COVID-19 Safety Plan for Day Program Reopening

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Goodwill NYNJ’s Day Programs have published their safety plan to reopen for in-person services.

The details of these safety protocols are described below, and can also be downloaded in PDF format.

Entrance to Site Based Programs

Required Signage

  • The following signage will be posted throughout the site addressing critical COVID-19 transmission prevention and containment:
    • Social distancing requirements
    • Use of mask or cloth face-covering requirements
    • Proper storage, usage and disposal of PPE
    • Symptom monitoring and COVID-19 exposure reporting requirements
    • Proper hand washing and appropriate use of hand sanitizer
    • Ensure program entrances have signs that alert that non-essential visitors are not allowed.

Pre-Entry / Pre-Participation Daily Screenings

  • All staff, individuals, and essential visitors, will be screened prior to entry into the day program and monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 thereafter.
  • Signage will be posted at program entrances alerting that nonessential visitors are not allowed.
  • A staff member will be stationed at the entrance to screen all staff, individuals, and visitors before they enter the program.
  • Screeners will wear a face mask and gloves. PPE will be provided to all screeners by Goodwill NYNJ.
  • Staff will wait outside the program to screen or individuals will call when they arrive and the screener will go to meet them & complete the screening outside the program space.
  • The screener will ask the following questions:
    • Has the person experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days including:
      • Fever or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Other symptoms recognized by CDC as the CDC updates
    • Has the person tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
    • Has the person had close contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in the past 14 days?
    • Has the person traveled from within one of the designated states with significant community spread in the past 14 days?
  • The screener will record health screenings of all individuals and staff in the logbook. Staff screenings will document if the screening was passed or the staff was sent home, no health information will be recorded.
  • Staff and individuals are required to self-report, to the extent they are able, any changes in symptom status throughout the day and must inform the screener if they begin experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms. Another Screening must be recorded in the log.
  • Goodwill will comply with all local health department contact tracing efforts.
  • The Screening Log will be reviewed every day by a Site Supervisor or Program Manager, in person or remotely, and the review will be documented on the log. If the review is conducted remotely it will be noted on the log.
  • A Daily Visitor Log will be kept for essential visitors (excluding deliveries that are performed with appropriate PPE or contact-less delivery). The Daily Visitor Log must contain contact information so that all contacts may be identified, traced, and notified in the event someone is diagnosed with COVID19.

Responding to Screenings That Detect Sickness

  • Any individual or staff that exhibits signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during the screening will not be allowed to enter the program building. They will be required to return home until they are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g. Advil, Tylenol), have consulted with their primary care provider, and complied with their recommendations or been cleared to return by the primary care provider.
  • Individual’s families / caretakers will be immediately notified by staff, if they are not permitted to enter the program. If the participant does not travel independently, the screener will wait with the participant until they can be picked up or sent home by alternate transportation.
  • If symptoms begin during the day program, the individual or staff will be sent home as soon as possible. When this occurs, the program will keep sick individuals and staff separate from well individuals and staff.
  • Any individual or staff sent home will be instructed to contact their healthcare provider for assessment and /or testing.
  • If a staff member or participant is sent home because they did not pass the screening or because they became sick during program hours, the site supervisor, Program Manager, Director, SVP, EVP, HR, and Facilities will be notified immediately.
  • The day program will immediately notify the local health department and OPWDD about the suspected case. The day program should provide the individual or staff with written information on healthcare and testing resources, refer to DOH Testing guidance (
  • Notification information will be posted at each site to facilitate fast reporting.
  • Individuals sent home from program / Testing Positive for COVID / Exposed to COVID:
    • Shall consult with their healthcare practitioner prior to returning to the program;
    • May not return to or attend the day program while a member of their household or certified residence are being quarantined or isolated
    • If an individual or staff member is identified with COVID-19, the day program will seek guidance from State or local health officials to determine when the individual/staff can return to the program and what additional steps are needed. A directory of local health departments can be found at:
    • In the event an individual, staff or anyone they reside with are placed on quarantine or isolation, the responsible party (i.e. self, guardian, residence manager etc.) must notify the day program immediately and must suspend attending day program until they are medically cleared to return to work/program.
  • Staff sent home:
    • Shall comply with appropriate HR return-to-work guidance and shall consult with their supervisor prior to returning to work.
    • In the event a staff or anyone they reside with is placed on quarantine or isolation, the staff member must notify the day program and HR immediately and must not return to work on site until they are medically cleared to return to work.
    • In addition, staff should take the following actions related to COVID-19 symptoms and contact:
      • If a staff has COVID-19 symptoms AND EITHER tests positive for COVID-19 OR did not receive a test, the staff may only return to work after completing a 14-day self-quarantine.
      • If a staff is critical to the operation or safety of a facility, Goodwill NYNJ may consult the local health department and the most up-to-date CDC and DOH standards on the minimum number of days to quarantine before a staff is safely able to return to work with additional precautions to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
      • If a staff does NOT have COVID-19 symptoms BUT tests positive for COVID-19, the staff may only return to work after completing a 14-day self-quarantine.
      • If a staff is critical to the operation or safety of a facility, Goodwill NYNJ may consult the local health department and the most up-to-date CDC and DOH standards on the minimum number of days to quarantine before a staff is safely able to return to work with additional precautions to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
      • If a staff has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is symptomatic, the staff should notify the day program and follow the above protocol for a positive case.

