Social Distancing & Related Infection Prevention Policy (3/28/2021)


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Social Distancing & Related Infection Prevention Policy



To establish and publish the official policy of The Arc of the East Bay, regarding the organization’s Social Distancing Plan, and assign responsibility for implementation of this plan.



The Arc of the East Bay is dedicated to serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in an environment characterized by strict conformance to the highest standards of health, safety and accountability.

This policy is intended to provide a systematic approach, to the highest extent possible, in mitigating, preventing and responding to the spread of the highly communicable, and worldwide pandemic disease COVID-19.  This policy will also pertain to any other health threat that is declared by public health officials to be considered a health emergency.



The Social Distancing & Related Infection Prevention Policy is applicable to all members of The Arc of the East Bay community, whether client, staff, visitor, contract employee or contractor, and whether full-time, part-time, temporary or contracted service provider.

Though The Arc of the East Bay understands these measures may be interpreted as a contradiction to personal choice and individualization, we believe they are in the best interest of the health and safety of our clients, staff and members of the community/public.  They are also mandated and imposed by State and local authorities.

In the spirit of client choice, these measures will ease and be modified within reason when feasible to do so.  Management reserves the right to modify this plan as warranted and needed.   On a weekly basis management will monitor changes to the Alameda County Public Health Department Order before altering the plan.


Fundamental Elements of an Effective Social Distancing & Related Infection Prevention Policy:

The twelve (12) elements of an effective program are:

  1. Oversight
  2. Maintenance of Social Distance Space
  3. Meal and Rest Breaks
  4. Temperature & Wellness Check-In’s
  5. Hand Washing
  6. Masking & Other Personal Protective Equipment
  7. Use of Restroom Facilities
  8. Cleaning-Mid-Day & End of Day
  9. Education & Training
  10. Reporting
  11. Enforcement & Discipline
  12. Response to Potential Illness


In a pandemic or other communicable disease emergency, a variety of functions will be necessary to continue to provide for the health & safety of clients, staff, visitors and contract staff/contractors.

In the case of a public health emergency, the State Governor has broad authority and powers to issue a State of Emergency Order to protect public well-being.  Accordingly, the Governor may order the closure of all schools, child and adult day care facilities, and order that no public events or gatherings of a large number of people can occur.  Further, each county has the authority to issue their own Shelter-in-Place Orders.  The Arc of the East Bay and all others living or working in the county must follow the order for the county they are presently in.

Additionally, California State residents must follow whichever order provides the strictest restrictions.

The Arc of the East Bay will follow all restrictions imposed by the State and

Alameda County.  The Arc of the East Bay will also confer with The State

Department of Developmental Services, Regional Center of the East Bay, and The California Department of Social Services-Community Care Licensing division in regard to health & safety precautions in the opening of The Arc of the East Bay facility for client services.

The Arc of the East Bay will submit this policy and any amendments to this plan to the Alameda County Department of Public Health (ACPHD), Community Care Licensing (CCL), and Regional Center of the East Bay, (RCEB)

Additionally, this policy will be mailed to our clients, their families, and distributed to the organization’s staff electronically and posted on The Arc of the East Bay website.

The President/Chief Executive Officer, Director of Operations and Director of Human Resources will have responsibility in oversight of all elements of the Social Distancing & Related Infection Prevention Plan.


Social Distance Spacing & Maintenance of:

Social Distancing will begin upon entrance into the facility’s parking lot for all clients, staff, visitors, contract employees and contractors.  Staff shall park in designated staff parking stalls and upon exit from their vehicle, or on foot, shall wear a mask.  Clients shall wear a mask exiting vans or cars.  Staff and clients shall check-in for a temperature and wellness check, and sanitize their hands, prior to entering the facility.  Tables for wellness and temperature checks will be set up near each program entrance and there will be a queue that is distanced by markings six feet apart.  Entrance into each building will be by the restroom and exit from each building will be the door opposite the entrance.

