Re-Opening Plan & Safety Guidelines

Since largely closing our Integrated Day / CSLA services twelve weeks ago, L.I.F.E. Inc. has had the important opportunity to concentrate our collective efforts on our residential homes and to learn in real time the best practices to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As we have begun the process of planning toward re-opening Integrated Day services, this experience has been invaluable and you can feel confident that our below safety guidelines are up to date to the guidance provided from the CDC , BHDDH , and RI Department of Health .

Before moving into the Safety Guidelines, we want to introduce our overall process to phasing participants back in:

  • L.I.F.E. Inc. is working closely with BHDDH and the Governor's office on guidance and approval to open our Integrated Day services up broadly
  • We are hopeful that we will be able to do so during the month of July, but this is contingent on BHDDH's approval of our re-opening plan
  • We are expecting written guidance from BHDDH this week, which will advise us of the process to submit our re-opening plan
  • We have decided to send out our safety guidelines prior to the approval to keep participants and families informed
  • While this process unfolds, if you are in need of immediate emergency services, please be in touch with Day Program Area Director, Virginia Messier, and we will work to support your needs

  • When broad services are approved to begin, we anticipate starting with only Day Program service hours (generally 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM)
  • CSLA or "Afternoon" services will begin at a later date
  • If your loved one usually only has CSLA hours, we can work with you on converting these hours to Day Program hours

  • Our remote learning program has been a great success and we are excited to see it going so well
  • We anticipate this continuing until at least September, in an effort to keep everyone connected and engaged and will continue to be available every day, for those who are home and for those who are with us in person

  • We understand that many participants and families are nervous about coming back to services at this point and we respect that
  • We will work with you to come back when you feel comfortable and we are working on an effort to accommodate 1:1 or 1:2 scheduling
  • This staffing ratio will of course mean less overall support time during the week, but was of interest to some respondents of the recent Day Program Re-Opening Survey
Health & Safety Guidelines
Community Activities
Throughout the summer, most community activities will be limited to outdoor, open air environments (i.e. parks) where social distancing can be best maintained. This will be supplemented with remote learning activities or table top type activities in The Meeting Place. A full weekly schedule will be sent at a later date, but these three activities will be the mainstays within the schedule.

Our goal is to create stable groups within the schedule to help with contact tracing and as a best practice for mitigation. This means we will be assigning participants to a set group of peers, staff, rooms, and schedules as much as possible. We do not anticipate being able have Snacks 'n' Stuff or the businesses at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in operation until at least after the summer.

Any activity outside of The Meeting Place that is not able to be outdoors will have a maximum of one (1) staff and three (3) participants. This max ratio will only occur in the event that a van is available and would allow for proper social distancing in the vehicle. In a car, there will only be one (1) staff to one (1) participant. The group of staff and participants must also be made up of those within their larger stable groups. Any food needed during these activities will consist of take out, no indoors or outdoor dine-in activities will be allowed.
Social Distancing
Each room within The Meeting Place will have a maximum capacity based on the ability to maintain a six (6) foot distance from each other. There will be ongoing education and encouragement of social distancing throughout the day, both by the staff and in remote learning lessons. Outdoor activities will be utilized as much as possible.
Hand Washing
Upon entering The Meeting Place, and after each activity, staff and participants will be asked to wash their hands with soap and water. There will also be hand sanitizer available, but soap and water will be the preferred and encouraged method, as recommended by the CDC. More information on our hand washing protocol can be found at this link.
Masks & Fabric Face Coverings
All L.I.F.E. Inc. staff are required to wear face masks. For our participants, face masks will be strongly encouraged, particularly inside of buildings. If a participant needs a break from wearing the mask, this will be strongly encouraged during outdoor activities where social distancing is more possible. We have also installed plexiglass stations that can be used by those who need indoor breaks from the masks.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
High traffic and frequently touched surfaces will be wiped down and cleaned after use. Surface disinfection will take place every four (4) hours and whenever a surface is known to be contaminated. More information regarding our cleaning and disinfectant procedures can be found at this link.
Symptom Checking
At the point of pick up / drop off by families in the morning, each participant will be asked the questions on the COVID-19 RI Re-Opening Screening Tool. Each participant will also have their temperature take non-invasively with a no-touch thermometer. If there is a yes to any questions or if the participant's temperature is 100.4°F or above, they will not be able to return to services until:

  • Their primary physician is contacted for further guidance on a course of action

  • If a COVID-19 test is required the results must be negative and symptom free for at least ten (10) days and three (3) days without fever reducing medications unless otherwise instructed by physician in writing

If a participant or staff tests positive for COVID-19 this will be communicated to those who interacted with person and RIDOH who will advise about further testing.
Our traditional transportation method does not allow for proper social distancing. We will be revamping our transportation patterns to allow for proper distance in seating. Please know that this will mean pick up and drop off times may be much different than before as we will have to carry out more trips with less participants. We understand that this may not be conducive to each family's work schedule, so we will make the accommodation of having staff available at The Meeting Place between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM for participants to be dropped off and picked up. This will be worked out in advance so that it is predictable among all parties.
We thank you for your time, understanding, and patience during this time. Please direct any questions about this plan to Liz Wiedenhofer and any specific questions regarding scheduling to Virginia Messier .
L.I.F.E. Inc. | 401-254-2910