Imagine! Coronavirus Information Page - Employees
Jump To Date
You may need to refresh your browser to ensure you are seeing all the latest coronavirus updates from Imagine!.
Imagine! COVID-19 Response Plan - Updated June 10
RTD resumes fare collection and front-door boarding July 1
Beginning Wednesday, July 1, riders will board at the front of buses and will be asked to pay with a ticket, pass, or cash when riding on the RTD system. EcoPass holders will be asked to tap the validator upon boarding the bus, and prior to boarding light rail.
The agency asks riders to be partners in safety by wearing a face covering and keeping six feet between them and others when riding or waiting to board vehicles. To learn more about the measures RTD continues to take to keep its employees and riders safe, visit RTD's website.
Refunds and Credits
RTD will begin to process refunds and disburse via U.S. Mail a few weeks after fare collection resumes on July 1.
Mental Health Partners’ Moving Beyond Trauma program is hosting an encore presentation of their “Collective Trauma and Resourcefulness During COVID-19” webinar next Wednesday, June 17th. They had over 100 people virtually attend this free webinar last month so decided to repeat it – with a few extra slides of information added. Please see below for more info and register here: www.mhpcolorado.org/about/services/specialty-moving-beyond-trauma/free-webinars.
Update on Imagine! Direct Services
Friends and partners of Imagine!,
Imagine! is currently working under constantly changing guidelines, expectations and restrictions from the State and other entities. We thank you for your continued patience during this time, and please know that we are working hard to get back to providing the service that you’ve come to rely on and value. We are working to develop both in-person and virtual services that we can offer during this time, but please keep in mind that our ability to provide services is contingent on a variety of factors.
As you know we are currently offering some limited individualized in home supports as well as virtual group and independent services. We are excited about the continued growth of our programing and wanted to send out this communication to inform you of what is on the horizon and gauge your interest.
Due to guidelines from Colorado Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) during Colorado’s “Safer at Home” order, Imagine! is currently not able to support individuals in a group setting who fall into the following categories:
- 65 years and older
- Who have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- Who have serious heart conditions
- Who are immunocompromised
- Determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider
In addition to the categories listed above, all individuals have been given a risk assessment from their Case Manager that could factor into our ability to support in person.
Below are further details on guidelines and requirements for those individuals who are able to receive group services from Imagine!.
Day Program Services (including Community and Employment Services)
Individuals who are interested in attending group day program services must be able to follow the guidelines outlined below.
Guidelines for Attendance in Group Settings
- Individuals who attend must be able to follow social distancing guidelines from their peers at all times. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people. All individuals must stay at least 6 feet apart from all other individuals in an activity.
- Social distancing guidelines do not prohibit staff from providing hands-on support, including support in the restroom or during lunch.
- Individuals must have the ability and willingness to wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times. PPE needed for attendance will include a face mask and could include gloves for some employment services.
- Transportation will be extremely limited, as we are only able to provide 1:1 transportation at this time. As such, we will request that participants transport themselves to and from program until restrictions are lifted.
- We are in the process of developing a catalog of small group meet up opportunities that will be coming out shortly!
Residential Provider Requirements/Responsibilities
Residential provider/family member/guardian will need to agree in writing to the following before their loved one or the individual they support can attend in-person group programming:
- Will need to administer temperature and symptom checks before sending an individual to programming. Will be required to have a back and forth log kept in individual’s back pack or lunch pack that records the symptom check each morning. Participants will be asked to stay home if any of the following symptoms are present:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- A temperature over 100 degrees
- If at any time the individual is unable to follow social distancing guidelines or is presenting symptoms of an illness they will need to be sent home from programming and picked up within a 1 hour.
- Attendance will not be possible if an individual is presenting any symptoms of illness. If an individual is sent to program and is presenting symptoms they will be sent home and unable to return until 72 hours free of symptoms.
- Transportation will be extremely limited, as we are only able to provide 1:1 transportation at this time. As such, we will request that participants transport themselves to and from program until restrictions are lifted.
