Authors Posts by Carol Ferenz

Carol Ferenz



Dear members,

We hope that you, your staff, and the people you support are staying safe. ANCOR continues to advocate strongly for your needs during the pandemic. In order to provide you with the best representation, we have a request. Please take 10 minutes by 5:00 pm PDT on Friday, April 10 to complete this short questionnaire about the challenges your organization is facing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We understand that survey requests easily get pushed aside, as day-to-day issues arise due to this crisis. Being mindful of the demands on everyone’s time, we designed an online survey that should only take about 10 minutes to complete. The purpose is to provide ANCOR with much needed data, for an independent research firm to produce a statistically sound analysis of the impact on ID/A providers, of the COVID–19 pandemic.

This analysis will inform ANCOR’s advocacy on the distribution of funding from the 3rd COVID–19 relief package (including the Public Health and Social Services Fund) and inform ANCOR advocacy efforts on the 4th COVID–19 relief package. The development of the 4th relief package has already begun, so please complete this short questionnaire to ensure that ANCOR members have the best opportunity to access emergency funding to deal with the pandemic.

Thank you so very much.
Barbara Merrill
Chief Executive Officer
American Network of Community Options and Resources
Alexandria VA
703-535-7850 (103)

Today, April 8, 2020, ODP updated the reporting requirements outlined in ODP Announcement 20-041 to include reporting when a direct support professional or provider staff has been tested for COVID-19 in addition to those who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

Reporting Direct Service Professionals/Provider Staff:
ODP is requiring providers to report all cases of staff that have been tested or have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Providers should continue to notify the ODP Regulatory Administration Unit. All of the required information listed in 20-041 should continue to be submitted for staff who have been tested or have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

The latest alert from the PA Department of Health is available. In part, it states, “The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is asking that clinicians provide the current guidance on isolation to patients being evaluated for COVID-19 to ensure that timely recommendations are provided to reduce spread of disease.”  The current guidance includes patient instructions for self-isolation while awaiting laboratory results. It also includes a close contact check list, which physicians will be providing to anyone that is tested positive for COVID-19; individuals will be asked to begin tracing the contacts they have had since 48 hours prior to development of symptoms. These handouts can be helpful in your ongoing guidance you provide to the staff in your community programs.

Business concepts with icons on chalkboard. Guidance, Solution, Vision and Teamwork

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Announcement 20-038 directs your attention to the following two documents:

The first document, disseminated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides updated recommendations on long-term care facilities. This includes a general prohibition of visitors implemented on March 13, 2020, as well as strict infection control and other screening recommendations.

The second document is a Department of Health statewide alert regarding Universal Masking of Health Care Workers and Staff in Congregate Care Settings.