Social Distancing Requirements

  • Goodwill will ensure effective practices to facilitate social distancing. When distancing is not possible, including the following:
    • Reducing the number of individuals served at one time to reduce congestion and facilitate easier social distancing
    • Maintain no more than 50% occupancy in small/confined spaces within program sites
    • Use physical barriers where appropriate
    • Change foot traffic flow, use of program space, furniture, seating, and / or equipment in program rooms, workspaces and meal /seating areas to allow for social distancing of at least six feet apart in all directions (i.e., 36 square feet)
    • Use signage and / or floor or table markers/distance markers denoting spaces of six feet throughout program area spaces, common spaces, waiting areas, entry, exits and other areas of travel
    • Facilitate one directional foot traffic where possible in narrow spaces, using tape or signs with arrows
    • Install physical barriers, as appropriate, especially when physical distancing is not feasible between program/workspaces
    • Provide ongoing support and education of individuals to learn physical distancing/use of markers, patterns of movement, and other program strategies
    • Whenever possible Goodwill will ensure that groupings of staff and participants are as static as possible. Group size will be limited to no more than 15 participants or less. Group size will be determined by the number of participants and staff that can safely maintain 6ft of distance from each other while also maintaining no more than 50% occupancy in small/confined spaces within program sites.
    • Maintain adequate staffing and prevent employees from needing to “float” between different rooms or different groups of individuals, unless such rotation is necessary to safely support individuals due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., staff absence, emergency).
    • Provide adequate space for staff to socially distance in office when completing independent tasks & staggered work schedules / break times, when feasible.

Gatherings in Enclosed Spaces

  • Goodwill NYNJ will modify program hours as needed, to allow blocks of service provision while maintaining reduced capacity and group size. Groups size will be dictated by the physical space available at each site and the amount of space needed to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between people.
  • Planned group size will be limited to no more than fifteen (15) individuals or fewer who receive services per program area. This count does not include employees/staff. Group size will be determined by the number of participants and staff that can safely maintain 6ft of distance from each other while also maintaining no more than 50% occupancy in small/confined spaces within program sites.
  • Tables and / or floor markings will be used to space out participants six feet apart and extra seating will be removed.
  • Goodwill will ensure individuals receiving services and staff working with them are as static as possible by planning for different stable groups of individuals and staff where possible.
  • When there is more than one group at a site, the groups will have no or minimal contact with one another and will not utilize common spaces at the same time, to the greatest extent possible.
  • Goodwill will stagger staff and/or individual meal and break times to maintain social distancing whenever possible.
  • Staff and individuals will adhere to social/physical distancing practices identified in the safety plan.
  • Food and beverages will not be allowed to be shared and buffet style / family style dining will be prohibited.
  • Staff and participant food brought from home must require limited preparation (i.e., heating in microwave) during day services and be packed appropriately.
  • The programs will not store food or beverages in reusable containers or silverware during the pandemic.
  • Where possible programs will increase ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible (e,g.,. opening windows & doors) unless this air circulation poses a safety or health risk (e.g.,. Extreme heat or pollen triggering asthma / allergies).
  • Programs will post signage and provide instruction for participants to prevent congregation in elevator waiting areas, lobbies, and hallways.