Other Service Options
The guidelines and restrictions listed above have made it challenging (and sometimes impossible) to provide in-person group day program services. During this time we’ve also been working hard to develop alternative ways to receive quality service. Below are some reminders of the options if in-person group services are not available or are not an option for you. Please reach out to your Day Program Supervisor if any of these options are of interest to you, or if you have questions about what these services entail.
- Virtual group activities and classes. Our robust services offering is coming out next week. You will also receive a separate email with more details about this.
- Individual virtual 1:1 time with a staff, to talk, play games, discuss interests, etc.
- 1:1 activities with a day program staff
- This service can include in-home and in the community, but there is very limited availability due to staffing
- Individual employment
- If you are interested in finding individual employment, please reach out to your individual supervisor to discuss the process and to determine if this is a possibility for you
If you have interest in reviewing the guidelines from HCPF, the May 11th Operational Memo can be found here:
Colorado SNAP recipients now able to make purchases online. Walmart, Amazon accepting EBT cards for eligible purchases
The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has announced the launch of an online purchasing program for families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and support programs such as Colorado Works and Old Age Pension.
This option will be available for SNAP, also known as Food Assistance, as well as Colorado Works and Old Age Pension participants on Friday, May 29, to make online food delivery purchases on their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
This is possible as a result of a federal waiver from the USDA Food and Nutrition Services that allowed for an emergency request to expand a pilot program permitting SNAP recipients to purchase grocery and food delivery online.
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated existing issues around access to food and other basic necessities,” said Food and Energy Assistance Director Karla Maraccini. “This new option will help some individuals and families access food while supporting social distancing, especially for individuals who are more vulnerable to the health impacts of COVID and will, in the long term, be an option for SNAP participants experiencing barriers to conventional shopping to access nutritious foods.”
The authorized SNAP retailers are EBT-enabled for online transactions and participants will see an “EBT” icon on the retailer’s website. They will then be able to add their EBT card in the payment method after selecting an EBT-enabled store.
Currently, there are two approved retailers accepting EBT cards for online purchases — Amazon and Walmart. Both retailers have established accessibility opportunities for SNAP participants to use their service at a very low cost. Delivery fees, tips, and non-eligible purchases such as alcohol or tobacco cannot be paid using SNAP benefits.
"CDHS continues to work alongside the USDA and hopes to bring more retailers, including local grocers, into the program in the future," said Office of Economic Security Director Ki’i Powell. "The opportunity to order groceries online is a huge step up in accessibility for Coloradans using SNAP."
More information on the SNAP program can be found here.
Update from Early Intervention Colorado:
Dear Early Intervention Community,
Early Intervention (EI) Colorado is reaching out to you to share updated information regarding the provision of EI services in the home. In alignment with Governor Polis’ Safer at Home order, guidance provided by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and CDC, as well as advisement from a planning group, all EI services will continue to take place virtually through at least June 30, 2020. No in-person visits for children with an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) are authorized or funded as an EI service by EI Colorado.
We understand that this decision impacts families, service coordinators and providers in different ways. EI Colorado is striving to meet the needs of everyone concerned and is weighing the risks and benefits to the best of our ability, using the most current information we have. This requires careful thought and planning and the need for flexibility whenever possible.
As more information is available, we will continue to revise plans, evaluate practices and share any updates. To ensure the health and safety of the children, families, and providers engaged in EI services, please know that virtual visits may extend beyond June 30 2020.
EI Colorado has broadened the opportunity for input and advisement on this topic by creating a planning work group that meets weekly. This group includes family members, providers, service coordinators, and administrators to examine what EI Colorado needs to consider in order to safely return to in-person services. As part of this work, we will be providing you an opportunity to share your feedback through a survey in the very near future. Information from this survey will be used to inform our plan for returning to in-person visits.
