Just a reminder to providers to register with the state-based CARES portal for the CARE Fund Pandemic Related Stability Payments Program. https://caresapp.hfs.illinois.gov/
COVID NUMBERS INCREASING
As of October 18, 2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting that there have been a total of 344,048 documented cases of COVID-19, including 9,214 deaths in 102 counties in Illinois. A total of 6,775,553 tests have been performed to date. As of yesterday, the statewide rolling 7-day positivity rate was 5.5% with 4 regions facing mitigation. Please keep yourself and those you support safe and healthy!
IDPH GUIDANCE FOR SMALL CONGREGATE SETTINGS
I also want to take this opportunity to remind our waiver providers of the IDPH vetted COVID-19 guidance for small congregate settings, which includes CILAs, that can be found here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=128021
IDPH UPDATED GUIDANCE FOR LTC FACILITIES
Attached you will also find Updated Interim Guidance for Nursing Homes and Other Long-Term Care Facilities and Programs: Phased Reopening. This should be used for our ICF/DDs.
REGIONS 5, 7 AND 8 MOVING INTO MITIGATION
IDPH announced that Region 5 is entering into mitigations on October 22, 2020 and Regions 7 and 8 on October 23, 2020 (Region 1 is also still under mitigation). Again, to remind our providers, CDS providers in Regions 1, 5, 7 and 8 are not required to make changes to their operations in response to the mitigations announced. However, community-based guidance is different than guidance for our LTC facilities, which specifically, and exclusively, impacts ICF/DDs. ICF/DD residents in these regions will not be allowed to attend CDS programs during mitigation. CDS providers are able to send staff to an ICF/DD to provide CDS.
CDS SURVEY RESULTS
We're hoping to get an overview of the CDS Survey results next week. Unfortunately, our vetted survey ended up with some data that was not correctly entered. We sent the survey to over 200 providers and received responses for 291 sites (pre-pandemic we had 339 CDS sites). Unfortunately, 64 sites (of the 291) are in question and are being asked to revise the survey. Division staff will be reaching out to those providers and walking them through completing the survey. More to come!
SUPPORT FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS
The Division has received several inquiries from parents who have children in the school system who are frustrated by the lack of support they are receiving. We understand this is very challenging, therefore, we reached out to the Illinois State Board of Education, Special Education Services Department for guidance and feedback. They provided the following resources and guidance:
Per the Special Education Services Department, for special education students with IEPs, the nature, extent, and service delivery model should be determined by the child's IEP team. The June 30, 2020, Frequently Asked Questions for Special Education on the Transition to In-Person Instruction discusses how IEP Teams should discuss the need for examining the child's needs and the services that should be provided based on those needs. This document also makes clear the right of the parent to request a meeting to review and discuss the IEP, making any revisions needed to meet the child's needs. Question 9 (found on page 6) discusses the circumstances in which home instruction can be considered.
The August 14, 2020, Frequently Asked Questions for Parents of Students with Disabilities Regarding School Year 2020-21 also discusses steps a parent or guardian can take if they have questions regarding the serving entity's plan for return to school for their child with a disability or the appropriateness of remote or blended learning for their child in questions 3 and 4 (on pages 2-3).
HEALTHY SEXUALITY & SEXUAL VIOLENCE WEBINARS
The Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance is hosting a series of webinars to engage survivors with disabilities, rape crisis centers, service providers, professionals and advocates in doing collaborative regional and statewide work aimed at improving services, policies and opportunities for people with disabilities who have experienced sexual violence. You can learn more and register here: http://selfadvocacyalliance.org/aapd-leadership-award-project-healthy-sexuality-sexual-violence-webinars
VIRTUAL BILINGUAL SIBLING WORKSHOPS
Next week, Latinas United in Love for Autism and the Sibling Leadership Network are hosting two workshops designed for anyone who is a parent and/or a sibling of a loved one with a disability. These free workshops will offer vital information and resources. Materials will be available in Spanish and the sessions will be bilingual. You can learn more and register here: https://bit.ly/2SDBAhz
Thank you for all you do!