Coronavirus Advisory

Incompass continues to monitor Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments closely, as the health and safety of the people we serve and our staff and is our top priority.  Please visit this page regularly for updates as they relate to Coronavirus and the Incompass community.

See below for the latest updates on COVID-19 guidance.

COVID-19 Updates

August 5, 2020 — Message from the CEO
For the first time in nearly 150 days, our day programs will be open next week when we welcome a small cohort of day hab participants to Lawrence and Chelmsford!
 
The last five months have been an incredible period for all of us at LifeLinks CLASS.
  • We’ve listened to our Care Champions.
  • We’ve connected with our families and caregivers.
  • We’ve consulted with fellow provider agencies.
  • We’ve followed guidance from federal and state agencies.
  • We’ve completed training to build our skills in infection prevention and containment
 
All of this insight, collaboration, and action has driven our agency’s pandemic response plan that has been rooted in proactive steps aimed at promoting the health and safety of our community. Remember, we suspended day programs, required face coverings, and offered hand-washing training prior to the release of state requirements.
 
So, at the risk of sounding self-serving, I don’t mind saying that I think we’re doing a heck of a job! ???
 
But hey, don’t just take my word for it! Our most recent round of surveillance testing conducted at nearly every group home just this week recorded zero positive tests! In fact, we haven’t recorded a single positive COVID-19 test in six weeks! ? ?
 
And remember – WE NEVER CLOSED! Our 16 group homes are staffed 24/7 and are home to nearly 100 individuals. Our nurses and clinical teams are providing essential medical care to individuals where they are. Our Family Support Center is actively serving more than 300 families throughout the region. Our family support and day program specialists have run more than 1,000 virtual programs since day programs were suspended.
 
The bottom line is that our organization is rooted in doing things for each other; this isn’t novel for us. It’s what makes us all Care Champions! While it’s easy to focus on the tangible policies and procedures, I am especially proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past few months…
  • We’ve learned from each other.
  • We’ve supported each other.
  • We’ve stayed home and avoided crowds for each other.
  • We’ve donned masks for each other.
  • We’ve been there for each other.
 
This includes all of you – staff, families, caregivers, individuals, public officials, Directors, and supporters. So on Monday, remember we aren’t just resuming day hab; we’re taking another step forward as a LifeLinks CLASS team…and we’re doing it #ForEachOther.
 
With regards,
Jean
July 21, 2020 — Message from the CEO
How many of you watch Jeopardy? I decided to make this update a bit interactive, so in the category of “LifeLinks CLASS” here is your answer:
 
Empathetic.
Passionate.
Committed.
Caring.
Adaptable.
Innovative.
Responsive.
Trustworthy.
Supportive.
Inspirational.
 
And the question is, “What are the some of the qualities of a LifeLinks CLASS Care Champion?” 
 
You may be asking yourselves, “why is Jean talking about our qualities in quiz show form?” Well, a few reasons…
 
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the presentation of the LifeLinks CLASS culture group. And what a great presentation it was! These Care Champions have been working together for nearly a full year to articulate some of the core values they want us to develop and champion as an organization. They are working now to consolidate their findings, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of sharing the results of their work with all of you!
 
Second, we are getting ready to re-open day programs! The re-opening process is still a work in progress, and it is as comprehensive as it is informed. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing components of the plan that directly impact our Care Champions across the organization. And we’ll need all of you to continue to demonstrate the values of a Care Champion in embracing these temporary measures aimed at prevention and containment.
 
For example: 
  • Vacation attestation: We need to know if you are planning to travel – especially to a hotspot – so we can prepare for your return to programs.
  • Quarantining: We will continue our process of quarantining staff and individuals who show symptoms of COVID-19 until they can be tested.
  • Mask-wearing: We will provide face masks for all Care Champions and require that masks be worn while your duties are being performed.
  • Self-reporting: We will have a clear process in place for Care Champions to self-report if they have symptoms of respiratory illness and await guidance from our clinical leads.
 
I know all of you will step up in the face of adversity, as you’ve been doing! Our residential services team deserves so much credit for how they have adopted a lot of new EOHHS policies over these past few months, and our infection rate in our group homes has been significantly curtailed. Thank you Angie, Thompson, and the entire residential services team! The fact is that the choices we make in the time of COVID-19 impact our entire community, including the people we serve and their families and caregivers.
 
Your fellow Care Champions are depending on you to embrace these policies to protect their own health and safety. We will of course be sharing these policies with our union partners who share our desire to ensure the health and safety of all of our Care Champions! And as an organization, we will do our part to provide periodic testing, ample PPE supplies, and ongoing communications around our response to this pandemic.
 
I’ll continue to keep you updated and informed. More to come…
 
With regards,
Jean
July 2, 2020 — Message from the CEO
Dear LifeLinks CLASS community,
 
Earlier today Governor Charlie Baker announced that Phase 3 of the Reopening Massachusetts plan, which includes day habilitation and community-based day and employment services, will commence on Monday, July 6. Many of you – including staff, family, and caregivers – have already reached out to me in the hours since the press conference to ask how that impacts LifeLinks CLASS.
 
While we are very excited to provide these opportunities again for your loved ones, we cannot lift the day program suspension on Monday, July 6. We are still awaiting formal compliance and attestation guidance from EOHS and DDS that we need to meet before we are able to resume day programs.
 
After convening the COVID-19 Task Force this afternoon, here is what we know:
 
  • Day program providers must submit a comprehensive re-opening plan in compliance with requirements that have yet to be released by EOHS and DDS
  • Transportation plans that include “infection control strategies and maintenance of physical distancing while transporting participants” must be approved prior to re-opening.
  • Limitations on the number of staff allowed in the facility will impact the type of supports we are able to provide.
  • All day programs will operate at a reduced capacity once they are approved to be open in order to ensure proper social distancing and adherence to infection protocols.
 
As you can see, there is a lot to do before we are allowed to lift the suspension of day programs at LifeLinks CLASS. The task force has been working on a reopening plan and policies and now must align that plan with the soon-to-be-issued re-opening components from EOHS and DDS. We are pushing forward and will keep you informed of our progress.
 
But again, because of this, we CANNOT lift the suspension on Monday, July 6.
 
The guidance we did receive today emphasizes that day providers are encouraged to continue day program services remotely and through alternative, non-group methods when appropriate and feasible. While the task force pursues approval to re-open suspended programs, our incredible staff will continue to provide virtual services and supports in place of our facility- and community-based programs.
 
As much as we’d love to see you all again, we have to do this right. As I’ve said since we first made the decision to suspend day programs, we cannot re-open facilities until we as an agency can ensure the health and safety of our participants and staff.
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and more to come!
 
I wish you all a safe and happy Fourth of July! Be well.
 
Jean M. Phelps, CEO
May 13, 2020 — Message from the CEO
Dear LifeLinks CLASS community:
 
I want to thank you all for the incredible outpouring of support over these past few days for all of the LifeLinks CLASS nurses! If you haven’t yet, be sure to watch our nurse appreciation week video that just posted yesterday.
 
Over the past few days, many of you have asked the same question I wrote about almost one month ago: when? “When will day programs fully re-open? When will restrictions on group home visitors be lifted? When will we all be able to come together as a community again?”
 
When I wrote that on April 22, my message was that I truly wished that I was reaching out to you with all the answers. The reality is that despite Governor Baker’s announcement this week of a four-phase re-opening plan, we’re no closer to answering these questions as I write to you today.
 
The COVID-19 Task Force is awaiting clear guidance from the Commonwealth on where our services fit into the phased continuum of essential services outlined by the administration. We will continue to provide virtual day supports, residential services, and AFC and family supports as we have for the last eight weeks, but in the absence of that guidance, our facility-based day programs will remain indefinitely suspended. Like you, we anticipate having more clarity after Governor Baker releases his more detailed plans on Monday the 18th.
 
However, the Covid Task Force members have been actively engaged in preparing our own plans for once again opening our day program facilities and administrative offices; exploring all options to ensure social distancing, PPE and facility cleaning to ensure maximum safety and security while meeting any state and local guidelines or directives when we get them.
 