If you need help with receiving or providing successful virtual visits please contact EI Colorado at
Build Your Video Conferencing Skills: For Home Visitors - And Everyone Else! is an entertaining video that presents important tips for improving your video conferencing skills.
We are living very different lives from the ones we were used to. The old life wasn’t perfect but it was familiar and we found ways to advocate and make things work. We found comfort and sometimes humor in our shared struggles, and together we built better lives and better communities. It’s time to come together and begin to re-design our lives and our communities, starting with listening, talking, and supporting one another as we adapt to this new life and share new ideas.
The ACL is holding a four-week series called “At Home With The ACL.” These twice a week online conversations cover many aspects of life at home. There will be opportunities to speak about the struggles and the process of acceptance, as well as share practical solutions, survival skills, and useful resources.
For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE Webinar Series!
Facing Your Fears - Part 1: Identification and treatment of anxiety in children and adolescents with ASD
May 27, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
This webinar provides an overview of the identification and treatment of anxiety in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A brief review of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for anxiety in youth with ASD will be included as well as an overview of the Facing Your Fears program.
Facing Your Fears - Part 2: Adaptations of Facing Your Fears for other age groups and settings
June 10, 2020
Part 2 of this webinar series will provide examples of how Facing Your Fears (FYF) has been adapted for other age groups on the autism spectrum as well as for other settings and treatment modalities. Specifically, we will discuss a school-based version of FYF, considerations for conducting FYF via telehealth, and adaptations for teens with ASD and Intellectual Disabilities.
Intended Audience: Family members and interdisciplinary professionals with some knowledge of FYF and/or Cognitive Behavior Therapy for individuals with ASD and anxiety.
- Judy Reaven, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, JFK Partners
- Audrey Blakeley-Smith, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, JFK Partners
Registration: www.JFKPartners.org (click on the Events tab)
Questions can be directed to Christine.Cook@cuanschutz.edu
During Safer at Home, Imagine! Community & Employment Services will continue to suspend all prior COVID in person operations for group day program, community, and some group employment services. We will continue to provide independent employment for any individuals whose workplaces are still open and providing work and some group employment where all state/local guidance is being followed. We will continue to offer different opportunities for 1:1 supports in the home during our normal operating hours. We will be developing a more robust catalog/schedule of virtual service offerings and will be looking into a limited amount of very small group “meet up,” options in the community that follow all state/local guidance. Please do not hesitate to reach out to a Imagine! Community and Employment Services supervisor to learn more about all our service options during this time.
This blog publishes information typically sent through the Health Facilities Web Portal to health care entities regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Latest message to families regarding COVID-19 from Imagine! CEO Rebecca Novinger.
Social Distancing Activities for People with Intellectual Disabilities, their Families and Caregivers: Move-Experience-Engage (M.E.E.) Calendar and SENSational Ideas
Monday, May 18, 2020, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET
A webinar sponsored by the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities featuring Erica Thomas, MS. Ms. Thomas will discuss the application of two resources for physical and other activities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living independently, in group settings or at home with families.
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) has announced that during this time, if an individual ages out of a waiver (i.e. is enrolled in the CES or CHCBS waiver and turns 18), they can stay enrolled in that waiver.
This modification to the LTC-803 requirements applies to any adverse action to the member’s enrollment in their selected program, including but not limited to:
- Continued stay review functional eligibility denials
- 30 days without services
- Aging out of programs or services for defined age groups
- Any other program discontinuation.
Boulder County Health & Clinica are offering drive thru tests "as long as they last."
In celebration of National Mental Health Awareness (NMHA) Month, a time to honor mental health by raising awareness and reducing stigma about mental illnesses and suicide, educating the public about wellness strategies and expressing appreciation for behavioral health professionals, Mental Health Partners is offering a series of events and programs throughout the month of May.