Day Program Schedules and Activities

  • In person services will be prioritized for participants best served onsite due to their specific needs.
  • The day program service hours will be modified as needed to allow blocks of service provision while maintaining reduced capacity and group size. In accordance with OPWDD guidance, program hours may be shortened and individuals may be assigned a morning or afternoon shift in order to comply with social distancing and hygiene requirements.
  • Services may be provided in person at a participant’s home or in the community when this is in the participants best interest.
  • Programing will also occur remotely by using telehealth.
  • Wherever possible Goodwill will stagger arrival and departure times of staff and participants to reduce entry and exit density.
  • During the COVID 19 crisis the programs will participate in activities with little or no physical contact and which do not rely on shared equipment, to the extent possible.
  • When equipment / supplies are shared, they must be cleaned after each use. Participants will practice hand hygiene after using equipment / supplies.
  • Activities will be scheduled to reduce density and allow for social distancing at all times.
  • Programs will participate in onsite activities most of the time. Without walls programs will temporarily utilize hub sites for most of the day as the volunteer, internship, and community sites they previously utilized are not currently available to them.
  • Outdoor activities will be low-risk (i.e., walking to the park) and limited to groups of 15 or fewer following social distancing guidelines.
  • When groups go out for recreational activities they will travel to one location during the program day & then return to site. Groups will not travel to multiple sites during the day.
  • Upon leaving location for an activity, throughout the activity where appropriate, and upon arrival back at the facility, participants and staff will utilize handwashing & or hand sanitizer.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided at no cost to all staff and staff will be required to bring it on all community outings and encourage participants to use it whenever surfaces such as door handles, public benches, counters, etc. are touched.
  • All staff and participants are required to wear face coverings when in the facility and out in the community during the program day.
  • Staff will assist participants in making sure social distancing is followed when interacting with members of the public and that unnecessary interactions with members of the public are avoided when out in the community.
  • If a volunteer, internship, or community opportunity opens up, it will be assessed for safety and hygiene before a decision is made to use the opportunity.
  • When planning community / recreational outings staff will be aware of the capacity restrictions for businesses, and call ahead whenever possible to ensure the group size can be accommodated.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • All staff and participants must wear an appropriate cloth or disposable face mask/covering, that covers both the mouth and nose at all times while providing / receiving services, consistent with all current Executive Orders and OPWDD guidelines (unless medically contraindicated / not tolerated).
  • Participants will be asked to bring a cloth or disposable facemask / covering.
  • Staff will be provided with three cloth reusable masks which they can launder and rotate using. Disposable facemasks will be provided onsite at no cost, if staff, participants, or essential visitors do not have their own which meets requirements.
  • All essential visitors will wear a face mask or covering.
  • Staff will support individuals receiving services to wear face coverings, as tolerated, whenever social distancing cannot be achieved through group and one to one instruction.
  • Goodwill will track the stock of PPE, maintain an adequate supply of required PPE on site (and available to staff for when needed for community-based services) of masks and gloves, and will reorder regularly to ensure there is no shortage of PPE.
  • All staff will be trained on proper use of PPE including when necessary to use, donning, doffing, disposing and/or reusing and sanitizing when appropriate.
  • A record of staff PPE training will be recorded and filed by the staff trainer and HR per agency procedures.

Hygiene and Cleaning Personal Hygiene to Reduce Transmission

  • Goodwill requires strict adherence to hygiene requirements to reduce transmission as advised by NYS DOH and the CDC.
  • At each site Goodwill will maintain hand hygiene stations to include:
    • Handwashing stations in restrooms: soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels and / or air dryers.
    • Hand sanitizing: alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where the need for frequent hand sanitizing is expected;
  • All staff will be trained to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds using techniques per NYS DOH and CDC guidance, including the conditions that require handwashing. Staff will also be required to use hand sanitizer upon arrival and departure from program and throughout the program day.
  • Staff will support individuals to wash their hands frequently/when needed, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds using appropriate techniques as tolerated. Staff will provide groups and instruction to participants.
  • Staff will encourage and facilitate the use of hand sanitizers by individuals upon arrival to and departure from program and through the day, providing supervision/support of use by individuals as needed.
  • Staff will address any individualized needs affecting the unsupervised availability of hand sanitizer.

