Tracing)

b) If an employee, while offsite, has a fever (100 degrees or above), they need to notify their supervisor immediately and NOT report to their site.

c) In both a and b above, the employee must also contact their medical care provider and local department of health for further guidance. (Ulster County-845-340-3150, Dutchess County 845-436-3400)

d) If a staff member refuses to screen, they may be sent home (unpaid) and are subject to disciplinary action.

e) Logs will be reviewed daily (M-F) at the JCC and weekly at residential sites/offices. Information will be secured separately from HR file, held within the Compliance Department.

Visitor Screening

  1. Visitors will be limited based on necessity- Non-essential visitors will not be allowed in Day Hab certified space.
  2. Visitors will be required to call front desk upon arrival to coordinate entrance to the building.
  3. Visitors will be required to have temperature taken and be briefly assessed for exposure/symptoms. If the visitor has a temperature of 100 degrees or above or answered yes to exposure/symptoms, they will be asked to immediately leave and reschedule. This must be reported through the chain of command.
  4. Delivery persons do not necessarily require temperature or exposure/symptom screening. However, individuals providing deliveries must wear a mask and be limited to entryways. If a delivery person needs to enter the main area of the building, they will need complete screening.
  5. All visitors MUST wear a mask while in the building.
  6. Signage will be posted on entrances advising against entering the building if feeling sick and mask use.
  7. Logs will be reviewed daily (M-F) at the JCC and weekly at residential sites/offices. Information will be secured separately from HR file, held within the Compliance Department.

Participant Screening

  1. All participants must be screened prior to entering building or participating in program.
  2. Social distancing markers will be placed outside of program entrance to help create identification of appropriate social distancing space and/or; Participants will be asked to stay in their vehicle until called for entrance.
  3. Screening will consist of temperature check and symptom/exposure screening.

a) If the participant has a temperature of 100 degrees or above or answered yes to exposure/symptoms, they will be isolated with a staff member until they are able to be picked up or transported home.

b) Staff will notify the local health department and OPWDD of any suspected cases.

Staff Testing

  1. All employees must comply with requests from Human Resources to be tested when the need is identified.
  2. Hourly employees will be paid 2 hours in order to receive testing.
  3. Employees that have been in close proximity/exposed to an individual with COVID-19 and DO NOT have symptoms, may/will be asked to continue to work as outlined by DOH, OMH or OPWDD guidance.
  4. Employees should go to the closest testing location or coordinate through their primary doctor or local Department of Health.
  5. Gateway Hudson Valley will not request employees to get antibody/serum testing, however, it is the right of the employee to complete on their own time. Employees can choose whether to inform Human Resources as desired.

Staff Return to Work

  1. Test results must be submitted to Human Resources prior to return to work.

a) Staff with negative test results will be permitted to return immediately.

b) Staff with positive test results and no symptoms may be required to continue to work depending on position, necessity of services, and as outlined by DOH, OMH, or OPWDD.

c) Staff with positive test results and active symptoms may be required to:

    • Isolate at home for minimally 7 days after illness onset and no fever for the last 72 hours of the 7 days, without the use of fever-reducing medication and with other symptoms improving OR;
    • Isolate for up to 14 days following onset of illness OR;
    • Isolate until cleared by a Medical Provider.

2. Human Resources or a member of the Executive Team must clear employee before they are able to return to work.

Participant Return to Program

  1. Individuals will not be able to participate in Day Hab programming if;
    1. They are suspected to have COVID-19- including symptoms and/or fever.
    2. Their residence (family/certified) is in quarantine or isolation.
  1. In order for individuals to return to program after suspected/confirmed COVID-19 exposure, they must;
    1. Have no symptoms/fever for at least 3 days without fever-reducing medications; AND
    2. Follow current NYS DOH guidance for length of quarantine/isolation; OR
    3. Submit a negative test result.

B. Social Distancing Requirements

  1. The following processes will be in place to ensure effective practices to facilitate social distancing when distancing is not possible; 
    1. There will be no more than 15 participants of service in one group, assigned to 1 staff to reduce the total number of individuals served at one time, in order to reduce congestion and facilitate easier social distancing.
    2. Visuals and signs will designate maximum capacity per confined spaces including bathrooms, conference rooms and staff lounge to maintain no more than 50% occupancy in small/confined spaces within a program, such as a staff break room.
    3. Floor markers will indicate designated program space as use of physical barriers within site-based spaces.
  1. The information below details the plan to ensure the appropriate safety regarding capacity and arrangement of furniture and/or work equipment in program rooms,  workspaces and meal and seating areas to allow for social distancing of at least six feet apart in all directions:

a. Each participant will be seated six feet from the other; Each individual will have their own table, chair and supplies assigned; circles on the floor will indicate each individual space

b. Mealtime and process- Individuals will have lunch at their assigned table. Participants/Caregivers will ensure food is prepared appropriately for safe consumption.

