Per Pennsylvania’s phased reopening, Allegheny County moved into the Green Phase on June 5, 2020. In this phase, the stay-at-home order is lifted but physical distancing, workplace safety, and masking guidelines remain in place. Per Governor Wolf, in the Green Phase, telework is to continue where feasible and businesses conducting in-person operations must follow state Department of Health safety orders. The content presented here is to notify the community about the current status of key services and program operations.
Guidance DHS released to support providers is applicable throughout the Green Phase. Follow the links below to access Green Phase guidance tailored to specific issues faced by:
- Providers of 24/7 residential programs
- 24/7 residential providers reporting probable or positive cases of clients or staff
- Daycare and school-age day camp providers
- Providers conducting in-person operations
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has released COVID-19 guidance to providers of aging services to help meet the needs of older adults while ensuring their safety.
All Assessment activities that can be conducted virtually will continue. Physical in-person visits to facilities will be placed on hold. On-site visits will begin at the direction of the state and following state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
All CCTP activities that can be conducted virtually will continue. Physical in-person visits to facilities, hospitals and homes will be placed on hold until Health Plan approves visits to begin. On-site visits will begin at the direction of the state and following state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
Domiciliary Care staff will continue virtual visits while awaiting further PA Department of Aging guidance. Dom Care providers will continue to limit only essential visitors to the home. On-site visits will begin at the direction of the PA Department of Aging and following state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
HDM providers will continue to provide service following the state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines. HDM providers will continue to utilize an alternative process for meals that incorporates frozen meal preparation and delivery in place of hot meal preparation and delivery throughout the coronavirus period. Providers will work with AAA to develop a transition plan for returning to hot meal preparation and delivery service.
All operations will continue. Adult Day Providers will reopen at the direction of the state. All other in-home providers will continue operations following state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines. The Consumer Comfort-Level Screening Tool, Consumer Health Screening Tool, and Guidance for Consumer Contact and Return to In-Home Visits have been developed by the PA Department of Aging to assist you.
All services that can be conducted virtually will remain virtual. On-site visits will begin at the direction of the state and following state, CDC, and Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
All Ombudsman activities that can be conducted virtually will continue. Physical in-person visits to facilities will be placed on hold. On-site visits will begin at the direction of the state and following state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
PA Department of Aging guidance to OPTIONS during the green phase mandates two screening tools to be used in discussion with residents in homes before staff visit. The first screening tool determines if there is a risk of COVID-19 in the home. The second screening tool determines the client's comfort with allowing OPTIONS care managers into the home. If the screening process determines no risk of COVID-19 and the client is comfortable with a face to face visit, the visit will move forward. If either COVID-19 symptoms or client comfort is a concern, the visit is to take place virtually. OPTIONS staff will follow the state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
Pennsylvania Department of Health Guidance to OAPS during the green phase mandates a screening tool be used in discussion with residents in homes before staff visit. If residents do not have COVID-19 symptoms, face to face visits should occur. Should they appear to have symptoms, yellow phase guidance should be used. OAPS staff will follow the state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
Senior Center activities that can be conducted telephonically or virtually will continue while each Senior Center will work with the AAA to complete its reopening planning process in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Senior Center Reopening Guidance.
Consistent with this guidance, decisions about reopening Senior Centers should be based on the square footage available for social distancing within a center and other factors. Senior Centers that are not able to provide congregate meal service due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements will continue to provide grab and go or takeout meals. Upon reopening, Senior Centers will follow the state, CDC, and Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
Senior Companion Program
All Senior Companion activities are to continue to be conducted virtually/telephonically until further guidance is received from CNCS. Senior Companion staff and volunteers will follow the state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
All operations will continue. The SeniorLine will follow state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines.
Work will be completed telephonically and virtually as appropriate. Transportation providers (Older Persons Transportation) will continue to provide services following the PA Department of Health Worker Safety Order.
Community Integration Team (CIT)
The CIT will continue to monitor client progress/status and participate in Consumer Support Plans.
Community Wellness Team/ACCR/Stand Together
Consumer support services and communications with students will continue remotely.
Delivery of Ambulatory, Inpatient, and Residential Services
Service delivery is expected to continue in a combination of site-based, face-to-face and teleremote modalities, consistent with applicable regulations and any updates to applicable state guidance.
New state guidelines have been issued regarding resuming face-to-face meetings with children and families and will be implemented per OCDEL. Services will also continue via telehealth.
Information, Referral and Emergency Services
Maintenance of service will continue.
Medical Assistance Transportation Program
Maintenance of service will continue. For more information, please reference the COVID-19 Information Tool OMAP Announcement for County Administrators, Brokers, and Contracted Transit Agencies of the MATP.
Office of Behavioral Health Incident Reporting
OBH Incident Reporting and follow-up will continue to be conducted via electronic processes and with verbal communications as necessary. Providers of 24/7 residential services should continue to report probable cases (both client and staff) consistent with DHS guidance.
Program Technical Assistance/Support
OBH will continue to provide technical assistance and program support to providers.
Residential Referral Management
Maintenance of services will continue.
Student Assistance Program (SAP)/School-based Mental Health Programs
SAP staff will continue to work remotely via telehealth including screenings, group sessions and team meetings.