Early Intervention Stakeholders,
In alignment with the Governor's Safer at Home order, the Colorado Early Intervention (EI) program has issued guidance to Community Centered Board (CCB) early intervention programs and direct service providers that all EI activities will continue through virtual means (telehealth, phone, etc.) until further notice. This includes eligibility evaluations, service coordination, Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings and direct services. We have convened a group of stakeholders, including direct service providers, to plan for reinstating in-person home visits when it becomes safe to do so. Please note that the Office of Early Childhood does not authorize EI in-person visits at this time and agencies not abiding by this direction will be out of compliance with Colorado's Early Intervention COVID-19 Guidance and out of alignment with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's guidance for home health and personal care providers, specifically:
Reduce or eliminate exposure through distance
- Consider what services and support can be delivered remotely.
- Ask your clients to tell people outside their household to connect with them virtually when possible and not to visit when sick.
- Whenever possible, have people who are bringing items to your client leave them somewhere the client can access them without coming in contact. Consider if you can deliver your service in this way.
Imagine! has had several questions about the $600 per week additional payment which some of recently-unemployed individuals are anticipating as part of their state Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments.
Below are the two most common questions we are hearing:
- Will these additional benefits count as income against the Medicaid income limits?
- Will this money still be counted against the $2000 resource limit for individuals on a waiver?
We asked Boulder County HHS for any guidance they have received, and have reviewed the CARES Act itself as well. Here are the answers:
- Are the payments income? NO. The $600 additional payments (technically called FPUC for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation) ARE NOT counted as income for Medicaid; however:
- Only the FPUC portion of the UI payment is ignored; the rest of the UI payment is counted as income;
- FPUC payments are counted as unearned income for SNAP;
- This pertains to every form of Medicaid, including family programs, waivers, and the buy-in programs;
- Will it be included in the resources? MAYBE. We have asked Boulder County HHS for any guidance they have received—they are ultimately the ones to determine what is and isn’t counted—but have not received anything yet;
- Individuals, guardians, rep payees, etc. are advised that the funds may be counted against the $2000 resource limit;
- They may need to take appropriate action to ensure their benefits are not placed at risk due to “excess” resources.
We’re moving toward some semblance of normalcy, but things are still going to be different for a while. If you need a visual way to remember the new guidelines on in-office work, here’s a (slightly fun) way to keep track of the rules created by our creative Case Management team.
The Social Security Administration announced Monday that Social Security recipients have until noon on Wednesday, April 22, to file taxes or fill out this non-filer form: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here/
Imagine!’s next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for April 28 at 7PM. Due to current Shelter in Place restrictions and remote meeting limitations, please email any public comments to email@example.com so they may be presented during the board meeting. Public comments and any board comments will be reflected in the posted minutes. Thank you.
Colorado Community Health Alliance (CCHA) is in a unique position as the Regional Accountable Entity, we are receiving updates/and resources from the State, County, and Community level daily regarding COVID-19. Currently, CCHA is tracking and logging these updates/and resources internally. Your staff and members are more than welcome to reach out to CCHA for support! Additionally, we are making some of our brochures available via online (please see below).
- Map to Medicaid/Member Guide: https://www.cchacares.com/guide
- Where to Go for Care: https://www.cchacares.com/er
- Care Coordination: https://www.cchacares.com/carecoordinator
- Knowledge | Let us do the research or leg work when it comes to Medicaid coverage as that is what we are responsible for
- Teamwork | When things become out of scope or Imagine! needs support with certain tasks – let us help!
- Checking Medicaid eligibility, troubleshoot issues, access to benefit coverage
- Help with attribution to PCMP or RAE (assist with calling HealthFirst CO to make sure PCMP is correctly listed with the state (i.e. on documents, etc.)
- Resources | Call us and we can do the research if we don’t have a resource at our finger tips
- Support in Community | We are able to leave our 4 walls and support, educate, and advocate for members where they need it – doctor’s office, McDonalds, their home, etc. (currently occurring via telephone due to COVID-19)
Examples of Support during COVID-19:
- Identifying telehealth options
- COVID-19 State, County, and Community resources/updates
- Identifying members most at risk (recent ED visits, diagnosis’s such as Asthma, Diabetes, COPD, etc.)
