Community Access Unlimited – COVID-19 Community Resources
To Families and Guardians
Dear CAU Friends and Families,
As the coronavirus situation continues in our area, Community Access Unlimited (CAU) would like to share some updates with you regarding our agency’s response. CAU is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and regularly communicates with experts and officials to follow best practices for the health and safety of our members and staff. All Staff complete a coronavirus screening questionnaire and temperature checks at the start of every shift, and we maintain communications with them about what to do if you are sick, where to get tested for the virus, and what habits to practice to help keep everyone safe.
Each week, CAU provided materials and encourages programs to participate in a creative and enriching challenge at home. We have tried so many fun ideas thus far, including a Zoom scavenger hunt, homemade pizza, and making thank you cards for first responders. Our winners receive a gift card to order food from a local restaurant. Members are also busy with remote learning classes through our Academy of Continuing Education. Everyone in our residential programs is invited to brush up on their learning in math, reading, media, science, art, self help and history.
If necessary, staff will coordinate testing for coronavirus for members. Please click here if you would like to search for testing centers in your area.
Our staff are essential employees and we continue to encourage and recognize them for doing an excellent job of making the most out of this challenging time. Many of you said thank you to them in this video with personal tributes that truly mean so much to our staff.
We are working together every day to solve problems, offer remote services where possible, and help our members reach their goals during this time. Together we are navigating a difficult time and sharing strength, and we thank you for working with us to make it as positive as possible.
Thank you and stay safe,
Community Access Unlimited
To Members We Serve
Community Access Unlimited is committed to the safety, health and well-being of our members. As we continue to monitor the increasing impact of COVID-19, we want to assure you that the administrative team at CAU is keeping up to date on the situation, listening to recommendations coming from appropriate authorities, and taking proactive steps to minimize disease transmission.
These steps include distributing N95 masks to all staff providing direct support for members, stepping up cleaning protocols, and sending staff regular reminders of proper handwashing technique and prevention methods.
The actions we have taken are consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments.
Our Director of Behavioral Services, Tracy LeBaron, recently shared tips for helping individuals with autism while social distancing due to COVID-19. We encourage you to read her suggestions, which may be helpful for speaking with loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities
View the latest updates from DDD (scroll down to Developmental Disabilities section)
More DDD Resources:
- DDD COVID-19 Response Help Desk Email: DDD.COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
- Congregate Day Program Reopening Requirements (4/22/21)
- Subscribe Directly to DDD for Email Updates: DDD.Communications@dhs.nj.gov
NJ Department of Human Services
- DHS COVID-19 Information
- List of DHS Resources – English
- List of DHS Resources – Spanish
- Division of Children and Families (DCF) COVID-19 Information and Resources
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Info and Testing Centers
- Find a Vaccine Appointment
- Information Hub
- Find a COVID-19 testing center
- Have general questions about COVID-19? The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the public on COVID-19
- Call: 2-1-1
- Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
- Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
- NJ Department of Health COVID-19
- DOH 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-222-1222 or via email at NCOV@doh.nj.gov
Trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer questions about COVID-19. Calling the hotline is the best way to get answers to your questions about COVID-19. By email, please allow up to 48 hours for a response. *The hotline is for general questions and is not able to assist with locating testing, getting test results, or providing medical advice.
- Contact Information for all local health departments in NJ
School and Children’s Programs Updates for New Jersey
Beginning this fall, schools will be required to provide full-day, in-person instruction, as they were prior to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
From the NJ COVID-19 Information Hub:
Child care centers are open for all clients.
If you need help finding child care, contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency.
Locations providing remote-learning supervision services for children during the school day must be licensed as child-care centers. To continue operating, existing facilities were required to submit an application for licensure to the Department of Children and Families by October 23, 2020. For more information, refer to DCF’s FAQ or contact DCF’s Office of Licensing at 1-877-667-9845 or email@example.com.
Child care centers must follow all safety guidelines detailed by the Department of Children and Families
Early Intervention Services:
Vaccine Info for the Developmental Disabilities Community
The Boggs Center has created a vaccine fact sheet and social story to share information on the COVID-19 vaccine and why getting the vaccine is important
Green Mountain Self Advocates- Brochure by and for people with disabilities
Forbes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
Jewish Family Service Food Pantry
The food pantry is for anyone struggling to purchase food in Union County. Call 908-352-8375.
Child Mind Institute
Tips for Supporting Kids:
Economic Impact Payments and the American Rescue Plan
Those experiencing homelessness can get Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits; permanent address not required.
On March 11, President Biden signed the landmark $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” into law.
Click here to read a PDF document from HUD’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that describes highlights of this new law and how it helps Americans in communities nationwide in housing, healthcare, unemployment assistance, education, small-business assistance, and other areas.
Many tax filers will receive another “Economic Impact Payment” of $1,400. Individuals who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will receive the full $1,400. People making more than $80,000 are not eligible for checks, and those making in between $75,000 – $80,000 will receive less than the full $1,400. For more information on these tax provisions, check with the Internal Revenue Service.
Fraud Advisory from SSA
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19-related office closures. We will not suspend or discontinue benefits because our offices are closed to the public for in-person service. Read the fraud advisory.
Coronavirus Relief Legislation – A Call to Action
People with disabilities are more likely to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to chronic health conditions that can make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. They are also more likely to live in poverty. Around the country, people are facing the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and people with disabilities are particularly in need of support.
Take Action- Reach out to your members of Congress and ask them to pass a new bill to address the needs of Americans with disabilities during the crisis. These needs include:
- Funding to create a Medicaid grant program to support access to at-home and community-based services and to support Direct Support Professionals.
- A permanent reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. MFP funds states to move people with disabilities and seniors back into the community, after time in a nursing home or hospital.
- Economic stimulus and raising asset limits. Congress may pass legislation to make direct payments to low-income Americans. People with disabilities receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid are subject to strict asset limits. Those asset limits must be raised to ensure that people are not at risk of losing vital benefits.
United Way COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund
The United Way has established a COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to support communities affected by the virus. The fund will help the most vulnerable populations receive critical financial and social service support during this global crisis. Dial 211 to speak to someone about local assistance at any time.
World Institute on Disability
- Read Recommendations for Immediate Action
Regarding: The Rights & Needs of People with Disabilities Who Use Personal Assistance Services & Supports Throughout COVID-19 Planning & Response.
- Sign the Call to Action
Information from the CDC:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
- Coronavirus information
- CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Page
- People at Higher Risk and Special Populations
- Vaccine Considerations for People with Disabilities
- Information for Travelers
- Preventing Spread
- Subscribe to the CDC’s COVID-19 newsletter
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
World Health Organization
COVID-19 Facts and Prevention
Definition: A respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Transmission: The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Symptoms: Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure, and in some cases death.
Prevention: People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should: Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Proper Hand Washing: