ODP Announcement 21-048 is intended to supplement — not replace — any federal, state, or local public health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which providers of the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) home and community-based services must comply. Additionally, there may be instances where there are differences in CDC guidance from PA Department of Health (DOH) guidance. In these instances, PA DOH guidance should be followed as the lead agency of the COVID-19 response for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

  Providers should take an individualized approach to determining appropriate risk mitigation strategies when working with individuals, including consideration of the Level of Community Transmission. Residential providers should consult DOH HAN 568 – 4/30/21 – ADV – Core Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Long-term Care Facilities when determining what precautions to take.

  The following CDC guidance continues to recommend that individuals participating in facility-based day programs should continue to be physically distanced from each other: Participants at Adult Day Services Centers and their Caregivers, and Guidance for Adult Day Services Center: Strategies for Administrators and Staff to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.

  Day programs no longer have a recommended trigger for closure based on a day program’s outbreak status or the level of community transmission. Additionally, fully vaccinated and asymptomatic participants who were close contacts of someone with COVID-19 could continue to attend a day program but may need to quarantine at their residence. Communication, coordination, and collaboration between residential habilitation providers and day program providers on information related to COVID-19 symptoms and exposures is paramount to ensure appropriate action is taken for the health and safety of individuals.

  All direct support professionals (DSPs) should follow risk mitigation recommendations, which include, but are not limited to, infection prevention strategies for universal masking, screening, and handwashing as outlined in the guidance included in this communication.

  This announcement includes a chart outlining obsolete guidance and new guidance to be followed by service type, with links to the applicable documents.

  ODP encourages any provider who has a question to reach out for clarification and support. The following resources can provide support as appropriate:

  Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams (RCAT)

  PA DOH at 877-PA-HEALTH (877-724-3258)

  Health Care Quality Units (HCQUs)

  ODP Regional Offices Questions about this announcement may be directed here