I wish I could be more certain about the state’s plan and what it means for us going forward, but I promise I will update all of you as soon as we have clarity around the state’s re-opening plan and understand what it means for the LifeLinks CLASS community.
 
In the meantime, be well and stay safe.
 
Jean M. Phelps, CEO
April 29, 2020 — Message from the CEO
Dear LifeLinks CLASS community:
 
We are all in this together, and it appears that social distancing and the preventative measures put in place over the past six weeks are beginning to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts. That being said, based on the latest developments we won’t be opening day programs until May 18 at the earliest.
 
As you may know, yesterday Governor Charlie Baker announced that he was extending the stay-at-home advisory – as well as the ban on gatherings of 10 people or more – until May 18. Additionally, the governor announced the formation of an advisory board who will provide direction on re-opening the state.
 
We are essential. And we are all anxious to return to day program and administrative operations at our sites in Chelmsford, Lawrence, and Wilmington. But we will continue to follow the guidance from our state and local health agencies, including the Department of Developmental Services, who are advising us on when it’s safe to welcome your loved ones back to facilities-based day programs. Additionally, the LifeLinks CLASS COVID-19 task force is engaged in discussions around any additional safety measures we may need to implement at our facilities to create a safe environment for our day program participants, staff, visitors, vendors, and anyone else who will need access to our buildings.
 
I wanted to speak directly to you, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my message below.
 
In the meantime, I hope you are able to participate in some of the many virtual events and activities that our dedicated team has put together. I’ve heard from many of you that our virtual calendar has become a valuable resource during this challenging time!
 
Thank you for doing your part, and know that we are here for you. Best wishes to all of you for health and happiness.
 
Best regards,
Jean M. Phelps, CEO
 
To each and every one of you who comprise the LifeLinks CLASS family, please watch my brief video message.
April 22, 2020 — Message from the CEO

The question I get most nowadays is rooted in one word: when.

When will day programs fully re-open? When will restrictions on group home visitors be lifted? When will we all be able to come together as a community again?

I truly wish I was reaching out to you with all the answers. But the truth is that we are still actively following the guidelines that many human services agencies have put in place to stop the transmission of COVID-19. The health and safety of our individuals and staff are more important to me than anything right now.

We have previously announced that all LifeLinks CLASS day programs will remain suspended until May 4, per Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory.  While the governor announced yesterday that schools across the Commonwealth would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, this order does not impact that timeline.

In short, the COVID-19 task force will continue to work with our state and local health officials to answer the question of “when.” I suspect that we will bring our facility-based day services back into operation once the stay-at-home advisory is relaxed per CDC and state guidance. This may ultimately become a phased re-opening, over a period of several weeks. But I assure you that our commitment to open and honest communication will not waiver, and we will keep you updated and informed as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, the COVID-19 task force is continuing to meet almost daily to plan and prepare, and the coronavirus advisory web page is constantly being updated with the latest information.

On a final note, I just want to share that I’m immensely proud of what our community has been able to accomplish under extraordinary circumstances over the past month. Not only have we implemented new policies, but we have come together in new ways. The LifeLinks CLASS virtual calendar continues to grow!

Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your support. And most importantly, thank you for your strength and resiliency. I can’t wait to express my gratitude in person!

Best,

Jean Phelps, CEO

 

April 6, 2020 — Message from the CEO
To the LifeLinks CLASS community,
 
Like all of you, my world has been turned upside down over these past few weeks in ways I never imagined. One of the absolute best parts of my job is the constant reminders of love and support I get to observe every day across our programs. I can’t wait to get back to that daily occurrence, but for now, we’re all adapting.
 
Face-to-face interactions that are at the heart of everything we do at LifeLinks CLASS are being replaced by technology where possible. We’re hosting virtual events. Conducting virtual check-ins. Even the COVID-19 daily task force meetings are held virtually.
 
We know it’s difficult for everyone. In fact, family support center coordinator Eileen Lee recently told her story to the Washington Post – a powerful reminder to the country at large that caregivers in our community are facing difficult choices the likes of which they never imagined. Eileen has always been a fierce advocate for the people we serve. It’s a powerful story that I encourage you all to read and share!
 