c. Staff will:

    • Provide disposable utensils
    • Heat food, when necessary, following safe protocols
    • Use appropriate hand hygiene and PPE while handling food
    • Staff lunch breaks will be staggered to ensure appropriate social distancing
    • A backup staff member will be available to accommodate staff breaks
    • No food or drink will be shared and no buffet style dining allowed
  1. The use of signage and floor/distance markers will be used to denote spaces of six feet throughout program area spaces, common spaces, waiting areas, entry, exits and other areas of travel
  1. Tape with arrows and labels that read must keep six feet apart will be utilized to facilitate one directional foot traffic where necessary in narrow spaces
  1. The installation of dividers that can be adjusted as needed, will be utilized to ensure the appropriate space between program/workspaces, especially when physical distancing is not feasible between program/workspaces.

  2. Tape, signs and color-coding will be used to make spaces visible on floor and walls to support and educate individuals to learn physical distancing, patterns of movement, and other program safety strategies.

  3. To maintain a staffing plan that prevents staff from floating between different groups unless absolutely necessary, the following plan has been developed:

a. One staff will be assigned to a group per day; there will be at least one backup staff available on site per day. Backup staff will be available to relieve staff assigned to their group for breaks, lunch and for unforeseen circumstances. The Program nurse will also be on site and available for back up

b. Staff will be assigned break times/lunch on a staggered schedule to prevent over population in common break areas. There will be designated break areas to provide adequate space for staff to adhere to social distancing while completing independent tasks (i.e. paperwork) and when taking breaks (i.e. eating or smoking)

C. Gatherings in Enclosed Spaces


  1. A private room/office that is in the close proximity to the designated program space will be utilized for staff to meet with participants individually, if needed. The nurse’s office can also be used, and is in close proximity to the space where program will be provided
  1. Groups will consist of no more than 15 participants and program hours will be reduced to allow blocks of service provision while maintaining reduced capacity and group size

  2. Participants will be assigned to their own physical space area, which will be six feet apart from other areas. Individuals will eat snack/lunch in their personal space, rather than going to the cafeteria or another area for lunch. Staff will remain in the area specific to their group of participants, breaks will be staggered to ensure the group (≤15) of individuals receiving services, and staff working with them are as static as possible

  3. One group of no more than 15 individuals will be assigned to one staff member per day, with the exception for breaks/lunch and unforeseen circumstances. The same group will remain together throughout the day and will stay in the designated area that they are assigned to when starting the day to ensure stable groups of individuals and staff have minimal contact with others

  4. The Safety Plan will be reviewed with individuals and staff to ensure adherence to social/physical distancing practices identified in the safety plan

  5. Food/beverage sharing and buffet style dining will be prohibited and enforced by program staff

  6. It is required that individuals bring their own lunch and snacks to program each day. Staff will be assigned to heating meals in microwave as needed for participants; staff will be required to wear appropriate PPE and practice proper hand washing hygiene when heating meals and will follow food safety protocols

  7. Each participant/caregiver will verbally agree to wash reusable food utensils and storage containers in the dishwasher on the hottest wash and dry setting

D.  Day Program Schedule and Activities


  1. A private room/office that is in the close proximity to the designated program space will be utilized for staff to meet with participants individually, if needed. The nurse’s office can also be used, and is in close proximity to the space where program will be provided
  2. Participants will be assigned their own supplies. Any supplies that will be utilized by more than one participant will be sanitized, before and after use.
    1. Staff will focus on activities with little or no physical contact and which do not rely on shared equipment, to the extent possible.
  3. Activities will be practiced and scheduled following all social distancing requirements:
    1. Groups will remain at 15 participants or less, at all times.
    2. Activities that cannot be safely practiced with the six feet requirement will be prohibited.


E. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- Refers to protective garments that shield from injury of infection. Examples of PPE that may be used at Gateway Hudson Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Face masks (cloth, 3-ply, N95, KN95)
  • Latex/rubber gloves
  • Face shield
  • Gown (paper, cloth, other)
  • Shoe booties

Social Distancing– Refers to the action of keeping space between individuals in order reduce the chance of contracting an illness. This includes the recommendation of maintaining a distance of 6ft from others, avoiding crowds and wearing a face mask to reduce range of respiratory droplets.

