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A Coronavirus Phone Line is available for families to call at 716.817.7445.
An afterhours Coronavirus hotline is available for families and people enrolled in our Day Habilitation Programs and Vocational Services to share questions at 716.529.6505.
Concerns may also be emailed to COVIDconcern@people-inc.org.

Updates on Programs, Services and Protocols Due to COVID-19

While many of our People Inc. services remained in full operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to date, others were suspended or significantly altered. Adjustment, as needed, will be made across the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions, based on geographic case prevalence. The People Inc. Emergency Preparedness Team is proactively engaged in monitoring any potential changes in our service areas and will adjust agency policies accordingly. 

Our primary goal is to maintain a safe and healthy environment for both the people we support and our employees. To be as transparent as possible, and allow for families and others to best plan, we will continue sharing updates to programs, services and protocols. We appreciate your support, as we continue to work together through this extremely challenging time.

  • October 5, 2021: A vaccine mandate was announced by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul. This new requirement, established within New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) agency regulations, does not apply to our People Inc. operations. This mandate will apply to all people working at the psychiatric hospitals in the OMH network, as well as those working at ArchCare, the specialty hospital certified by OPWDD. Families, please note that this does NOT apply to People Inc. staff and there is no change affecting our services at this time. People Inc. continues to monitor this closely and will provide updates, as they become available.
  • August 19, 2021: People Inc. adjusted our masking protocols, based on revised OPWDD guidance, throughout the agency effective immediately, as follows:
    • ALL People Inc. employees, vendors and visitors are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. 
    • During transportation, masks are still required for OPWDD programs, regardless of vaccine status. 
  • February 15, 2021: Many of the People Inc. Day, CAPP, YALT and Respite programs began reopening, but not all. See chart in next section.

Thank you for your continued observation of the protocols that best keep the people we support and our staff as safe as possible.

We will continue to post updates to this information online, and as always, families are welcome to call group homes or programs for specific questions or participate on our family conference calls.

The chart in the next section will continue to be updated to reflect status changes of a program or service.

Update Details for Programs & Services (Chart)

Updated 8.19.2021

PROGRAM

TYPE

DETAILS

Residential      Group Homes

Visitation at  Group Homes

As of July 8, 2021, there are no restrictions for visitation. Please Note: ALL People Inc. employees, vendors and visitors are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status inside the group home at all times. 

Medical Appointments

Family/Guardian may attend medical appointments and procedures as necessary. However, attendance is also based on the specific health care facilities' COVID-19 guidance and policies. Most health care facilities and providers are still requiring the use of face masks, regardless of vaccination status and still have some capacity limitations in place.

Person Served Return to Group Home

As of July 8, 2021, there are no restrictions for return to the group home.

Community Activities

As of July 8, 2021, there are no restrictions on community activities. Please note that unvaccinated people are still required by NYS & OPWDD to wear a mask.

Senior Living

Common Areas

Community rooms (with kitchen) are open. Tenants and visitors who are unvaccinated are required to wear a mask in the common areas.

Affordable Apartments (Mixed Income/Tax Credit Apartments)

Common Areas

Community rooms (with kitchen) are open. Tenants and visitors who are unvaccinated are required to wear a mask in the common areas.

Day Habilitation, Community PreVoc, CAPP, DHWW, YALT

General Operations

Operations primarily open to persons who live at home with their families or reside in other agencies' residential programs due to continued restrictions on capacity in buildings (social distancing) and transportation (50 % occupancy on vans/buses).

The Lancaster program remains closed.

Information is provided on the Day and Employment Chart.

Employment Services

General Operations

Community-based employment supports have continued, following employer/placement’s status. Limited Contract Manufacturing is operational at 181 Lincoln location.

Free-standing Respite

General Operations

Traditional respite services at Northtowns and Downing Respite Centers are operational.

Site-Based Respite

General Operations

The following changes were made as of 2.9.2021, or after, for our respite sites: 

Open:

1860 Buffalo Road Respite (Rochester)

After the Belle Afternoon Respite (Buffalo) 

After Work Respite (Depew/Lancaster)

Del-Ton Weekend Opportunities (Tonawanda) 

Iris Afternoon Respite (Hamburg) 

Ken-Ton Afternoon Respite (Kenmore-Tonawanda) 

Late Afternoon Respite (Buffalo) 

Lockport Recreation Respite (Lockport in community programming)

Northtowns Afternoon Respite (Lockport) 

OMG (formerly known as On Main and Grove) Afternoon Respite (East Aurora) 

Orchard Park Weekend Opportunities (Orchard Park) 

Recreation Respite (Depew/Lancaster)

Southtowns Afternoon Respite (Hamburg) 

TLC K-5 Afternoon Respite (Amherst) 

TLC (fomerly known as Themed Learning Club) (Amherst)

Not opening at this time:

Buffalo Afternoon Respite (Buffalo) 

Rochester After School Respite 

In-Home Behavioral

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Community Habilitation/  In-Home Respite

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Recreation Respite

General Operations

Program reopened

Elmwood Health Center

General Operations

Continued operations, open for in-person and virtual visits.