Visitors, and van drivers asking to use restroom facilities will be directed to the reception area where they will be required to complete our entry requirements before they will be allowed into the facility.  Prior to entry into the reception area they will be instructed by signage and/or staff to wipe their hands with hand sanitizer prior to entering the front office.  All other visitors will follow the same process for entry into the reception/front office area.  They will be required to wash their hands in the restroom adjacent the reception desk and complete our entrance process consisting of taking their temperature and answering our wellness check questionnaire.  They will also follow typical sign in procedures (time in/out and with whom visiting).  Visitors will be limited to the front office area, either sitting in chairs opposite receptionist or in the conference room.  During initial phases of return during the pandemic, The Arc of the East Bay will limit visitors to officials from Regional Centers, Community Care Licensing or Department of Public Health.  When possible, all meetings shall be held via teleconference or with an online platform.  The Arc of the East Bay has a Zoom account for this need.  If an in-person meeting is unavoidable then no greeting with handshake, fist bump or even elbow tap will be permitted.  Signage informing that no unnecessary physical contact is permitted via handshake, fist bump or elbow tap will be posted throughout the facility.

Staff and clients are to stay home if they are sick.  Staff shall perform a self-screening at home, including temperature check, prior to coming into work.  Due to contact circles/personal network concerns which can exponentially increase spread of the pandemic, The Arc of the East Bay strongly encourages staff and clients to limit off work time activities, such as travel and gatherings, and to continue to attend only essential appointments like doctor’s visits, grocery store and automotive appointments.  Additionally, staff are strongly encouraged not carpool to work with one another unless they are from the same household or in a social bubble with one another.  Staff and clients are encouraged to continue to follow State and Alameda County Orders.  The Director of Operations will check the Alameda County Department of Public Health Order on a weekly basis.

Management has distanced (minimum of 6’) and marked seating, tables, lunch tables and walkways for all staff and clients.  The Arc of the East Bay will not permit staff and/or client congregation at activity tables or in work rooms, break rooms, computer lab or kitchen and/or lunch areas.  Seating for clients and staff will be assigned to the individual.  To the greatest extent possible, each client group will have the same instructor/staff assigned to the same group each day.  Clients will not be permitted to change or socialize amongst groups and there will be no more than six (6) clients in any assigned group.

If and when van transportation is used for community outings during day services there shall be no more than two (2) passengers per van, including the staff/driver.  Passengers (clients & staff) shall stay 6’ away from one another, on marked spaces, to board the van.  The driver shall have a clear cover in the rear of their headrest and to their right.  Client will sit in the rear bench seat which are distanced by 6’.  No client shall ride in the passenger seat in the front of the van. Vans shall be wiped down in high touch areas before and after each use.  Recirculated air (heating & air conditioning) shall not be used in the van, windows and vents may be opened.  This policy will be placed in each van.  Updated Emergency Sheets will be provided to staff/driver before each trip.  Maximum capacity of two (2) passengers per van will be posted on the left and right side doors of the vehicle.

The Arc of the East Bay will provide public transportation safety training for staff and clients for participation in community based outings.  The use of The Arc’s van fleet shall be preferred for community based outings during COVID-19.

Additionally, The Arc of the East Bay has reduced the client census for return to the facility by fifty percent (50%).  The Arc of the East Bay serves 213 clients and has distanced the space to accommodate one hundred (100) individuals with developmental disabilities.  The Arc has also reduced capacity for each building to twenty-five percent (25%).  This exceeds the Alameda County Public Health Department Order released June 19, 2020.  As of July 19, 2020 the Alameda County Department of Public Health Order limits stable social bubbles from different households to 12 people.  The Arc will follow an alternating schedule for staff to return to work at its Hayward facility until further notice.

The Arc of the East Bay may also begin services with a “soft opening” where clients will return a few days and receive instruction via online or teleconference with their staff on alternate days.


Meal periods and Rest Breaks:

The Arc of the East Bay strongly recommends that staff and clients bring their lunch each day in a washable lunch pail that will keep hot food hot and cold food cold.  A thermos or other temperature control containers are recommended to keep the client and staff lunch meals at the appropriate temperature. Heating and storing of food is prohibited at this time.