But amidst the ordeal, I want to point out something that fills me with joy! And that’s the dedication of the direct support professionals at LifeLinks CLASS who are working feverishly every day for the people we serve! It truly is an honor and a privilege to be a part of a fiercely dedicated team that makes a difference in the lives of so many – and supports each other in the most challenging times.
 
I am in awe of the selfless acts of kindness that have become the norm over these past few weeks. Let me share a few examples with you:
 
  • Day program staff are volunteering to work shifts at our group homes across the region.
  • The residential staff put on a wonderful birthday party for one of our group home residents, filming the festivities to create a memorable family celebration.
  • The finance team, thanks to the herculean efforts of Sasha Ayala, has been able to procure sorely needed PPE for our direct care staff.
  • Day program and clinical staff are sharing virtual activities and sending packets of recommended activities to group homes and to homes of individuals whose day programs are suspended.
  • The award-winning Strive2Thrive program is engaging participants in the creation of a virtual calendar of events that keep mentors connected with their ASD-No ID mentees. 
  • Our nurses, under the leadership of Alicia Mordach, have gone above and beyond in providing care for those who need it, where they need it, under challenging circumstances. Including training staff on the proper uses of PPE and assertively monitoring the medical care of all of our individuals for who a doctor’s office visit would pose a risk right now.
  • The facilities team has been keeping the supply chain at group homes uninterrupted and they have even converted space at Omni Way to be used as a quarantine center in case of emergency.
  • The students at Merrimack College who work with us as part of the New Balance Healthy Balance program have stepped up, creating a YouTube channel for participants in the program to stay active and connected.
 
We’re working very hard to support our staff and to provide them with the resources they need to provide for your loved ones and keep them safe and healthy during this unprecedented moment in time. We are learning and changing how we operate in order to keep everyone safe while maintaining some sense of routine and regularity in order to install confidence and ally fears. It is a challenge, but one we have taken on wholeheartedly.
 
We will continue to keep you updated and engaged as we manage through this. And let’s continue to do our part to flatten the curve. Follow the CDC guidelines. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands. And know that your LifeLinks CLASS team is here for you. Now, and always.
 
With best wishes for your health and safety,
 
Jean M. Phelps, CEO
March 30, 2020 — Message from the CEO

Dear LifeLinks CLASS Community,

There have been significant developments over the past week in support of the ongoing COVID-19 response at the local, state, and national level. In order to comply with the latest recommendations, day programs in Lawrence, Wilmington, and Chelmsford will remain suspended until at least May 4. We will keep you updated on developments as we follow guidance from our public officials and do our part to “flatten the curve.”

I want to personally thank all of you, who have helped us to adapt during these uncertain times. I know many of you are anxious, even scared, and that’s completely normal. Fortunately, we have not yet seen a presumed positive case of COVID-19 in the LifeLinks CLASS community. Your health and safety is always our top priority, and the COVID-19 task force has put several new policies in place over the past few weeks, including:

  • Day programs – including Day Hab, CBDS, TREE, and employment programs are suspending all site-based supports until May 4.
  • All group recreation programs have been postponed until further notice.
  • Visitor access to all group homes and residences has been restricted.
  • Temperature checks and wellness checks are required for all staff in the field who are in contact with the people we support.
  • In-home visits will be conducted virtually whenever possible.
  • Kentucky Derby Day Fundraiser has been postponed.

This is an ever-evolving situation, and we will continue to adapt as needed. But I promise you that despite the circumstances, the LifeLinks CLASS commitment to providing enriching supports to the individuals and families we serve has never waned. The bottom line? We’re still here for you! I’m so grateful to our dedicated staff who have gone above and beyond over these past few weeks, motivated by impact of their work and their connection to all of you!

  • Staff will continue to proactively reach out to each of you each week, but don’t hesitate to get in contact with them if you need anything.
  • The Family Support Center is conducting a series of virtual events, including virtual classes with Blue Wave this week!
  • Nursing and clinical staff are continuing to provide critical care and supports and are available to support you. Please let your staff know of any needs.
  • Residential staff will continue to provide critical care and supports for all of the people living in our residential support programs across the region.