- Monthly Complex Case Reviews
The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) launched a Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) COVID-19 specific web-page. The web-page includes:
- A listing of all Memos related to LTSS and COVID-19
- Information about past and upcoming webinars regarding LTSS and COVID-19
- Frequently Asked Questions, updated regularly
Yesterday, Imagine! had the honor of Dr. Jamie Brower with Brower Psychological present the topic of Emotional Resiliency during a training for our Supervisors. She is a licensed clinical psychologist working out of Denver, with over 17 years of experience in the area of Police & Public Safety. Click here to view the presentation.
The Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Finance (HCPF) has created a weekly update for providers, stakeholders, community partners and staff containing updates from the Department about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).If you'd like to opt-in to receive this newsletter, please go to the Department's newsletter sign-up webpage.
Additionally, the Department has created a COVID-19 resource center for various audiences, including providers, at colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/covid.
Boulder County Bar Association Virtual Legal Clinics will offer limited advice in many areas where people are currently affected including family law, landlord/tenant, employment, estate planning, bankruptcy, criminal, real estate, and civil. FREE!
Supplemental Security Income Recipients Will Receive Automatic COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments
Today, the Statewide Feeding Task Force, working through the Unified Coordination Group (UCG), announced Colorado received a $3 million delivery of infant supplies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The delivery includes:
8,200 cases of formula
23,260 packages of diapers
53,167 packages of diaper wipes
These essential supplies will go to families who are experiencing poverty and not able to find resources to meet their basic needs. The distribution of the supplies will be at 41 locations statewide, including Colorado's food banks and family resource centers. These supplies will also be available to families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and child care providers taking part in the Emergency Child Care Collaborative.
State agencies and other nonprofit partners across the state have been fielding urgent requests for formula, diapers and wipes from front-line workers and child care providers offering emergency child care. This need arose both because there was difficulty finding supplies in retail stores and because families are facing the economic impacts of being laid off from work and cannot afford supplies even if they are available.
“We are proud to be leading the Statewide Feeding Task Force and are encouraged by the statewide coordination with partners to identify needs and collaborate to meet them,” said Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Michelle Barnes. “We are thrilled with the response we’ve received from FEMA and the quick distribution of these much-needed supplies. Together, we will get through this.”
Similar to the situation with toilet paper and hand sanitizer, panic buying has left stores and diaper banks empty of baby essentials. Colorado’s Family Resource Centers (FRCs), Early Childhood Councils and local food pantries have had difficulty purchasing supplies from normal distributors, creating a dire situation for families. Some families may be resorting to changing diapers infrequently, which can cause infections and require medical attention, a situation that must be avoided in light of the medical community’s current focus on COVID-19. Likewise, the inability of parents to feed their babies has a health impact on the child and increases family stress and risk for child neglect.
The Feeding Task Force is coordinating the delivery of these supplies to food banks and FRCs with support from the UCG. The delivery of supplies will be coordinated by the UCG logistics team to 34 FRCs across the state and subsequently to the emergency child care providers. FRCs are prepared to distribute these supplies directly to families in need utilizing existing local family support staff.
“Thank you to all the community partners in voicing this need, and to FEMA for working with Colorado and assisting in serving our families,” said Barnes. “In addition to the Emergency Child Care Collaborative and Colorado Crisis Services, this is one more way we are urgently working to support and meet the needs of Coloradans.”
For more information on how to access these resources, please visit the Office of Early Childhood’s website. Below is a list of distribution sites around the state.
Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council
Bright Futures of Children
A Precious Child
Catholic Charities of Central Colorado
Catholic Charities Diocese of Pueblo
Community Partnership Family Resource Center
Connections 4 Kids
Delta County Family Resource Center
Denver Indian Family Resource Center
Early Childhood Council of Boulder County
Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success
Families Forward Resource Center
Family & Intercultural Resource Center
Family Resource Center
Family Resource Center Roaring Fork Schools
Focus Points Family Resource Center
Fremont County Family Center - Starpoint
Gunnison-Hinsdale Early Childhood Council
Hilltop Family Community Resources
Huerfano Family Resource Center
La Plata Family Centers Coalition
Morgan County Family Center
Mountain Family Center
Prairie Family Center
The Pinon Project
Rural Communities Resource Center
Sister Carmen Community Center
Tri-County Family Care Center
United Way of Weld County
West End Family Link Center
Washington County Connections
Food Bank of the Rockies
Food Bank of the Rockies, Western Slope
Care & Share Food Bank
Weld Food Bank
Durango Food Bank
La Puente's Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley
Photos of the supply delivery are available upon request.
The Statewide Feeding Task Force was created on March 9 to respond to COVID-19 feeding needs. Participating organizations in the Statewide Feeding Task Force include, but are not limited to: Colorado Department of Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, FEMA, food banks, Blueprint to End Hunger, and other state and local food partners.
Samples Restaurant and Martinis Bistro in Longmont are still open for business for dinner pick-up or delivery services every night of the week. All individuals in services, employees, families, and providers will receive 50% off anything ordered as “pick up” from either Martinis Bistro or Samples Restaurant during this time.
Imagine! Community & Employment Services has suspended all group day program, community, and some group employment services for the time being. We are still be providing independent employment for any individuals whose workplaces are still open and providing work. We will only be providing group employment with 1:1 supports if workplaces are still open and allow for social distancing. We continue to offer different opportunities for 1:1 supports in the home during our normal operating hours.
There is new guidance for providers of services to people with developmental disabilities, including Host Home Providers, Residential Providers, and Supportive Living Services around restrictions to families and guardians. These new restrictions and orders mean that families, guardians and/or other natural supports will no longer be able to take members on community outings or visits outside of the residence unless the families, guardians and/or other natural supports choose to keep the person in their home for a fourteen (14) day symptom-free quarantine period prior to returning the residence.
Resources from Boulder County:
The Boulder County Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) has implemented a Provider Emergency COVID-19 Absence Policy. Boulder County CCAP will pay up to 15 absences per month, per child, to all providers, beginning March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020. CCAP will also reduce parent fees based on request. Parents can email CCAP@BoulderCounty.org and provide a brief explanation of the need for the request.
LEAP (Low-income Energy Assistance Program) has been extended through August.
Connect for Health Colorado is open for a Special Enrollment Period. Uninsured Coloradans can shop and enroll in health insurance thru April 30, 2020.
Boulder County Department of Health and Human Services has opened its TANF Emergency Diversion program. TANF Diversion provides cash assistance to families that meet eligibility criteria and don’t need ongoing case management. TANF criteria includes households with at least one child under age 18, lawful presence, and income at or below $75k annually. This program can assist with one-time rental assistance for up to two months related to lost wages incurred by the COVID-19 crisis. Clients will need to apply through PEAK.
For anyone seeking to apply for supports including food assistance (SNAP), Medicaid (Health First Colorado), Child Care Assistance (CCAP and Emergency Child Care), and LEAP, you can use:
- Colorado PEAK at Colorado.gov/PEAK the MyCOBenefitsmobile app (search your app store to find this)
- Complete a paper application in English or Spanish and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This can be done either by scanning the application to us or by taking clear pictures of the individual pages and emailing the files to us.
- Paper applications and forms are located outside each office
- All eligibility interviews will be conducted over the phone
- Food Assistance (SNAP) only: Call Hunger Free Colorado for help applying at (720) 382-2920. Their offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
BCDHHS’s Personal Finance Program provides free and confidential individual counseling to households at all income levels. Please call 720-564-2279 or email PersonalFinance@BoulderCounty.org to schedule phone or virtual appointments.
A collective of experienced, licensed private practice therapists across the country are offering free/low cost mental health services for those working the front lines of the COVID-19 Epidemic. Learn more and request a therapist here.