Clients shall eat lunch outside in the courtyard during warm weather.  The courtyard, and other outdoor areas, can accommodate lunch for thirty-four (34) clients.  At the large cement picnic tables two clients can sit “kitty corner” and be at an 8-foot distance, round cement tables will accommodate one, wooden picnic tables two and there will be many single tables as well.  Each client will sit apart from each other at a 6-foot minimum distance. Staff will be permitted to eat their lunch in their vehicle. Masks are not necessary while eating lunch or during break periods.  However, social distancing will be strictly enforced.


Temperature & Wellness Checks:

The Arc of the East Bay will be checking all client and staff temperatures on a daily basis.  In addition, a wellness questionnaire will be completed at the beginning of each shift and program day.  Wellness questions will include common symptoms of COVID-19: 1) fever, 2) coughing, 3) sore throat, 4) shortness of breath, 5) chills, 6) fatigue, 7) muscle or body aches, 8) headaches, 9) loss of taste or smell, 10) congestion or runny nose, 11) nausea or vomiting, 12) diarrhea.  For staff and clients this process will occur in the reception and program waiting areas adjacent the restrooms and there are queue’s marked off for this purpose.  This process must be completed prior to entering the facility/building.

Staff and clients with pre-existing conditions, like high blood pressure and anemia, that could impact body temperature shall confer with the Human Resources Director about their medical status before their return to work.  Staff and clients may return to work seventy-two (72) hours after their last fever, provided they have a written medical release to do so from a licensed medical physician/professional.

The Arc of the East Bay will provide education and training to staff, clients, families and caregivers in regards to chronic & other conditions that increase susceptibility to potentially more serious outcomes with COVID-19.  Staff and clients shall be informed to seek medical attention anytime they exhibit common symptoms of COVID-19 such as, 1) trouble breathing, 2) persistent pain or pressure in the chest, 3) new confusion, 4) inability to stay awake, 5) bluish lips or face, 6) seizures, and 7) inability to talk or be aroused.

The Arc of the East Bay will keep documentation and evidence of training for all clients, families and staff.


Hand Washing/Hand Sanitizer:

Hand sanitizer stations will be positioned outside near the wellness check-in entrance of each program and building.  Signs will be posted to indicate location of these wellness stations.  Signs will include: 1) social distancing reminder, 2) mask requirement, 3) visitor check in, 4) common symptoms of COVID-19, 5) proper coughing and sneezing techniques, 6) reminder no unnecessary physical contact with handshakes/fist bumps or elbow taps and 7) mandatory hand washing/sanitizing, 8) donning and doffing with written directions of the proper steps.

The Arc of the East Bay will use automated/hands-free hand wash and sanitizing stations when possible.

Staff and clients will stand in line once they have been checked in, at the appropriate distance, to wash their hands as they enter the facility.  Visitors will sanitize their hands in the parking lot and once again upon entering the front office.

Staff and clients shall wash their hands with soap and water for the duration of the “Happy Birthday” song (minimum of 20 seconds), which most clients have been taught to do.  The Arc of the East Bay will have a staff posted outside the bathroom facility to monitor and encourage proper hand washing and drying by our clients.

Staff shall wear face shield, mask and gloves when checking people in at wellness stations.  Temperature checks will be done with an infra-red thermometer and should be held two (2) inches away from the forehead.  All individuals being checked in must wear a mask.

