Imagine! Coronavirus Information Page - Employees
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Imagine! COVID-19 Response Plan - Updated April 2
April 3 Updates
One provision of the CARES Act is the creation of a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31, 2020, which will provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history, and others). Independent contractors or others interested in filing an unemployment claim in Colorado can start here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/unemployment
An Open Letter to All Imagine! Employees from the Governing Board of Directors
During uncertain times, it is human nature to seek sanctuary and to fall back on what is constant and unchanging. Unfortunately, for many Imagine! employees seeking sanctuary by withdrawing from the world is not an option because the lives and well-being of many of the people we serve depend on the essential services provided by our employees. At Imagine! we cannot just hunker down and wait for the pandemic to pass.
What we can do, however, is reconnect with the values and principles that make us who we are – concepts that are constant and unchanging. One of those principles is “our workforce is our number one asset.” Without our workforce, without Imagine!’s dedicated employees, Imagine! would be nothing and could do nothing. With our workforce, with our dedicated employees, we can (and must) do what it takes to keep the people who depend on Imagine! safe.
Words are cheap when all is right in the world. It is easy to talk a big game and to profess values and principles when those values and principles go untested. When times are tough, it is of the utmost importance that we actually live our values and principles. Please know that your Governing Board of Directors and your Executive Team are committed to living Imagine!’s values and principles during these difficult times.
We see how hard you are working, and we thank you for your continued dedication, diligence, and steadfastness.
The Governing Board of Directors
April 2 Updates
Colorado Nonprofit Association’s review on the CARES Act.
April 1 Updates
March 31 Updates
March 30 Updates
ALERT: The IRS will not call to request any personal or financial information for you to get an economic impact payment. If you get such a call -- HANG UP. See official updates at www.irs.gov/coronavirus
March 27 Updates
March 26 Updates
Due to the State Wide “Shelter in Place” order, Imagine!’s Family Recruited Employee program will be following State guidance and offering alternative services for Community Connector either in the home or via allowable technology solutions until further notice.
COVID-19 Resources From Mental Health Partners
March 25 Updates
March 24 Updates
March 23 Updates
March 21 Updates
March 20 Updates
Imagine!’s Dixon St. Building will be closed to walk-in visitors starting Monday, March 23. A receptionist will still be answering phones (9:00ish-3:00ish) and will be available to accept mail and packages, and hand gift cards and other items out the door. It would be best if visitors call before dropping by, to be sure someone is here (303-665-7789). Since the door will be locked, guests may need to ring the doorbell when they arrive.
Imagine! Foundation Launches COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund
"Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much." – Helen Keller
I think about this quote in the context of our current situation. It’s likely we are all practicing social distancing, and yet, we are reminded of how much we need each other. I sincerely hope that you are doing alright.
In addition to my role with the Imagine! Foundation, I am also the parent of a 24 year old daughter who has intellectual and physical disabilities. Emily lives in Imagine!’s Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont. I am beyond impressed with Imagine!’s proactive response to ensure the health and safety of the individuals we serve. Imagine! employees are developing creative ways to provide therapies, day and residential services, while following state and federal guidelines on social distancing and more. They are also dealing with their own personal challenges in the wake of this crisis.
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Imagine! is living its values and principles:
- Our workforce is our number one asset
- Families are essential to our success
- We embrace a culture of support and creativity
- We inspire a positive and inclusive community
- We honor our tradition of integrity and leadership
- We believe in the potential of all
It is in this spirit that we have identified two priorities to share with you, and invite you to help support the work you care so much about:
1. Support our workforce.
You can help us assist Imagine! employees facing unanticipated financial challenges, as many are juggling childcare due to school closings, loss of spouse’s employment, etc., while working to support people with intellectual disabilities.
Retaining our staff is the same as retaining the ability to fulfill our mission of creating a world of opportunity for all abilities.
2. Support the individuals we serve and their families.
You can help by supporting Imagine!’s Emergency Fund. We will be able to expand our reach for new emergencies that arise as their situations and needs have changed – it could be rental payments, medical costs, meal delivery or grocery gift cards.
People know best what they need. You can help them have the resources to be resourceful.
The Imagine! Foundation is matching all donations up to $60,000!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I’m grateful for your consideration at this time when everyone is dealing with so much and for all the support you've given Imagine! in the past.
Imagine! Foundation Executive Director
March 19 Updates
The Imagine! Intake department continues to take referrals. Click here to get started.
Technology Tips For Employees From Imagine!’s IT Department
March 18 Updates
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing is hosting a COVID-19 informational webinar for the disability community:
Date and Time:
Friday, March 20, 2020
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. MST
Toll Free: 1-877-820-7831
Participant Code: 303146#
Webinar Link: https://cohcpf.adobeconnect.com/r3b9fqgetn6z/
Below is information which may prove helpful, particularly to those who may have difficulty knowing how to maintain some sense of “normal” at this time.