Face Mask Use

ALL employees are expected to properly wear a face mask while at any Gateway Hudson Valley worksites or on shift representing Gateway in the community (ie: purchasing groceries for a residence, getting gas while delivering senior meals, etc.) except:

  • When in an office alone with the door closed
  • When in a car alone driving to other sites
  • When eating and drinking which would take place at a minimum of 6 feet away from another individual.
  • Any request for modifications due to medical needs will require documentation of the need by a medical provider and are subject to approval from HR. The employee will continue to follow Gateway best practices until such time as approval for modifications is granted.  

B. All participants will be requested to properly wear a face mask while at Gateway Hudson Valley non-residential sites, unless medically contraindicated or when social distancing is not possible.

C. All visitors must properly wear a face mask while at any Gateway Hudson Valley sites.

D. Proper use of a face mask includes covering nose and mouth.

E. Face masks will provided to staff, visitors and participants if they did not bring their own.

F. Employees will be provided N95/KN95 masks if direct interaction with an individual with a known active positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

G. Staff will be provided an allotted amount of PPE (as long as PPE is available). Staff are encouraged to reuse masks by washing cloth masks with soap and water between shifts or alternating masks on various days and storing in a breathable container for 3 days.

    • Reuse is not indicated for employees in direct contact with an active COVID positive recipient. Elongation of use is encouraged (ie: one N95 throughout shift)


Social Distancing Practices

  1. ALL employees are expected to maintain social distancing as much as possible. This includes but no limited to:
    • Reducing amount of individuals in a room/closed space
    • Scheduling remote meetings vs. In-person
    • Waiting to use an area, such as a bathroom, until less people are present

PPE Supply Ordering & Monitoring

  1. PPE supply is tracked by the Chief of Quality and Compliance (CQCO) and the Nurse Manager using a spreadsheet of acquisition and distribution.
  2. The CQCO and Nurse Manager are responsible for cataloging a variety of suppliers, ordering supplies and trying to maintain appropriate supply level.
  3. Inventory is stored in a secured location.

PPE Training

  1. All staff are required to take an annual training on PPE which includes identifying when and what type of PPE is needed, donning and doffing, and disposal. This training can be accessed via Relias, Gateway’s online training platform.
  2. Educational material on COVID-19 is located on the G: Drive under General Agency Information –> COVID-19 Information and Planning.

F. Hygiene and Cleaning

Hand Hygiene– Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs, even more effective than hand sanitizer. Wash your hands often!

Follow these steps every time:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  6. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet

If soap and water are not readily available, you can use (preferably) an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. This can be verified by looking at the product label.

If hands are visibly soiled it is recommended that you use soap and water to clean hands.

Hand Hygiene Safe Practices

  1. Soap will be provided at washing stations such as bathrooms and other washing stations.
  2. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol will be located throughout the building/residences for general use.
  3. Posters for appropriate hand washing will be placed in public bathrooms.
  4. Handshaking or other methods of professional physical contact is discouraged at this time.
  5. Staff, participants and visitors will be encouraged to utilize hand sanitizer upon arrival, throughout day and at departure.


Cleaning Protocols

  • Director / Manager of Custom Cleaning will ensure a daily cleaning and disinfecting log is maintained. Cleaning log is to be kept in the Custom Cleaning office accessible to Janitorial staff.
  • GHV Janitorial Staff will clean and sanitize the facility daily.
  • Identified frequently used touchpoints shall be sanitized a minimum of 2X daily.
  • Hand sanitization stations shall be maintained throughout the building.
  • Cleaning equipment is to be cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • Ample supply of approved Personal Protective Equipment shall be maintained.
    • K95 / KN95 face masks or other approved cloth masks
    • Disposable gloves – Medium, Large, and Extra Large
    • Goggles
    • Disposable Tyvek Suits
  • Only EPA approved disinfectants effective against the COVID 19 virus shall be used for sanitization purposes. (see attached documents for proposed EPA approved disinfectants)
  • If/when EPA approved disinfectants are not available, a solution of 1/3 cup bleach to gallon of water or 70% alcohol solutions shall be used.
  • Department Director / Manager will ensure staff are fully trained in disinfectant product dwell time for maximum effectiveness, required PPE, and proper ventilation during use.
  • Restrooms will be additionally sanitized with an electrolyte misting system 2X per week. Other frequently used public areas of the building, i.e., loading dock area, staff lounge, conference rooms, copier rooms, will be additionally sanitized once a week using an electrolyte misting system.
  • In cases where clean-up involves a blood-borne pathogen or other body fluids, the affected area will first be saturated with an EPA approved disinfectant for the appropriate dwell time prior to cleaning. After completion of this process, the affected area shall be cleaned and sanitized. All affected waste material shall be disposed of in disposable garbage bags in an approved receptacle.
  • It is recommended that a cleaning solution be used first to clean hard, non-porous surfaces and then apply an EPA approved disinfectant with a trigger sprayer.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols for Public Spaces