Wellness check-in stations shall be located:

  • Outside of the reception office —- reception restroom
  • Outside of LARC Hall by double glass doors & corner double doors – LARC restrooms
  • Building #1—- SCOPE restrooms
  • Former daycare —- day care restrooms

All staff and clients shall come to work and services/program with a mask on.  Masks shall be worn throughout the course of the day, except for lunch, and shall be worn properly: 1) not below the nose, 2) not loosely, 3) not over the top of the chin, 4) not inside out or 5) not around the neck. *Please see Kaiser Permanente “Mask Etiquette-The Do’s & Don’ts of Wearing a Mask” handout.  If a mask is lost or breaks (elastic bands) during the course of the day a surgical mask shall be made available.  A supply of surgical masks will be available at the front desk/reception area and additionally in each building.  Each building will have a table, outside of the quarantine room with: 1) surgical masks, 2) apron or lab coat,
Masking & Other Personal Protective Equipment, 
3) gloves/variety of sizes, 4) face shields, 5) tissues, 6) hand sanitizer, 7) sanitizing wipes.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shall not be shared and staff are prohibited from sharing work provided, or any other, cellular phone/similar device with one another.  Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment will be disposed of in designated garbage(s) container w/lid labeled for PPE disposal.  The disposable containers will be outside of the quarantines room and restrooms.

Each client and staff activity table will have sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and tissues.  Additionally, each group/activity table will provide individual supplies for clients and staff, i.e. pens, color pencils, etc…

Staff performing community based activities or home visits shall be provided adequate PPE supplies which shall include: 1) mask 2) gloves 3) tissues 4) hand sanitizer 5) bio-hazard bags.  These supplies shall be kept in a zip lock bag and then discarded after use.  Program directors or their designee shall check in with client’s Community Care providers or family to ensure safety precautions are in place before providing services in the client’s home.


Use of Restrooms:

It is thought that COVID-19 is more easily transferred in the restroom environment.  This is probably due to droplets being more common in this type of environment.  Therefore, to promote good health and safety practices, only one staff and/or client may be in the restroom at the same time.  Clients and staff shall wait a few minutes between each use of the restroom before being permitted/permitting to use restroom.  Clients and staff shall wash their hands after each restroom use, with soap and water at a minimum twenty (20) seconds.  Clients and staff will thoroughly dry their hands with a paper towel. Staff assisting the client or using the restroom facility themselves, will wipe down all contact surfaces with sanitizing wipes after each use.

A restroom cleaning and restocking schedule will be posted outside of each restroom.  Restrooms will be cleaned, in the middle of each day wiping down all contact surfaces which include: toilet seat, flushing handle, stall handle and inside locking unit, soap dispenser, water faucet handles and sink countertops and at the end of each work day.


Cleaning Mid-Day & End of Day:

At the end of each service day each building and room shall be cleaned in a standard manner and with a disinfected fogger.  The Arc will clean and sanitize the campus facility after close of business each day.

High touch surfaces will be sanitized with disinfectant wipes or cleaning solution before clients and staff take their lunch break and at the end of each day.

*Please see restroom cleaning under “Use of Restrooms”.


Education &Training:

The Arc of the East Bay has staff actively engaging clients at home in regard to health and safety precautions, and the new rules to return, in the midst of COVID19 concerns.  Further, The Arc will engage families and caretakers prior to each client’s return specific to COVID-19: 1) hand washing, 2) coughing & sneezing, 3) social distancing, 4) masking procedures, 5) use of personal protective equipment, 6) susceptibility & chronic conditions, 7) symptoms & when to seek medical attention.

While clients are at home staff will engage clients in a combination of online learning and teleconference support.  The Arc of the East Bay is developing an online learning library where our approved vendor program curriculum, SNAP, is in digital form.  Clients will be supported using SNAP curriculum which include basic life skills training and general interest classes such as Cultural Appreciation Celebrations and La Loteria.  The SNAP curriculum includes classes in: 1) Keeping and Maintaining a Healthy Schedule, 2) Good Oral Hygiene Habits, 3) Good Personal Hygiene Habits, 4) Healthy Relationships, 5) Counting Money Skills, 6) Public Transportation Skills, etc.  Each lesson contains basic special education requirements to support visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.  Google Slide and Power Point lessons are enhanced with YouTube videos that support the topic being discussed.  Arc staff will support lessons with paper based curriculum and assignments from our SNAP, STRETCH and Meaningful Day curriculum manuals.

