March 11, 2020
A Message from the Executive Director
of The Arc of New Jersey
In light of the recent concerns about the Coronavirus, The Arc of New Jersey is closely monitoring the situation and is being extremely proactive in our efforts to control the spreading of germs. This notice has some basic information along with a few action items that we are completing as an agency.
To review the facts concluded by the CDC, the most prominent symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure. The majority of people experience mild symptoms similar to a cold or flu, although it has caused death in medically compromised individuals. It has been concluded that COVID-19 poses no immediate health risk for most individuals.
The most important thing that everyone can do now is to remain calm, and to utilize the basic illness prevention strategies that are important in preventing all types of viruses, including the flu and the Coronavirus.
These strategies are:
·          Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
·          Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
·          Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
·          If you are coughing, cough into the inside of your elbow instead of covering your mouth with your hand. Cover your nose with a tissue if sneezing and throw the tissue into the trash.
·          Drink lots of fluids.
·          Stay home when you're sick.

What We Are Doing: The safety and wellbeing of all consumers, families and staff is our highest priority. We have taken several steps in ensuring all precautions are taken, including:
·          Increased cleaning and disinfecting throughout our office. Disinfectant wipes are available throughout our office, in several locations.
·          We have shared resources for staff and consumers on the proper way to wash hands, sanitize their work areas and homes.
·          Agency leadership has been meeting on a regular basis to discuss any updated information as well as reviewing several different scenarios to ensure that we are prepared for any situation.
·          Agency sponsored and hosted events are being reviewed on a daily basis and decisions regarding cancellation and/or postponement of events is ongoing.

As further information on the Coronavirus in the U.S. becomes available, it is important to check trustworthy sources, such as the CDC website or the NJ Department of Health website.
Lastly, Psychology Today put out a recent article that talks about the increase in anxiety among individuals due to the Coronavirus news. They offered some concrete steps that can be taken to lower fears and anxiety about the disease and contamination.
We will continue to communicate with everyone as we move ahead. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Thomas Baffuto
Executive Director
The Arc of New Jersey | 732.246.2525 | info@arcnj.org | www.arcnj.org