Message to Imagine! Employees from Imagine! CEO Rebecca Novinger:
Dear Imagine! Employees,
Most of us are able to decide who we allow into our homes and under what circumstance. However, the residents of our group homes, and many other individuals accepting services from Imagine!, do not have that same luxury. Now, more than ever, it is our responsibility to ensure that every effort is made to protect the health of the individuals in our care. The actions you take in your personal life can have profound effects, including life-threatening effects, on people receiving services from Imagine!. I take this responsibility seriously, and my hope and expectation is that each of you will do the same.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Governor Jared Polis put the following Executive Order in place on March 25th, 2020, stating that Coloradans should not leave their homes except for critical activities including:
- Obtaining food and other household necessities
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
- Seeking medical care
- Caring for dependents or pets
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
- Participating in outdoor recreation at a legally mandated safe distance of 6 feet or more from other parties.
This Executive Order is currently in place through April 26th. Governor Polis has additionally recommended that people wear a mask whenever they leave the house to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
I implore you to adhere to this Executive Order for the safety of others as well as yourself. If you are working with individuals in services in a group home or other setting, or if you are working where there are other employees nearby, it is my expectation that you will comply with this Order. Furthermore, if you are not able to comply with the Order, it is your responsibility to notify your supervisor so that you can be removed from shifts that could put others at risk.
I hope that you understand the importance of this and will notify your supervisor should you not be in compliance with the Executive Order. If employees do not notify their supervisor of their inability to comply with the Order, and they continue to work or accept shifts, they may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
The mission of Imagine! is to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. Right now, if we want to meet that mission, there are more responsibilities placed on us than ever before. Our mission necessarily has to permeate other aspects of our lives, aspects that formerly were separate from, and inconsequential to, our work. I know you work at Imagine! because you care about our mission, and believe in the potential of all. Let’s keep that potential intact, let’s be safe, and let’s make choices that will ensure the well-being of our coworkers and those we serve for years to come.
Thank you for understanding, and thank you for being part of the Imagine! team.
Notice to families regarding the use of Zoom:
There has been a lot of information floating around the Internet regarding the use of Zoom. Imagine! has been using Zoom for teleconferencing and telehealth for almost a year. Here are the facts regarding Imagine!'s use of Zoom.
If my therapist records a meeting, is it in the public cloud?
No. Imagine!'s use of Zoom complies with our HIPAA policy and recordings are not in the public cloud. The meeting will be saved to your therapist's computer.
Is Zoom HIPAA compliant?
Yes. While there is no such thing as "HIPAA Compliant", vendors and the public refer to this term on a regular basis. The account Imagine! has with Zoom meets our HIPAA policies for the security of protected health information (PHI).
Is my Zoom meeting secure?
Yes. Imagine!'s Zoom service is encrypted and complies with our HIPAA policy. This means it can be used for telehealth services and any sessions with clients where protected health information is discussed is secure.
What is Zoom bombing?
Zoom bombing is when an uninvited attendee joins the meeting and disrupts it. This can occur if the Zoom meeting information is made public or by chance when a person with too much time on their hands randomly guesses the meeting ID. Imagine! employees have instructions on how to prevent this. However, should an unwanted participant join a meeting, the meeting host will be able to remove them and prevent them from rejoining.
Is Zoom malware?
No. With the popularity of the Zoom system there have been cases where the user downloads what they think is a legitimate Zoom application but in fact they are on an unapproved website and the Zoom file contains malware. If your computer tells you that Zoom is unsafe, you should immediately uninstall it. Only install Zoom from THIS SITE to ensure Zoom is safe.
We Wear Masks: A Social Story to Help Children Understand (Parents – if your child is under the age of three, please check with their doctor before having them wear/not wear a mask.)
The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office has received inquiries from community members and immigration advocates about the enforcement of the stay-at-home orders. The media has reported on some police impersonators, which has heightened the concern for some. Also, we want to emphasize that victims of domestic violence or abuse are aware that they can leave their homes and call 911 for assistance.