Please know that we are closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and will work diligently to ensure that we have the right plans and resources in place, in adherence to the latest expert guidance and recommendations. Together, we will get through this and will be a stronger community once we do.

With best wishes for your health and safety,

Jean M. Phelps, CEO

 

March 23, 2020 — Message to Staff from COO

Good afternoon everyone,

You may have heard that earlier today, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order that requires “all businesses and organizations that do not provide ‘COVID-19 Essential Services’ to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers, and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon.”

I want to be clear that due to the work we perform to provide critical supports and services for the I/DD community, as defined in the Governor’s order all LifeLinks CLASS staff are considered essential employees.

All of you are providing what the governor classifies as “COVID-19 Essential Services,” and those direct care staff who are working in the field should have received a signed letter in the mail indicating your status. In short, the Commonwealth needs you to keep doing what you’re doing, as we all work together to navigate this unprecedented public health emergency and “flatten the curve.”

The governor’s order also prohibits gatherings of “more than ten people” until April 7, and he has directed the Department of Public Health to issue a “stay at home advisory” that underscores the importance of social distancing.

I’m proud that we’re all doing our part! The reality is that the governor’s order that was announced today will have little if any impact on our work, as we have already put these measures in place. We continue to strongly encourage those of you who can work remotely to do so. (If you haven’t already, please do digitally sign the work from home policy that was distributed by Human Resources last week via Paycor.) If you must come in to the office, please follow the social distancing best practices outlined by the CDC and DPH, and frequently wash your hands.

I can’t say this enough – and won’t stop saying it anytime soon – thank you! All of you! We have come together as a team in a time of need, and are supporting one another as well as the people we serve. I can’t predict the future, but I promise you are going to get through this. I couldn’t be prouder to lead such a dedicated team who is collectively supporting those who rely on us in good times, and in uncertain times. And make no mistake, these are uncertain times.

I also want to remind you that the COVID-19 Task Force is working feverishly and meeting regularly! Please don’t hesitate to send feedback, questions, or suggestions as we navigate the pandemic.

Kind regards,

Al

#WeAreEssential

March 18, 2020 — Memo to Individual Support Services (ISS) Participants

From: LifeLinks CLASS Coronavirus Task Force

Dear LifeLinks CLASS ISS Participants:

We want to keep you and your case manager healthy and safe during the outbreak of the
novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the best way to do that is to prohibit the spread of the
virus. So we want you to know a few things:

  • You will hear from your case manager this week.
  • We will be reducing the number of in-person visits to comply with the
    recommendations from our public health agencies.
  • Your case manager will be calling you twice each week to check in on you.
  • In-person supports will still be here for you! If you need help with something at
    your home, be sure to tell your case manager when you talk.
  • You’re not alone if you’re feeling anxious about what’s going on in the world;
    ask your case manager any questions you have about the Coronavirus. That’s
    what they’re here for!

We know it’s a difficult time for all of us, but we promise that we will support each other
throughout and be there for you when you need us most!

March 18, 2020 — Memo to Adult Family Care (AFC) Caregivers

From: LifeLinks CLASS Coronavirus Task Force

Dear LifeLinks CLASS Adult Family Care (AFC) Caregivers:

As the situation around novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, our top priority is
the health and safety of you and your loved ones, as well as our staff. We want to reassure
you that there are currently no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at LifeLinks CLASS,
and we are doing our part to contain the outbreak of the virus in our community.

Our dedicated AFC team is who are working feverishly to ensure the continuity of our services
and supports to the greatest extent possible given the severity of the public health situation.
Until public health officials determine that the COVID-19 pandemic has resolved, AFC nurses
and care managers will be transitioning to twice-weekly remote check-ins via telephone
and/or video conference. They are proactively reaching out to all of you this week to offer
support and guidance.

The remote check-in policy will remain in place until the COVID-19 pandemic has resolved as
determined by public health officials. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation
during this challenging time.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your AFC team if you need anything. Remember, we’re
here for you.