School-based liaisons will continue to assist schools in accessing and implementing school-based mental health programs.
412 Youth Zone
Physical centers can open for 1:1 support of youth and for small groups in which social distancing is possible. Appointments strongly recommended for all services. All services that can continue to occur virtually should do so.
In-person services will continue to be provided during limited hours onsite at the Human Services Building. The Call Center is operating normal hours.
Explicitly permitted to open.
Early Learning Resource Center
ELRC's main office at Wood Street Commons opens to the public by appointment on July 6, 2020. Hosanna House, Kingsley Association and Human Services Center Corporation satellite offices are also opening on July 6th but others remain closed through July. All functions are still available virtually.
Physical centers can open for 1:1 support of families and for small groups in which social distancing is possible. Appointments strongly recommended for all services. All services that can continue to occur virtually should do so. Get specific information on COVID operations per Center location.
Homeless Services – Rapid Re-housing/Permanent Housing Programs
All RRH and PSH programs will continue operating. The waiver that extends the time limit for rental assistance in RRH projects lasts until three months after state or local health officials determine special measures are no longer needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The case management waiver that allows virtual rather than in-person case management is in place until August 31, 2020.
Continue virtual case management when possible, but 1:1 meetings are allowable when necessary or preferred by the client. PPE and social distancing guidance should be followed for in-person visits.
Homelessness Services - Shelters
Shelters will continue to operate as they were under the yellow phase. Refer to the Allegheny County DHS Behavioral Health Residentially Based Care/Services, Youth Congregate Care, Emergency Shelters and Other
Housing Providers Guidance for more information.
Homeless Services - Street Outreach
Outreach providers may conduct onsite visits with clients if following PPE and social distancing protocol.
Home visiting should continue virtually when possible. For families where in-person visits are preferred home visiting can occur, outdoor spaces preferred. Consult your home visiting national model (e.g. Parents as Teachers, Nurturing Parenting, etc) and the Allegheny County Guidance for DHS Providers Conducting In-Person Business Operations During COVID-19.
Isolation and Quarantine Facilities
Safe Haven is a voluntary, temporary isolation and quarantine facility for individuals who cannot safely shelter in place. Read Safe Haven FAQs and check Safe Haven Hotel and Family Healing Center Referral Process for more information. All services that can be provided virtually should continue to do so.
Out-of-School Time/Summer Camp
All-day programming can resume following state, CDC, and Allegheny County Health and Safety Guidelines.
Virtual programming can be offered for children who do not require childcare.
Self-sufficiency services will continue to be provided virtually. Some providers are resuming in-person services with the institution of physical office space accommodations that follow CDC social distancing guidelines and the use of masks and hand sanitation products required for staff and clients.
Tax Assistance Services
Tax assistance preparation services will continue to be offered virtually through the end of June 2020. No in-person services are currently offered.
Staff will continue virtual visits consistent with current PDA guidance and pending any updates to it. Providers will continue to limit only essential visitors, including parents, to the home. On-site visits will begin at the direction of state, CDC, Allegheny County Health and Safety guidelines. Refer to Allegheny County CYF Best Practice Guidelines regarding visitation for more information.
Per the Governor’s orders, telework is still strongly encouraged when possible. Businesses and services are permitted to reopen at reduced capacity, by appointment only (when applicable) and following all health and safety guidance.
Each agency should make decisions about reopening with the safety of staff and families top of mind and by submitting a reopening plan to your Allegheny County designee. Programs may consider shifts of staff to maintain social distancing and should make considerations for staff who are over 65 or have underlying conditions per CDC guidelines. Refer to Allegheny County CYF Best Practice Guidelines for more information.
Home visiting should continue virtually when possible. For families where in-person visits are preferred, in-person visits can occur. These visits should be conducted in outdoor spaces and only after a symptom screen indicates the family is not symptomatic. Follow local Health Department guidelines and CDC recommendations. Refer to Strategies for Conducting Home Visits and Allegheny County CYF Best Practice Guidelines for more information.
The Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has created a webpage dedicated to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates.
Intake & Registration
Intake and registration activities will continue to be done remotely as much as possible. The Intake line continues to be open for calls. If face to face registration is determined to be necessary, Intake specialists will follow CDC recommendations including the wearing of masks and observance of social distancing.
Services and Supports
Service providers should refer to the following guidelines as we move into the green phase:
- ODP announcement 20-066 offers Guidance for Visitation in Residential Setting Licensed by ODP in the Green Phase.
- ODP Announcement 20-059 regarding the Individual Transition Guide should be used when planning for individuals to resume previous services or a change in service since COVID.
- ODP Announcement 20-062 is the Community Participation Support Readiness Tool. It speaks to assessing an individuals' ability and level of community participation that is safe to resume along with considerations for re-entry into community-based activities.
Supports Coordination interactions should continue remotely to the extent possible. In the event that a face to face meeting should occur, CDC recommendations including the wearing of masks and observance of social distancing should occur.
In regards to planning with individuals and families for re-entry into services, Supports Coordination should utilize the Individual Transition Tool (ODP Announcement 20-059) to help facilitate planning.