Home Health Care

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Headway of WNY

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place. Virtual support groups held the first and third Tuesday each month.

Deaf Access Services

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center

General Operations

General operations resumed, with precautions in place.

Ombudsman Services

General Operations

In-person support in line with operator’s visitor policies.

Senior Companion Program

General Operations

Operating at clients’ homes and doing telephone wellness calls. 

 

 

Phased Reopening Update - Phase B

Nov 05, 2020


Please refer to the Coronavirus section for the most up to date communications.

While many of our People Inc. services remained in full operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to date, others were suspended or significantly altered. A planned and gradual reopening of our programs is in progress, based on a variety of factors to support our primary goal – maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both the people we support and our employees. To be as transparent as possible, and allow for families and others to best plan, we are sharing the below information. 

Our reopening is reflected in lettered “phases” – Phase A, B, etc. – which may not, and are not meant to, correspond directly with the externally-issued government “phases." Progression, pause or reversal of our phases will be determined by our Emergency Management Team based on continual monitoring and regulatory guidance. Updates may be made rapidly as a result. Some phases may be brief in duration, but are important to pace through in order to ensure the people we also deeply care about are as safe as possible. We appreciate your support as we work together through this extremely challenging time.

We will continue to post updates to this information online, and as always, families are welcome to call group homes or programs for specific questions or participate on our family conference calls also posted on our website (next one on Monday, November 23)

  • A special Coronavirus Phone Line has been established for families to call, 716.817.7445, and is checked and responded to directly. 
  • A new, afterhours Coronavirus hotline is now available for the people and families of people enrolled in our Day Habilitation Programs and Vocational Services to express questions and concerns. The number is 716.529.6505. 
  • A special email address has been established as well, so that concerns can be addressed at COVIDconcern@people-inc.org.
  • Our Advocacy Phone Line is also available for people we support to ask non-emergency questions by calling 716.322.7070.

New York State

New York State has released information regarding COVID-19 “cluster zones,” which are focus areas designated based on geographic case prevalence. The People Inc. Emergency Preparedness Team is proactively engaged in monitoring any potential changes in our service areas (from Yellow to Orange or to Red) and will adjust agency policies accordingly. For more information, this chart includes greater details.

PHASE B – Effective July 15, 2020

 Program

Type

Details

Residential Group Homes

 

Visitation at Group Homes

Prescheduled outdoor visits at group homes* between the hours of 9 a.m-9 p.m. with limit of 2 family visitors that have been pre-screened, and observe other safety precautions provided in advance. In-home visits can be arranged during inclement weather. Details are included in the most recent family letter (English and Spanish). *No visits will be scheduled at a location if a quarantine is in place.

Medical Appointments

Family/Guardian can attend emergency medical appointments and procedures in accordance with any precautions established by the medical provider.

Person Served Return to Group Home

Phased approach for return to group home begins with testing. Additional safeguards outlined in operational policy, which will be reviewed in detail with family/person supported as part of the process. 

Community Outings

Resume community walks, going to parks, drive-thru meals, in-person dining, in-person retail and community for haircuts, in accordance with any precautions established by those venues.

Senior Living

Common Areas

Services continue. Community rooms will reopen on Monday, August 3, with reduced room capacity and social distancing. Communal patios are open with socially distanced guidelines and tenants cleaning before/after each use.

Mixed Income/Tax Credit Apartments

Common Areas

Services continue. Community rooms and communal patios open with safety precautions/limitations in place.

Day Habilitation/ Community PreVoc

General Operations

Some Day Services opened on a limited-basis. Please contact the Day Program director for further details. Information is provided on the Reopening Phases - Day Programs - Contact List.

Please note: An afterhours Coronavirus hotline is now available for the people, and families of people, enrolled in our Day Habilitation and Vocational Programs for questions at 716.529.6505. 

Employment Services

General Operations

Community-based Employment supports have continued, following employer/placement’s status. Limited Contract Manufacturing is operational at 181 Lincoln location.

Free-standing Respite

General Operations

Northtown Respite Center on Townline will be temporarily closed, for internal use as of Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Traditional respite services at Downing Respite are suspended, see Temporary Respite Center. 

Temporary Respite Center

General Operations

Temporary Respite is available at the Downing Respite Center as a regional resource to care for people with disabilities who are COVID positive or recovering.

Site-Based Respite

General Operations

Open

In-Home Behavioral

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Community Habilitation/    In-Home Respite

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Recreation Respite

General Operations

Recreation Respite open as of October 2020

Elmwood Health Center

General Operations

Continued operations, open for in-person and virtual visits.

Home Health Care

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Headway of WNY

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place. Virtual support groups held the first and third Tuesday each month.

Deaf Access Services

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center

General Operations

Limited schedule of riding appointments will begin on Monday, August 3.

Ombudsman Services

General Operations

Remote support, in line with operator’s visitor policies.