MPA COVID-19 Reentry Protocols
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, Melmark’s senior leadership team continues to monitor national, state and regional guidance surrounding virus mitigation. We remain hyper-vigilant in our approach to ensure the health and well-being of the individuals at Melmark and our mission-first staff.
Visitation and Re-Entry Protocols
Below are the latest updates on Melmark’s visitation and re-entry protocols and plans, as well as health and safety measures currently in place in program areas.
Re-Entry Plan and Safety Protocols
The Melmark School
- Family and Visitor Screening Questions (English)
- Family and Visitor Screening Questions (Spanish)
- Family and Visitor Screening Questions (Chinese)
Melmark’s re-entry plans are tentative and may change due to virus mitigation measures at Melmark, in our region and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Health and Safety Measures in Place
The following are some of the safety measures put Into place as Melmark continues its hyper-vigilant approach to virus mitigation
- Plexiglass barriers are in use.
- Work areas are located minimally six-feet apart and not facing one another.
- Signage is in place to help individuals and start adhere to social distance protocols.
- Staff are required to wear masks at all times while working, as well as additional PPE in accordance with guidelines from the CDC.
- In-person meetings are replaced with virtual meetings whenever possible.
- Health and screening checks (for staff and individuals) including temperature monitoring, take place prior to entering the day program area and frequently throughout the day.
- Staff continue to practice social distancing, individuals instructed to practices social distancing.
- A reduced number of individuals work/study within each program area, individuals working in groups will remain with the same cohort throughout program hours.
- All program entrances and exits are designated one-way when possible.
- Bathrooms in program areas are designated for single occupancy.
- Touchless. sinks are being installed in program areas.
- Parents/guardians are required to monitor any symptoms observed from their loved one and report it to school/adult day program personnel.
- Ill individuals and staff are required to stay home.
- If an individual or staff becomes ill during program hours, he/she will be isolated, and departure from program will he coordinated immediately.
- Individual-specific mask toleration protocols are being devised.
- All individuals and staff will be provided with increased opportunities to complete hand washing throughout the day. When hand washings is not feasible, staff and students will be provided hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Individual hand sanitizer use will be supervised.
- Regular cleaning of program areas, materials, surfaces and public locations will be completed prior to and throughout the program day with CDC approved cleaning supplies. High-touch surfaces will be disinfected at a higher frequency throughout the day.
- Deep cleaning of all program spaces will be completed weekly using ElectroStatis sprayers.
- Individuals will continue to eat lunch in their programs, at their own work areas.
- All large group events and community activities are postponed.
Protocols, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), state and regional agencies, MUST be followed by all visitors to Melmark’s campus or community:
Current Visitation Protocols and Procedures
- Effective February 13, 2021 restricted visitation in all Melmark residential programs is permitted with the following guidelines.
For individuals able to maintain virus mitigation procedures (e.g., mask, hand washing, social distancing)
Must be approved by a director
May take place for up to three hours
Must be to locations in the green phase to minimize exposure
When a family takes a loved one into the community, they assume level of supervision (LOS) of the individual.
Community visits requiring staff presence are subject to availability of staff and may be cancelled on short notice due to staffing needs.
- Must take place in designated areas.
- May take place for up to one hour.
- Must be approved by a director or above and scheduled with program leadership in advance.
- All visits shall be with no more than two family members, per one individual at a time.
- Visiting hours are between the hours of 10:00am – 7:00pm.
- All visitors must clear the screening process, practice all mitigation efforts including wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing.
- Allowed if a home visit is as safe or safer than a communnity visit (e.g., no visitors, universal mask wearing).
- Are considered community visits.
- Require community visit procedures to be followed at all times.
- Do not allow for overnight visits.
- Require all individuals to be screened before returning to the residence.
Additional Information for All Visitors:
- Each visitor must sign in upon arrival to and departure from Melmark.
