MONDAY, AUGUST 22

Effective immediately, and in accordance with the CDC, we are updating our COVID guidelines. As we are adjusting to living with COVID steps are being taken to reduce the impact of missing work or not being able to attend programming due to exposure to someone who has tested positive to COVID. These changes will negate the need to isolate based on vaccination status as long as you are able to wear a mask. Isolation will still be required if someone is experiencing symptoms. Please review the following policy and should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

1. Testing positive for COVID-19 (Isolation required)

a. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Isolate for 5 days and wear a well-fitted mask if you must be around others.
  • With symptoms – end isolation after 5 days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine, and symptoms are improving.
  • No symptoms – end isolation 5 days after your positive test.
  • In all cases continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you were severely ill with COVID-19 or are immunocompromised, isolate for at least 10 days and consult with your doctor before ending isolation.
  • If your COVID-19 symptoms worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.

2. Exposure to COVID-19

 a. Wear a mask regardless of vaccine status while working/attending programming.

  • Testing required on Day 5
    • If test is negative, you no longer need to mask
    • If test positive, follow the protocols for testing positive

b. If unable to mask, you must isolate for 5 days

  • Testing required on Day 5
    • If test is negative, you may end isolation and return to work/program
    • If test is positive, follow the protocols for testing positive

3. Experiencing Symptoms of COVID-19

a. If you are experiencing one of the high-risk symptoms (bolded below), or 2 or more of the low-risk symptoms you will need to remain at home. If this occurs while you are working or attending programming staff will be dismissed for the day and caregivers will be contacted to pick-up participants within one hour.

 b. Testing will be required to return

  • If your test result is positive, follow the guidelines above for testing positive
  • If your test result is negative, you can return to programming
    • Should symptoms persist or worsen, restart your isolation at Day 0

 c. COVID Symptoms

  • High Risk Symptoms
    • Persistent Cough
    • Fever of 100.0 or higher
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Low Risk Symptoms
    • Chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Runny nose or congestion
    • Sore throat
    • Nauseous or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Headache

TUESDAY, MARCH 1

Over the last several weeks we have seen a dramatic drop in the number of COVID cases in our local area and across the country. On Friday, February 25th, the CDC issued new masking guidelines. These are based on newly defined COVID-19 Community Levels. These levels are calculated based on three pieces of data in a community:

  • New Covid-19 hospitalizations
  • Hospital capacity
  • New Covid-19 cases

Low Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk.

Medium – If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness talk to your healthcare provider about additional precautions, such as wearing masks or respirators indoors in public.

If you live with or have social contact with someone at high risk for severe illness, consider testing yourself for infection before you get together and wearing a mask when indoors with them.

High – Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings). If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection.

Linn and surrounding counties are currently at a Medium Community Level. As a result, effective 3/1/22 we will no longer require mask to be worn during Arc services*. Please continue to bring a mask as we will need to honor mask mandates of local businesses we visit during programming. We respect and support anyone who chooses to continue wearing a mask. Should the community level change to High we will reinstate mask requirements.

*If your loved one is in Project SEARCH, please note that we have to follow the policies of St. Luke’s Hospital. To our knowledge, they have not made any changes to their mask mandate at this time.

Note: If your services are currently on hold due to the mask mandate, your loved one may not be able to return right away due to our continued struggle with the workforce shortage. The Program Manager or Coordinator for each program will be in contact with you to discuss your loved one’s return as soon as they can.