Cleaning and Disinfection of Environment, Equipment and Supplies

  • Goodwill will strictly adhere to sanitation requirements as advised by NYS DOH guidance documents. Sites will receive daily cleaning, disinfection, and sanitizing.
  • Goodwill will implement the following standards regarding cleaning and sanitizing:
    • Frequent cleaning and rigorous disinfection of high-risk areas/high touch surfaces;
    • Use of only EPA registered products for disinfecting non-porous surfaces;
    • Adhere to proper dwell times for all cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants per manufacturer recommendations as indicated on the product label;
    • Ensure adequate ventilation to prevent inhaling toxic fumes.
    • Maintain site cleaning logs indicating the date, time, and scope of cleaning.
    • Keep cleaning products, sanitizers and disinfectants secure and out of reach of individuals who may misuse;
    • Safely and immediately discard used gloves, paper towels or other disposable items after sanitizing or disinfecting, tied in a trash bag and removed from the environment.
    • Clean and disinfect all areas and equipment used by a person exhibiting symptoms upon their departure from the area and prior to use of the area or equipment by other individuals or staff.
    • Use PPE and hand hygiene when cleaning and disinfecting.
    • Provide ventilation with outside air safely and when possible. Open windows whenever possible.
  • Staff are responsible for following Goodwill’s HR policies regarding cleaning of workstations and sites and following social distancing requirements
  • Programs will prohibit use of items/objects that cannot be cleaned and sanitized (i.e., soft objects, cloth placemats, etc.).
  • Programs will prohibit participants from bringing personal items from home, except when necessary. When participants are permitted to bring personal items from home, they will be required to clean and disinfect the item each time before using & once finished using.
  • If a staff member, participant, or essential visitor who has been in the program space is suspected or confirmed to have COVID the following cleaning protocols will be followed:
    • Close off all areas used by the person who is / was sick. Operations do not need to be closed if this space can be closed off from other areas.
    • Open outside doors / windows wherever possible to increase air circulation
    • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible cleaning will be held as long as possible.
    • All areas used by the person who is sick will be cleaned and disinfected.
    • Once the area has been appropriately disinfected it will be opened for use to employees and participants who did not have close contact with the person who is sick.


The following measures are implemented for the transport of individuals to/from day services to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk, when providing or contracting for transportation:

  • Goodwill operates Community Based programming and does not run it’s own transportation. Goodwill contracts with bus transportation providers through IATS. Goodwill and IATS will ensure:
    • Individuals traveling to and from the same day program, on bus transportation, will be transported together.
    • Individuals transported together will be served in the same cohort in Day Services to avoid intermingling
    • That the transportation provider reduces capacity on buses, vans, and other vehicles transporting individuals from multiple residences to 50% of total capacity;
    • To the extent possible, IATS will restrict close contact of individuals and staff from different households by not sitting near each other or the driver.
    • If there are multiple doors in a bus or van, drivers will utilize one-way entering and exiting. IATS will provide instruction for individuals to exit the vehicle one at a time and wait for driver or staff instruction before doing so.;
    • Ensure bus company staff and the driver always wear face coverings in the vehicle. Social distancing must be maintained for individuals who cannot tolerate wearing a mask and, when possible, such individuals should be transported alone or with members of the same household. Ensure bus company staff who cannot medically tolerate the use of a face covering are not assigned to transport individuals.
    • After each trip is completed, the bus company will clean and disinfect the interior of the vehicle before additional individuals are transported; and
    • Where appropriate and safe, roll windows down to permit air flow.
  • Participants who utilize public and para transit will be provided instructions on remaining safe and practicing social distancing during their commute.

Tracing and Tracking

  • The Program Manager or Director will notify the local health department and OPWDD immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by an individual or staff at their site.
  • Each site will have the procedure and contact numbers for the local health department and OPWDD posted.
  • If a staff or visitor tests positive, Goodwill NYNJ will cooperate with the local health department to trace all contacts in the workplace and notify the health department of all staff, individuals and visitors who entered the facility dating back to 48 hours before the positive person began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive, maintaining confidentiality as required by federal and state law and regulations.
  • Staff members who are alerted via tracing, tracking, or other mechanism, that they have come into close / proximate contact with a person with COVID19, are required to self-report to Goodwill NYNJ at the time of the alert and shall follow all required agency protocols.