- Each visitor must complete the visitor screening tool, which requires notification of any COVID-19 related symptom and temperature taken on site. This screening includes families and Melmark staff. Anyone showing any symptom on the screening tool, including a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, will not be allowed to visit.
- No visits will occur if a visitor has been diagnosed with or has been exposed to COVID-19.
- If an individual shows any symptoms on the screening tool, visitation will not be allowed.
- No visits will occur if any individual in a home is currently in isolation (i.e., positive COVID-19 diagnosis) or quarantine (i.e., possible COVID-19 exposure).
- Must use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after the visit.
- Must wear a mask at all times by the visitor and staff. Masks must be worn, as tolerated, by the individual.Families are able to have physical contact (e.g., hug, hold hands) with their loved one.
- Kisses are not allowed at this time.
During normal business hours, all non-employee visitors to the main campus must check-in, showing their state-issued ID or providing their name and date of birth if no ID is available. This ensures the safety of everyone we serve, as all visitors are required to be cleared through the Raptor System.
After business hours, staff are required to check IDs to verify the visitor’s identity. In addition, all visitors must be on the approved visitor list for the individual whom they are visiting. To add someone from your loved one’s approved visitor list, contact your program manager.
At all times, only visitors defined by Melmark’s visitation policy (e.g., on individual’s approved visitor’s list) may visit a Melmark program area. This includes employees not assigned to or overseeing a specific program or staff members who wish to visit a program area outside of their schedule shift.
*During all phases and normal business operations, any individual presenting with COVID-19 symptoms is not permitted to visit or receive visitors. Melmark reserves the right to deny visits that may impact the health and safety of those we serve.
Effective March 1, 2021 Governor Wolf lifted all travel restrictions to and from the state of Pennsyvlania.
Re-Entry to Day Programs
Effective Monday, February 8th Melmark’s in-person adult day program are re-opened. Remote adult day program services will continue.
Effective Monday, January 4, 2021 Melmark’s in-person school re-opened for day students. Resdiential students are also returning in co-horted groupings. This is dependent upon no new positive cases of COVID-19.
We will keep you updated about re-opening based upon guidance as we receive it.
Please check the weekly Moments for the latest updates.
A small group of day-only individuals have returned to day programs.
- These students were identified using a risk-need assessment.
- Factors such as existing health conditions, challenges with virus mitigation protocols (e.g., mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing), behavioral challenges presenting increased risk, and others were taken into account to identify individuals for phase one.
- Additional day-only students will make up the second cohort of children to re-enter day programs.
Determination on when this group returns to in-person services will be based on the current status of health and safety within Melmark’s programs and in our community. Any increase in COVID-19 cases will require us to adjust re-entry plans.
- Day-only students not included in the first cohort will continue receiving remote instruction, similar to that delivered during the end of the last academic year and the extended school year (ESY).
- Residential students will continue receiving in-person programming in their homes, until the situation related to the pandemic allows for full school program census.
Parents/guardians of all program participants are asked to review and sign the COVID-19 informed consent/acknowledgment form before their loved one can return to in-person day services. Families should contact their program director with questions.
Community Outings for Adult 6400
Currently all community outings are suspended.
Limited community outings for the individuals served in our Adult 6400 Program are taking place. These outings are restricted to open air spaces in order to practice social distancing, hand hygiene and mask wearing in the community.
A similar protocol is being finalized for other adult residents and the children who reside in a Melmark home.
Universal Testing in the Adult ICF Program
Melmark’s healthcare team has administered COVID-19 tests for individuals and staff in the Adult Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) Program.This testing protocol follows state-mandated guidelines, which required all ICF program participants to be tested.
We are sharing this information about universal testing in the ICF proactively, as other state funded programs may later require this same practice.
This web page, as well as the weekly family newsletter, The Melmark Moments, continue to be the best source of information regarding Melmark’s re-entry plan and visitation protocols.
If you are the parent or guardian of an individual being served in Melmark’s day or residential programs and are not currently receiving the weekly newsletter, sign up via one of the links below: