Hello Team Rise, 03/17/2020

I hope you and your loved ones are all healthy.

As we monitor the situation and follow the guidance of local authorities and the World Health Organization around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Rise Staffing will take all the precautionary measures to avoid any risks to our employees and individuals.

Rise Staffing’s vocational POD’s will remain open at this time.  We have canceled all community activities, public outing and are restricting visitors. Our staff is diligent with infection control and sanitation procedures.

Most of you already work from home with your individual.  We ask that you consider staying home and eliminating extracurricular activities.  See your health care provider if you experience any of the common COVID-19 symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing and fever.

Rise’s Program Coordinators will implement remote site visits via phone and video.

We’re already cautious when it comes to office and POD hygiene, but in times like these, we ask you to ensure you follow these official guidelines:

  • Wash your hands regularly throughout the day for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol – we’ve equipped the office and POD’s
  • Avoid touching your face – especially eyes, nose, and mouth – with your hands
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • Open the windows regularly to ensure regular fresh air flow

Your health is our top priority, so we will keep an eye on any new developments around the coronavirus outbreak and will let you know if there are any extra precautionary measures we all need to apply.

Chris Miller

Vice President, Operations

[email protected]

OKDHS DDS Provider COVID-19 Guidance and Recommendations 

In response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and its potential impact on the delivery of services to individuals with an intellectual disability, the OKDHS, Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS), has developed the following operational guidance and recommendations for providers of services to persons with intellectual disabilities. 

We continue to monitor information from the Oklahoma Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  As additional guidance becomes available, we will update our operational guidance and recommendations. 

Additionally, OKDHS, DDS is collaborating with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make emergency amendments to our Home and Community-Based Waivers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency.  The amendments under consideration provide for flexibility that may be necessary to continue ensuring the health and safety of waiver participants.  The types of modifications and flexibility we are seeking include but are not limited to the following areas:  suspension of requirements related to community integration, staffing requirements, staff training requirements, service location size limitations, remote/telephone monitoring  for Program Coordinators and Case Managers, and where certain services can be provided.  Additional information about the amendments will be provided when we have additional information. 

OKDHS, DDS is providing the following guidance to Residential Providers regarding Program Coordination.  Effective immediately and until further notice, residential providers are permitted to conduct monitoring visits remotely; using phone or video conferencing solutions.  When this responsibility is completed in place of a required face to face meeting, the Program Coordinator should document the occurrence in a corresponding case note. 

Additionally, for all Residential and Vocational/Adult Day Providers, the requirement for community integration is suspended until further notice.  Providers are not required to provide for opportunities in the community during this emergency and should evaluate potential risk and exposure by individual and community activity (i.e. walks in the park or neighborhood are likely to be low exposure).  

Providers should ensure staff adherence to already implemented infection control and sanitation procedures and implement additional infection control measures for all common areas, workstations, sensory areas, materials, equipment, furniture, DME, etc.  

The following guidance is provided regarding Limiting Visitors At a minimum, facilities/homes should screen visitors for the following: 

  1. International travel within the last 14 days. 
  1. Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, and sore throat. 
  1. Has had contact with someone with or suspected of having COVID-19. 

If visitors meet any of the above criteria, facilities/homes may restrict entry.  OKDHS, DDS understands it may become necessary to suspend visitation entirely to protect the  health and welfare of residents and staff.   In those instances, please document and report the restriction of visitors, to DDS, QA, Casey Browning. 

 The following guidance is provided for restrictions of staff.  The same screening performed for visitors should be performed for staff (Numbers 1, 2, and 3 above). 

  • Staff who have signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection should NOT report to work. 
  • Any staff who develop signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection while on the job should: 
  1. Immediately stop work, put on a facemask and self-isolate at home; 
  1. Inform the appropriate supervisor, and include information on individuals, equipment, and locations the person came in contact with; and 
  1. Contact and follow the State Department of Health recommendations for next steps. 


Recommendations for all Providers: 

  • Exercise and promote hygienic and infection control practice. Review and update infection control procedures. 
  • Review and update agency and individual back-up plans. 
  • Report all suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the State Department of Health and DDS, Quality Assurance, Casey Browning, Program Administrator. 
  • Contact DDS, Quality Assurance, Casey Browning, before making changes to your business practice whenever possible.  When unable to report before action is taken, please report to QA as soon as possible after the action is taken. 
  • Document what actions were taken and the reason for doing so (COVID-19 emergency). 
  • Stay informed.