When clients return staff will use several modalities to engage and support client learning and understanding.  The use of paper curriculum, You Tube videos and auditory and visual methods, at a minimum will be utilized.  These modalities will be incorporated into daily instruction/schedules in small vignettes throughout the course of the day.

The Arc of the East Bay will train and enforce this policy with its staff and client population.  Additionally, the following policies and procedures will be reviewed: 1) Control of Infection Procedure, 2) Communicable & Infectious Disease Guides,

3) Universal Precautions, 4) Hand Washing, 5) Use of Personal Protective

Equipment, 6) Blood borne Pathogens, 7) Worker’s Compensation Reporting Procedures, 8) Special Incident/Critical Incident Reporting.  Training will occur via Zoom video conferencing prior to staff’s return and again prior to the reopening of the facility.  Facility trainings will be set up to accommodate our social distancing requirement of 6’. Where possible training will also be provided in several groups.

Staff will be encouraged to provide feedback after each training and thereafter in regard to COVID-19 procedures, at minimum weekly, or whenever they feel the need to report problems with or discuss the procedures.  Reporting will have no retaliatory connotation or impact.



Staff will be required to report when and where they have traveled and may, depending on location, be required to quarantine.  All staff will complete a temperature and wellness check each work day and will report when they are feeling ill before their shift begins or if feeling ill during the course of the work day.  If an employee feels ill or is ill, they will immediately report this to their supervisor.

All client’s emergency contact information has been updated prior to returning from the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Orders.  Clients with COVID-19 symptoms shall be quarantined in the quarantine room(s).  The client will be picked up by family or caretaker/B&C and shall not return until they have a doctor’s release with any restrictions or accommodations noted.

Further, all clients will have completed a Consumer Readiness

Assessment/Individual COVID Response Plan prior to being able to come back to The Arc of the East Bay facility.

If a client has symptoms of COVID-19 staff shall complete a Special/Critical Incident report in accordance with the reporting procedure.  All COVID-19 related incident reports must be reported same day the symptoms are known.  All known positive COVID-19 staff and clients will be reported to Alameda County Public Health Department and Regional Center of the East Bay.  Arc staff will wait for further instruction in regard to providing subsequent services.

The Arc of the East Bay will post this policy in a prominent, “hands free” place in the reception office for anyone to review.  Also posted, updated COVID-19 floorplan and contact information for the Alameda County Public Health Department will be in the reception office.  Staff, clients, families and other individuals such as contract staff and contractors will be informed they can report suspected exposure to COVID-19 to the Alameda County Public Health

Department at (510) 764-7856 and/or to


Enforcement & Discipline:

Management will monitor adherence to this policy with unannounced walkthroughs when staff and/or clients return.  Quality assurance reviews of Wellness Check Procedures and janitorial services shall occur more than once per week.

Management has the right to modify this policy in accordance with State and County Orders.  All staff must follow the requirements laid out in this policy.  Any infractions of this policy could lead to discipline up to and including termination.

Clients not following this policy will be sent home pending an inter-disciplinary team meeting to discuss support needed to follow the Social Distancing & Related Infection Prevention Policy.


Response to Potential Illness:

Clients and staff will be sent home pending a doctor’s clearance to return.  Clients will be temporarily quarantined in the quarantine room(s).   Staff will have all required Personal Protective Equipment outside of the quarantine room and a dedicated garbage can to dispose of PPE.

Staff will follow reporting procedures as outlined under the “Reporting” section of this document.  Staff will wear the appropriate PPE as outlined in the “Masking & Other Personal Protective Equipment” section of this document.




Control of Infection

Communicable & Infectious Guides

Universal Precautions



Use of Personal Protective Equipment

Special/Critical Incident Reporting

Blood borne Pathogens

Cal/OSHA Interim Guidelines for General Industry on 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Disease (COVID-19)





Policy:        Social Distancing and Related Infection Prevention Policy

Effective Date: October 10, 2020

  1. Notification of COVID-19 positive cases @ our worksite:
  2. Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD), is notified of all positive COVID-19 cases. If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, ACPHD will provide assistance in assessment of potential worksite exposure and any recommended testing, quarantine or isolation instructions.
  3. Return to Work for Employees:

The ACPHD has a blanket Isolation/Quarantine Order in place. This means that someone testing positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate, meaning they must stay home and away from others for a period of at least 10 days based on the isolation instructions. ACPHD will follow up with every case reported to identify their contacts and those contacts are required to quarantine, meaning the must stay home and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after their last exposure.