- Lunch and breakfast for families with school-age children:
- Other options for food assistance;
- Free Kids’ Lunches (from Jefe’s in Arvada)
- The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Our Center in Longmont is providing pre-packaged food boxes via a drive-through system
- Sister Carmen in Lafayette is providing pre-packaged food boxes available at their loading dock
- Broomfield FISH will have prepared boxes available by appointment only
- Financial assistance or discounts
- LEAP (the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program) is still taking applications through April
- Individuals can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online
- Xfinity’s Internet Essentials program is free for two months for new enrollments and made its WiFi hotspots available to anyone
- NextLight (Longmont’s local internet service) is offering two free months and discounted service to qualifying families
- Relief from fines and penalties:
- CenturyLink is waiving late fees and will not terminate residential services due to “circumstances associated with COVID-19”
- Longmont will not be disconnecting electrical services until further notice
- Nederland will not be discontinuing water/sewer services due to “non-payment”
- Xcel Energy will not be disconnecting services to residential customers until further notice
March 17 Updates
Imagine! Community & Employment Services is suspending all group day program, community, and some group employment services for the time being. We will still be providing independent employment for any individuals whose workplaces are still open and providing work. We are assessing our group employment opportunities and will continue any that allow for work opportunities in environments with less than 10 people in a room. Starting Wednesday March 18 and Thursday March 18 we will be offering different opportunities for 1:1 supports in the home during our normal operating hours. We can either provide this service in person or virtually through our web conferencing platform, which will allow us to provide fun in-home or virtual activities for individuals. Our goal is to assign one staff member to each individual to limit the likelihood of any exposure and continue to enforce/practice social distancing. Supports may be limited but we would like to help where we can. Departmental staff will be reaching out to each person in services and their families to discuss what we can offer and what will work best for you.
Effective March 17, 2020, for HCBS Behavioral Therapy, HCBS Bereavement Counseling, HCBS Expressive Therapy, HCBS Mental Health Counseling, HCBS Movement Therapy and HCBS Therapeutic Life Limiting Illness Support Providers may utilize the following service delivery alternatives.
1. Providers may render services in alternative locations and/or utilizing technology to ensure continuity of service to meet the member’s needs.
- Services may be provided via technology solutions.
- Services may be provided in alternative locations and/or in smaller settings.
- Any change to the delivery of service must be in accordance with the member’s needs and preferences and documented.
- Professionals must use their professional judgement to determine whether virtual service delivery aligns with positive therapeutic outcomes and treatment goals while maintaining service integrity.
2. Providers that determine virtual visits can meet the needs of the participant must document in the participant’s treatment plan how therapeutic outcomes will continue. Providers must inform case managers of any changes in the delivery of services.
Starting this Wednesday, 3/18, Imagine!’s Coal Creek building will be closed to visitors until further notice.
Imagine!’s Dixon building will be open for visitors between 10:00am and 2:00pm, though this could change at any time.
Phone calls will be monitored outside of these times and the phone system can walk callers through to the person they are calling when no one is able to answer.
Updates on upcoming Imagine! events:
March 17 John Nevins Retirement Party: CANCELLED
March 31 Imagine! Community Forum: Accessible via Zoom meeting only https://zoom.us/s/569166954
March 31 Imagine! Board of Directors Meeting: Accessible via Zoom meeting only https://zoom.us/j/4924256027
April 1 Imagine! Employee Town Hall: Accessible via Zoom meeting only https://zoom.us/j/843916368
April 6 Colorado Initiative for Higher Education Informational Meeting: POSTPONED until June 22.
April 9 Building Cooperative Behaviors class CANCELLED
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Operational Memo to inform home and community-based services (HCBS) Day Program Service Providers and Case Management Agencies of temporary and optional changes to the provision and reimbursement of day services during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Update from Imagine! IT department for employees:
IT personnel will be rotating from being on-site to working from home. We will have at least one person on-site during work hours. Please refer to the below so that we may provide you with the best service possible during this crisis.
- Use the Help Desk for any IT requests.
- Do not email requests to IT personnel unless instructed to do so or as a reply to an email from IT. Help Desk requests will always take priority over emailed requests.
- Call the Help Desk line for urgent matters (303-457-5649), do not come to our offices.
- IT will attempt to solve problems remotely but in the event we need to work on your machine we will come to you. Do not bring your computer to us unless instructed to do so.
- IT personnel will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after working on employee’s computers.
- If you would like to move any of your computer equipment for use at home, please put in a Help Desk ticket so we can help you. Do not remove any equipment without first getting approval from the IT department.
- All IT related meetings and trainings (Evolv, NX Superusers, etc.) will be held remotely via Zoom. One on one meetings can be held but social distancing practices will be observed.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Imagine! Community Forum scheduled for March 31 from 6-7PM will only be available online: https://zoom.us/s/569166954
All Imagine! Dayspring Early Intervention therapies will be delivered via telehealth options for the time being. We are also sharing our online meeting platform with contracted therapists and encouraging them to use telehealth as well.
Update from Early Intervention Colorado:
Dear EI Coordinators,
Early Intervention Colorado is providing clarification regarding some of the questions that have been raised regarding EI service provision in relation to Coronavirus preparedness efforts.