March 18, 2020 — Memo to Shared Living Families & Providers

From: LifeLinks CLASS Coronavirus Task Force

Dear LifeLinks CLASS Shared Living Residents and Providers:

As the situation around novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, our top priority is
your health and safety. It is important for you to know first and foremost that there are
currently no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at LifeLinks CLASS, and we are doing
our part to contain the outbreak of the virus in our community.

Our dedicated Shared Living team is doing everything they can to the greatest extent possible
given the severity of the public health situation. Until public health officials determine that
the COVID-19 pandemic has resolved, our shared living coordinators will be transitioning to
twice-weekly remote check-ins via telephone and/or video conference. They are proactively
reaching out to all of you this week to offer support and guidance. And of course, our nursing
and clinical team will continue to provide support on an as-needed basis.

We are grateful for the exceptional dedication of our shared living team, who are working
feverishly to ensure the continuity of our services and supports. Thank you for your
understanding and cooperation during this challenging time.

March 18, 2020 — Memo to Group Home Residents & Families

From: LifeLinks CLASS Coronavirus Task Force

Dear LifeLinks CLASS Residents and Families:

For many of the people we support in our group homes, LifeLinks CLASS is the first line of
medical defense. We want to reassure you that there are no positive or presumptive cases of
COVID-19 at LifeLinks CLASS, and we are doing our part to contain the outbreak of the virus in
our community.

Our top priority is to keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe at this difficult time. With
that in mind, we are implementing several new temporary policies for our group homes:

  • Visitors will not be allowed to any group home until further notice.
  • Families may choose to bring their family member home from their group
    home. However, in order to maintain the integrity of the safety of the other
    residents in the group home, that individual will be required to remain out of
    the group home until the COVID-19 pandemic has resolved as determined by
    public health officials.

Families/guardians are encouraged to discuss their plans and concerns regarding their
family members with their Group Home Manager prior to making any decisions to
relocate a group home resident to their family’s home.

Thank you for your understanding and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances in
this challenging environment.

March 17, 2020 — Memo to Families

From: LifeLinks CLASS Coronavirus Task Force

Dear LifeLinks CLASS families:
In these uncertain times, the role and responsibility of your Family Support Center team is to
prioritize the health and well-being of all of the families we support throughout the region
while doing our part to contain the outbreak of the virus.

A lot has happened over the past few days, as schools and businesses are being closed for
weeks at a time. Day programs at LifeLinks CLASS have been suspended through April 3, and
all Family Support Center community events have been suspended indefinitely. More likely
than not, you’re being impacted by these decisions.

Today we wanted to personally reach out to you and provide an update on the actions that
the organization is taking to help you and your loved ones over the next several weeks:

  • The organization has created a coronavirus advisory web page that is updated
    regularly: https://www.incompasshs.org/coronavirus-advisory/
  • If you have not heard from us, please know that our staff is actively calling each of
    you over the next 24-48 hours to help guide you through this period.
  • We are creating a clearinghouse of sensory-friendly online games, activities, and
    learning opportunities that we will continue to populate.

For those who receive stipend money, given that bank branches are now announcing closures
we strongly encourage you to setup a direct deposit account if you don’t have one in place.
Your service coordinator can assist you with this if you need our help.

There are more than 300 people who rely on the Family Support Center for services and
supports. We are going to be here with you throughout and will do everything we can to the
greatest extent possible given the severity of the public health situation to keep you safe and
engaged during this difficult time.

Thank you for your patience and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances in this
challenging environment. And I am grateful for the exceptional dedication of the Family
Support Centerstaff, who are working tirelessly to ensure the continuity of our services and
supports.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your family support specialist if you need anything.
Remember, we’re here for you.

March 16, 2020 — Message from the CEO
Dear LifeLinks CLASS community:
 
LifeLinks CLASS day programs in Chelmsford, Lawrence, and Wilmington will be suspended from Tuesday, March 17 until Friday, April 3. We anticipate re-opening all day programs on Monday, April 6. In addition, all LifeLinks CLASS group activities are suspended until further notice.
 