ACPHD is not providing return to work documentation for cases of contacts.  To facilitate a faster return to work, employers should not require employees who have been isolated/quarantined under the Isolation/Quarantine Order to provide test results or a doctor’s note to return to work.


Effective Date: December 10, 2020:

New Quarantine guidelines from State of California:


The State of California issued new self-quarantine guidelines requiring Ten (10) days of self-quarantine for all asymptomatic individuals exposed to the Covid-19 virus.




Policy:        Social Distancing and Related Infection Prevention Policy

Effective Date: February 25, 2021

  1. Oversight:

In order to be open for in-person instruction of clients, the County must be in the Red Tier for five (5) consecutive days.  The Arc of the East Bay is not permitted to be open for in-person instruction while the County is in the Purple Tier. The Tiers are outlined as follows:


Purple Tier: wide-spread and it means many non-essential indoor business operations are closed.

Red Tier: is substantial and it means some non-essential indoor operations are closed.

Orange Tier: moderate and it means some indoor business operations are open with modifications.

Yellow Tier: is minimal and it means most indoor business operations are open with modifications. More Information can be found at:


  1. Social Distancing Spacing & Maintenance of:

Mid-Day temperature and symptom wellness checks.

The Arc of the East Bay’s direct support staff will complete mid-day temperature and wellness checks with clients and staff assigned to specific buildings.  Staff will check temperatures and will ask the wellness screening questions, check if masks are being properly worn and ask clients and other staff to wash their hands prior to being released for lunch.  Staff will document on an amended version of the Staff Daily Check-In Log, titled, “Staff and Client Mid-Day Check in Log.”


Social distancing and group release times will be staggered. Proper spacing of lockers for stable group members and/or stowing of items under one’s seat will be implemented.


  1. Return to In-Person services:

Arc of the East Bay will implement a “soft opening” for clients returning to campus.  Clients and staff will be assigned to stable social bubbles of alternating days Monday / Wednesday, Tuesday / Thursday, with Friday as an at home day.  This promotes equity in days attended.


Arc staff will need to release groups for lunch and van departure at staggered times.  Additionally, members of a stable group will need to be distanced from other groups (minimum of 6 ft.) during congregate activities, such as lunch.


Arc staff will need to ensure that spaces such as lockers are distanced from members of other stable social bubbles.  Arc staff should continue to urge clients to stow personal items under their assigned seats.


Groups Testing Positive.  Stable social bubbles with members testing positive will need to stay home for a period of ten (10) days for purposes of stabilization of COVID-19 virus.


Transportation.  Transportation pertaining to the van/vehicles must have two windows fully open for cross ventilation at all times while people are in the vehicle. Masks must be worn by driver and passengers at all times.


Seating.  Seating arrangements will be reconfigured to a zig-zag/kitty corner/brick staggered configuration to minimize face-to-face contact.


Cross-Air Ventilation.  Arc management and staff should monitor and ensure that air currents do not cross occupants, e.g., air conditioners or fans flowing at face or standing level.  All free-standing fans should blow either below seating level or above standing level.  Tables and chairs should be removed from air conditioning vent.


Number of People Permitted in LARC Hall.  The number of people permitted in LARC hall and other buildings shall be no more than 16 clients and staff until further notice.


Clients and staff are strongly encouraged to eat outside when possible.  If eating inside, doors must be open to promote air ventilation.  Eating and drinking indoors without proper distancing still poses the greatest risk in the workplace.


While dispensing pre-packaged foods (per Licensing), staff must wear masks and gloves.