In the event that it becomes impractical or unsafe to provide services within a family’s home, please use the following guidelines:
1. EI services may be delivered via Telehealth during this time without adding it to the IFSP or data system, if it is not already on the plan. It would be advisable to add Telehealth as one method of service delivery when developing initial or annual IFSPs, or conducting a periodic review. IFSP meetings may also be conducted via Telehealth, or by phone if preferred.
2. Providers are still required to take the Telehealth training, however, the requirement will be waived when there is a need for services to be provided via Telehealth prior to training being completed for reasons outside of their control including registration or website issues.
3. HCPF has confirmed that OT and PT, as well as speech may be billed to Medicaid. When billing Medicaid for Telehealth, the location of 02 (remote) instead of 12 (home) will be used. This is ongoing (not specific to Coronavirus) and only for services provided in conjunction with an IFSP.
4. Home health care agencies have the ability to bill services as telemedicine as well.
5. Depending on the circumstance it may not be possible to offer make-up sessions to families.
6. If school districts close and Child Find teams are not able to work, CCBs will not be expected to pick up the evaluations not completed by the AUs unless there is already the capacity to do so.
Please keep in mind that we are in a fluid situation and updates are being provided as new information is learned. Please use judgement to assess individual situations as they arise. EI services are not emergency services and the top priority at this time is keeping children, families, providers and service coordinators safe and to do our part to contain the spread of Coronavirus; this will of course be considered if there is any direct correlation between containment efforts and negative impact on requirements and timelines.
Below is the general guidance provided by CDHS specifically for home visitors:
- We are working through our emergency preparedness plans to keep staff and residents safe, and we are coordinating closely with CDPHE.
- Our priority is keeping the people of our state safe. We are monitoring the situation in real-time and are prepared to act.
- Colorado is preparing for the possibility the virus spreads in the state, and we are doing everything possible to minimize spread.
- State and local public health officials are working together, following federal guidance, to assess and test suspected cases, identify people who may have been exposed to cases, and determine the need for monitoring, isolation, quarantine, or other restriction of movement and activities.
- We advise Coloradans to stay informed and take simple preventive actions.
- Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water; in the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol; cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick.
- Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email them at COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (æ™®é€šè¯), and more.
- We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency-- like in the case of a snowstorm-- and have a plan for your family. FEMA guidance for pre-pandemic COVID-19 preparedness is available on Ready.gov.
- Case information will be updated at least weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays on our web page colorado.gov/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
Please access reliable sources of information such as those referenced here as well as the
March 11 Updates
March 10 2020 Updates
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know? - Via Federal Administration for Community Living
March 6 2020 Updates
- Suspension of CMS Survey Activities (CMS 3.4.20)
- CMS Website on COVID (FAQ and Updates)
- CDC COVID-19 Website
- COVID-19: ANCOR’s Response and What You Need to Know
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Hello Imagine! employees –
As you are no doubt aware, there is rising concern across the nation about COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
While there’s no reason to panic right now, Imagine! is actively preparing in case our services are affected by the arrival of the virus in Colorado. We believe now is the time to plan, so we can limit any potential negative impact on the health and safety of our employees and the people we serve.
Fortunately, Imagine! has had a Disaster Preparedness Plan in place for many years. The plan proved extremely effective when Boulder County was hit by massive flooding in 2013, and we’re confident that our diligent efforts to keep the plan updated since that time has us well ahead of the planning game already.
We aren’t just resting on our laurels, however. Right now, team members at Imagine! are currently hard at work making sure we are ready in case of an outbreak, including:
- Assessing all facilities and staffed environments to ensure there are enough supplies to meet the needs of individuals we support for the immediate future.
- Reviewing current policies to identify areas of increased flexibility to minimize disruption to services.
- Identifying high-risk individuals and ensuring that contingencies are in place to ensure their safety.
If COVID-19 does spread in our community, Imagine! will:
- Follow the county and state’s public health instructions for containment and share those directives with you promptly.
- Adopt flexibility in certain policies to support those directives, protect the health and support needs of the individuals we support, and the health of our workforce.
We will make more detailed plans available to you if the need arises, but for now we wanted to let you know that we’re doing everything we can to prepare.
We promise to regularly communicate with all of you about how we will continue to support the 4,000 people who rely on Imagine! every day, while at the same time, ensuring that our employees are able to tend to their own needs and the needs of their family.
To facilitate that communication, we have created a page on our website (https://imaginecolorado.org/covid-19) which will act as the central hub for all Imagine!/COVID-19 information we have available to share. You are also encouraged to check out our Facebook page for updated information.
If you are contacted by family, community members, or the media requesting non-client specific information general information about Imagine!’s response to the Coronavirus, please direct them to the web pages above, or to any member of the Imagine! Executive team.
In the meantime, the best response (and best way to contain this virus), are basic personal hygienic practices. Click here for tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Our fervent hope is that all of this preparation will be for naught. But we can’t rely solely on hope when it comes to protecting individuals with I/DD and the compassionate and caring people who support them, so we are moving forward full steam ahead with our preparations.