Covid-19 Guidelines

HAND IN HAND will maintain appropriate social distancing among individuals and staff whenever possible.

Appropriate group ratios will be maintained as per the square footage in each classroom. Each classroom will be maintained as its own group/cohort.

What does Hand in Hand Family Services do?

Hand In Hand Family Services is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit human services agency that provides exceptionally personalized services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through OPWDD and Medicaid.

Social Distancing

Individuals will be socially distanced upon arrival. Staff will take individuals off of the bus one bus at a time in order to maintain social distancing. When going to the bathroom and during hand washing, social distancing will be enforced to the best of our ability. All classroom staff will wear face coverings at all times. Administrative and non-direct care staff will social distance and wear face coverings in public areas. Only one staff member may enter the kitchen/communal areas at one time. Employees are required to social distance as best as possible with 6 feet between them at any point. There should be no congregating in the hallways. No visitors will be permitted into the building.

Personal Protective Equipment

Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be available to all staff upon arrival. Masks will be available in the office. All staff must wear mask/face coverings and individuals will be encouraged to wear masks/face coverings. All employees must ensure that both mouth and nose are properly covered before entering the premises. We will supply gloves as well as alcohol based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Hand soap will be available in the bathrooms in addition to hand-sanitizer stations throughout the building.

Restart Operations

Our building has been open and the facilities have been cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected. All common areas and heavy traffic areas are cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected multiple times daily.

Hygiene, Cleaning and Disinfection

Staff will be trained in use and removal of face coverings. In addition, staff will be trained in protocols regarding disposal of PPE, use of gloves, hand sanitizer and hand washing. Cleaning and disinfecting will occur daily on a continuous basis. Bathrooms and commonly touched areas will be cleaned throughout the day. Employees and individuals must practice hand hygiene which includes washing hands with soap and warm water upon entering the building, between each activity, after using the restroom, before eating and before leaving the building. Tables, door handles, chairs, toys and art supplies should be disinfected regularly.

Monitoring of Health Conditions

Our facilities are being properly disinfected and appropriate signage is posted throughout the building. Furthermore, we have ordered PPE’s for our staff. In addition, sitewide cleaning and disinfection will take place daily using products recommended by the CDC.


Each individual and staff member must have their temperature taken before they will be allowed to enter the building. Any individual who presents with a temperature greater than 100*F will be denied entry into the building or sent directly to the isolation room until they are picked up. In addition, the daily questionnaire from the CDC will need to be completed either in person or reported to us by guardian/resident staff. The CDC questionnaire asks three questions.

In the last 14 days have you:

  1. Had any contact with any person known to be covid-19 positive?
  2. Have you exhibited any symptoms of Covid-19?
  3. Tested positive for Covid -19?

The CDC screening also asks about any international travel or travel from a state with widespread transmission of COVID-19 as designated by the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days. Any individual or staff member who fails screening will be denied entry into the building or sent directly to the isolation room until they are picked up.


If an employee or individual feels sick, they must stay home. Employees or individuals who test positive for Covid-19 may not return to HAND IN HAND until they have met the criteria set forth by the CDC and DOH. They will be advised to see their primary care physician for diagnostic testing if needed. Any individual or staff member who develops symptoms during the day must be separated and sent home as soon as possible. An Isolation room will be available for staff or individuals who exhibit symptoms awaiting pickup. All areas of the building used by the individuals who became ill will be closed off until cleaned and disinfected. If an employee or individual test positive for Covid-19 Hand in Hand will inform IRMA and DOH respectively. Those who had close contact with the sick person will be advised to stay at home and self- monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidelines.

If an employee or individual exhibits symptoms they must be immediately isolated and sent home and may return to the program only with proof of negative Covid-19 test and a Dr’s note.

If a household member of an employee or individual is exhibiting signs of Covid-19 or tested positive, the employee/individual may not enter the building for the duration of the 14 day quarantine (“close contact”).

If an employee or individual is exposed to someone within 48 hours of that person testing positive for Covid-19, the employee or individual must quarantine for 14 days. Exposure is >15 min at 6 ft or less distance.

If a household member of an employee or individual is quarantined as a precautionary measure, the employee/individual may return to the building (“contact of contact”).

If employee or individual becomes symptomatic and/or tests positive for Covid-19, they may not return to the building until the 14 day quarantine is complete.