All other LifeLinks CLASS programs and services – including all residential services, AFC, family, and individual support services – will continue to operate to the greatest extent possible given the severity of the public health situation. Within the next 48-72 hours, each of the families of individuals that we currently support in our day programs will receive a phone call from our staff to help you plan and prepare for this period.
 
We recognize these decisions impact the people we support and their families, as well as our dedicated staff, but your health and safety are our highest priority. We understand this is a difficult time, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation.

 

Kind regards,

Jean M. Phelps, CEO

March 15, 2020 — Message from the CEO

Dear LifeLinks CLASS Community,

Governor Baker has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts due to the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic. With schools closing and new restrictions being implemented by the
governor’s office next week, it’s a fluid and dynamic situation.

For those of you who choose to send your loved ones tomorrow, March 16, day services in
Chelmsford, Lawrence, and Wilmington will be open and available to you.

We will do everything we can to keep you safe during this difficult time, and every decision we
make is based on the most durable and reliable guidance available. It is increasingly likely that
we will need to close day services this week, and we will send an update on Monday after we
consult with the Department of Public Health and Department of Developmental Services.

While we will have to adapt the way we deliver programs in the interest of the health and
safety of the entire community, we are going to be here with you throughout.

Kind regards,

Jean M. Phelps, CEO

March 12, 2020 — Video Message from the CEO

March 9, 2020 — Message from the CEO

Dear LifeLinks CLASS Community,

We are closely monitoring developments related to the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as the health and safety of the people we serve and our staff and is our top priority.

First, it’s important to remember that even though the risk for coronavirus is currently low; the flu risk in Massachusetts remains high. These simple precautions will help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, using a tissue or the inside of your elbow
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water frequently and use hand sanitizer
  • If you have a fever or feel sick, stay home and call your healthcare provider
  • Get the flu vaccine – it is not too late!

LifeLinks CLASS has always followed the guidelines for universal precautions and we utilize stringent cleaning and sanitation processes as most of the persons we support have underlying health issues. Measures are already in place to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that can cause the flu, coronavirus, cold, and other contagious illnesses including:

  • Day program facilities and group homes are cleaned and sanitized daily with a bleach and water solution
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are readily available at all of our locations
  • Staff are trained by our nurses on tactics to prevent the spread of airborne illnesses, including proper hand washing

However, creating a safe environment is a community effort, and we need your help. We will ask people we serve, staff, visitors including family members, vendors and others from the community to stay home if you are showing signs of an airborne illness including fever, cough, and sore throat. Additionally, we do have a robust continuity of operations plan that was just recently updated that will be activated in the event of a local coronavirus outbreak.

If you’re interested in learning more facts about the coronavirus, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) launched mass.gov/2019coronavirus, a web portal that includes extensive information and the latest updates.

Unfortunately, it appears that we will be confronted with the COVID-19 virus for some time still to come. LifelInks CLASS will continue to provide information and updates to our community on an as-needed basis and we are always here to answer your questions or address concerns. Feel free to reach out to program managers, directors, clinical or nursing staff, or even my office if you have further questions.

Kind regards,

Jean M. Phelps, CEO

Visitation Policies for DDS Residential Programs

Incompass is pleased to welcome back families to visit their loved ones at our group homes. Please see below for our updated visitation guidance, in accordance with the most recent visitation policy released by DDS for residential programs.

If you have any questions, please contact:

COVID-19 Task Force

A cross-section of Incompass clinical, nursing, residential, family support, and senior administrators are meeting regularly to review and plan Incompass response to COVID-19.

 

  • Jean Phelps, CEO
  • Al Frugoli, COO
  • Kelly Trickett, Director of Family & Community Services
  • Alicia Mordach, Assistant Clinical Director of Nursing
  • Chris Snell, Director of Clinical Services
  • Shawn Nault, Director of Day Habilitation Services
  • Thompson Stephens, Assistant Director of Residential Services
  • Angie Otieno, Director of Residential Services
  • Michael Bloom, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer
  • Dan Esdale, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Becca Rausa, Chief Human Resources Officer

Coronavirus Health Information

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created robust web portals with the most up-to-date information on the global outbreak.