We are getting these warnings from Social Security about weekly now, further stressing the importance of ensuring anyone who receives a Social Security payment or is enrolled Medicare must be extra careful to protect their information:
Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of the most vulnerable during times of uncertainty and change. You must protect yourself by making sure you only give your Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer, or other trusted healthcare provider.
If someone calls you on the phone, saying they’re from Medicare, and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information – just hang up.
Our representatives will never:
- Call beneficiaries to ask for or to “verify” Medicare numbers.
- Call to sell you anything.
- Promise you things if you give them a Medicare number.
- Visit you at your home.
- Call you to enroll you in a Medicare program over the phone, unless you called us first.
We removed Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards last year to reduce fraud and protect our beneficiaries from identity theft.
Even with this change, you should guard your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Be sure to check your Medicare claim summaries for errors and questionable bills.
If you suspect Medicare fraud, please report it by calling Medicare’s toll-free customer service center at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
You can also visit them online.
Mental Health Partner’s “Mental Health Packet” that features resources, information and tips regarding parenting, suicide prevention, reducing anxiety and more during this public health crisis. Documents in this packet are available in both English and Spanish and include:
- How to Maintain Mental Wellness During COVID-19
- List of MHP Locations and Services
- Tips for Parents and Children During COVID-19
- Suicide Risk During COVID-19
The packet is now available for download on their website: www.mhpcolorado.org/covid-19-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
Colorado Nonprofit Association’s review on the CARES Act.
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
Wheelchair and Assistive Technology Users Precautions for COVID-19
Notes, resource links, and contact information from Boulder County Housing Supports and Services Community Partners
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
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
The Imagine! Intake department continues to take referrals. Click here to get started.
Technology Tips For Employees From Imagine!’s IT Department
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Below are the latest updates on plans for Imagine!’s various service departments.
Imagine!’s Dayspring Early Intervention Services
All Dayspring Community Calendar Activities are cancelled until further notice.
Hanen classes will be delivered online only.
If therapists are sick, or the family is sick, therapy will be delivered via telehealth.
Imagine!’s Community, Employment, and School Age Services
If either the Boulder Valley or St. Vrain Valley School Districts close all of their schools, we will close the main sites for our Community, Employment, and School Age services. To every extent possible, Imagine! staff members will be reassigned to provide these services in smaller group settings where we are able to practice social distancing. These services may be delivered in Imagine! group homes or out in the community, depending on availability, and only if the services can be delivered safely.
For individual and crew supported employment assignments, Imagine! will coordinate with the businesses, assess the environment, and make decisions regarding continued active employment activities on a case-by-case basis.
Imagine!'s Family Recruited Employee Services
If service delivery in the home is provided by family member who lives in the home, services may continue, unless signs/symptoms/travel history pose a risk, in which case service would be discontinued. If the FRE provider is sick, Imagine! will attempt to backfill services with other FREs or Imagine! Community and Employment Services employees.
Imagine!'s Mental Health Services
Services will be delivered via telehealth if signs/symptoms/travel history pose a risk, or appointments will be rescheduled.
Imagine!'s Residential Services
Imagine! will restrict all non-essential visitors to our group homes. Day services may be delivered in Imagine! group homes depending on availability, and only if the services can be delivered safely.
If we suspect a case of coronavirus at a staffed site, we will follow the direction of public health officials regarding quarantine.
Imagine!'s Community Centered Board Services
Case Management Services
Imagine! Case Management has been instructed by the Colorado Deprtment of Healthcare Policy and Financing to complete ALL 100.2s, IPs, IDTs, and monitoring visits by phone or online.
Early intervention Services
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Home health care agencies have the ability to bill services as telemedicine as well.
- Depending on the circumstance it may not be possible to offer make-up sessions to families.
- 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
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know? - Via Federal Administration for Community Living
“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.