From: Knuth, David - DWD
Sent: Monday, Mar 16, 2020
Dear Service Provider,
Please see the following communication and share with staff as you deem appropriate:
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has implemented a state mandated Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). This plan will ensure the continuation of services to our consumers in the event of a structural disaster or pandemic disease outbreak. It is important that DVR continue to provide necessary rehabilitation services to our consumers who count on us. This includes our important external service providers.
Planning for a pandemic disease is important in protecting employee and consumers' health and safety, as well as ensuring business continuity. We encourage you to take it seriously and review the resource links provided below.
Planning for a pandemic is similar to other contingency and continuity of operations plans your organization may already have for other unforeseen emergencies and events. Please note, however, a pandemic presents a sustained emergency with high levels of employee absenteeism and economic and social disruption for a period that could extend for months. For this reason, it represents a new type of threat and brings new requirements for planning.
If your business does not have any type of continuity of operations plan in place, this represents an opportune moment to prepare one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has very useful information on pandemic preparedness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/pandemic-preparedness-resources.html
We suggest you use that site as a starting point for learning more about planning for a pandemic outbreak. One important document available on that site is the Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
Other resources exist regarding COVID-19 and infectious control measures at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
DVR relies on partners to provide essential products and services for individuals with disabilities. During this pandemic outbreak, your organization may be impacted and experience employee absences and product shortages that will make performing routine and essential operations difficult. If that occurs and services are interrupted and no longer provided, it is essential that you notify DVR as soon as possible so that other service arrangements can be made.
If you feel you cannot, for any reason, provide the services or wish to pause services, please inform either the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) or the Workforce Development Area (WDA) Director AND email the DVR service provider mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org so that the information can be tracked centrally.
It may be necessary to pause services for a period of weeks to allow for reduced person-to person-contact. If a DVR consumer does not wish to meet with you, please notify the VRC with that information. Many DVR consumers have health conditions which should be taken into consideration when planning for meetings and continued services.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance.
DVR Contract Specialist