  • Routine daily cleaning is to be maintained with soap and water or other approved cleaning solution.
  • After routine cleaning, touchpoints of hard, non-porous surfaces will be disinfected daily. Examples of frequent touch, hard, non-porous surfaces are as follows:
    • Tables
    • Door knobs
    • Door Handles
    • Light switches
    • Faucets
    • Toilets  
    • Sinks
    • Microwave Ovens
    • Refrigerators
    • Copiers
    • Drinking fountains
    • Hand rails
    • Other hard, non-porous surfaces as identified by staff

Cleaning, Disinfecting and Handling of Soiled Cleaning Implements

  • Soiled cleaning rags and mop heads should not be handled without using appropriate PPE.
  • Soiled rags and mop heads should be laundered on the warmest setting using regular laundry detergent and bleach.
  • All laundered cleaning rags and mop heads should be dried thoroughly before reuse.
  • Any shared cleaning implements such as vacuums, dust mops, mops, etc, should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

G. Transportation

  • When transporting Day Habilitation participants to and from program on agency vans and subcontracted buses, no other program participants shall be transported at the same time.
  • Van / subcontracted bus ridership will be maintained at 50% capacity or less.
  • Bus seating will be limited to every other seat, every other row in order to maximize social distancing.
  • Van seating will be limited to 1 passenger per seat unless 2 or more passengers are being transported from the same residence.
  • Face masks will be worn by agency van / subcontracted bus drivers at all times while passengers are on board.
  • To the extent medically possible, all passengers shall wear face masks while on-board agency vans / subcontracted buses.
  • Agency vans / subcontract buses will be equipped with disposable face masks in the event a passenger does not have one.
  • Agency van drivers / subcontract bus drivers shall ensure 6-feet social distancing is maintained when embarking / disembarking from vehicle.
  • When practical, vehicle windows shall be rolled down to allow for adequate air flow.
  • After each trip, agency van drivers / subcontract bussing company shall thoroughly clean and disinfect vehicles. A daily cleaning log will be maintained by agency van drivers / subcontract bus vendor. Agency van drivers / subcontract bus vendor will submit cleaning logs to the Transportation Manager at the end of each month.

H. Tracing and Tracking

  1. For each person who is showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) identify and write down the following:
    • The name of the person
    • The symptoms the person is exhibiting
    • The date symptoms began
    • Whether the person is known to have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID19? Yes/no/unknown. If yes, any details if known.
    • If the person traveled outside their home/residence within the previous 14 days – yes/no? If yes, where?
    • If the person has been hospitalized, what hospital, the date of hospitalization. *This is to be entered into the OPWDD’s Incident Report and Management Application (IRMA) on the person’s COVID-19 form.
    • If the person has been tested for COVID-19, where was the test done (i.e., hospital/clinic), the date of test, and date/time test results were received, and test results if known. *This is to be entered into OPWDD’s IRMA on the person’s COVID-19 form.
    • Where the person is currently located (e.g., home/hospital) and their quarantine/isolation status.
  1. Reach out and notify all contacts that the person had since 48 hours before the symptoms started (or if no symptoms but had a positive test, then 48 hours before they were tested).
    1. Direct contact staff must have maintained isolation for at least 7 days after illness onset, must have been fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, and must have other symptoms improving. If such worker is asymptomatic but tested and found to be positive, they must maintain isolation for at least 7 days from the date of the positive test, and, if they develop symptoms during this time, they must maintain isolation for at least 7 days after illness onset and must have been 72 hours fever free (as above).
    2. Proximate contacts require precautionary quarantine; daily LHD check-ins are not required.
  1. Keep a record of all contacts including:
    • Each contact’s name
    • Each contact’s phone number and/or email address, and facility location (where they live or work)
    • Date they were contacted and by who (Name, Title)
    • If a contact cannot be reached or notified, note this on the record of contacts and contact the LHD to report this. Also note the LHD contact information (Name, Phone Number) on the record of contacts when the notification is made
    • Upload the completed record of contacts into the “other” folder into OPWDD’s IRMA. If contact tracing was completed by the LHD, please note this in OPWDD’s IRMA.