  1. Masking and Other Personal Protective Equipment:

Lanyards and Clear Face Masks. The Arc of the East Bay will provide clear face masks for clients who are lip readers and for staff who work with clients who read lips.  The Arc of the East Bay will also provide lanyards for clients at risk of dropping their masks.


When a client’s mask is dropped on the ground or another surface area, staff will direct the client to dispose of the dropped mask in the proper PPE container, or bag the cloth mask for washing at home. Staff will direct the client to wear a surgical mask provided by The Arc for the remainder of the day.

  1. Education and Training:


The Arc of the East Bay has expanded and revised its current training to include: 1) expanded symptoms, 2) when and how to wash face coverings, 3) cleaning of N-95 masks, and 4) an update on when to seek medical attention.







The Arc of the East Bay

Social Distancing and Related Infection Prevention Policy


I have received a copy of this policy.  Its content has been reviewed with me by the HR Director and Operations Director on ________________________.  In an effort to provide a safe and healthy work environment for myself and our clients I understand it is necessary to follow the procedures and requirements outlined in this policy.

_______________________________           ______________________________

Print your full name                                         Signature of your full name




Additional Information concerning Covid-19

On occasion, an Arc staff or client may be exempt from wearing a face covering.  Clients and staff will be required to complete an accommodations request. A doctor’s note concerning the need for such accommodation will be required and The Arc may inquire as to whether or not a face shield would be a reasonable alternative.


Vaccination for Influenza.  The Arc of the East Bay will encourage clients and staff to be vaccinated for influenza in the fall to decrease illnesses that cannot be readily distinguished from COVID-19 and would therefore potentially trigger extensive measures.


Response to Potential Illness. Defining an Outbreak. An outbreak is defined as three (3) or more confirmed or probable cases of staff and/or clients occurring within a fourteen (14) day period who are epidemiologically linked to campus services, are from different households and are not contacts of each other on campus or outside of campus.


An outbreak, or cluster, needs to be reported and investigated when there are three (3) or more individuals with COVID-19 on campus at once.  Closure occurs within a fourteen (14) day period, when there are at least three (3) outbreaks on the campus and more than 5% of the campus population is infected.  The length of a closure is fourteen (14) days and opening can happen only after the following have occurred: 1) cleaning and disinfection, 2) a public health investigation, and 3) consultation with the local Health Department.


Extended and/or Reuse of N-95 Respirators:  Supplies of N-95 respirators can become depleted during an influenza pandemic or a wide-spread outbreak of other infectious respiratory illness.  Existing CDC guidelines recommend a combination of approaches to conserve supplies while safeguarding the health of staff in such circumstances.  Staff eligible for N-95 respirators are those staff who are defined as high-risk and have an accommodation for an N-95 mask.  The Arc of the East Bay may be able to provide an N-95 respiratory mask to staff who need this accommodation.


Extended use of N-95 respiratory mask refers to the practice of wearing the same N-95 respiratory mask for repeated close-contact with several people, without removing the respiratory mask between the encounters.  Extended use of an N-95 respirator mask is up to eight (8) hours.


Reuse refers to the practice of using the same N-95 respiratory mask for multiple encounters with others, but removing/doffing the mask.  An N-95 respiratory mask shall not be used for more than five (5) days.  Under no circumstance shall a comprised mask be used for an extended time or reused.  A compromised mask is a mask that has a rip in it or is torn.


Cleaning of N-95 Mask.  N-95 respirator mask can be steamed for three (3) minutes and then properly and thoroughly dried without compromising the filtration of the mask. The elastic band or the mask should not be submerged in the water. Exposure to UV light (sunlight) for a period of sixty (60) minutes (1 hour or longer) is recommended for drying the mask. All staff will receive training on how to properly clean an N-95 Mask.


Washing Cloth Face Mask.  The CDC recommends that cloth face masks are washed after each use.  You can use your standard washer and dryer using the warmest setting possible for the material.  Handwashing with a bleach solution also works.  Store masks that are not dirty in a paper bag and store wet or dirty masks in a plastic bag.  More information can be found at:

Face masks Why to wear them how to clean them | VCU Health