COVID-19 Information For Employees

Last Updated: 02/08/21 at 1:37 PM

Staff travel

Staff travel

Unnecessary travel at this time is irresponsible and increases the possibility of exposure to the employee, other staff members, and our residents.



Guidelines for staff working within a home unit

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Recent Updates and Resources

The updates to the left are blog posts with our responses to the most current information available at the time. To avoid contradictory information, only the three most recent updates are posted, though the entire thread can be found here.

Home Units

Below are the guidelines for staff working within a home unit:


All direct support employees are assigned to work in only one home. Fully vaccinated employees may work in alternative locations as assigned by management only

All direct support professionals working in a home unit received detailed instructions via email to complete check-in procedures. Additionally, if you work an extended shift, temperature checks must be repeated every 12 hours.
Keep your face mask on for the entire work shift. Additional training has been provided for the use, cleaning, storage, and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE)
Sing “Happy Birthday” through twice; once for yourself, once for a person who you are supporting so they too can stay healthy and safe!

Fully vaccinated employees are the first choice to accompany fully vaccinated residents (who can adhere to all mask protocols) on chosen community activities


Fully vaccinated residents who can adhere to all mask protocols may choose to dine out at any local restaurant.

Fully vaccinated employees may dine with residents in the home during family-style meals or while out in the community. Unvaccinated employees may not dine with residents or other staff.

“Take Out” includes any fast food or drive-thru. Employees may take unvaccinated residents and students to pick up take-out orders ONLY with Manager approval.


With prior approval, Home Units may visit city or village parks. Community Homes may take community walks along approved routes. For unvaccinated residents – You can take a drive, but everyone must stay in the vehicle at all times (staff and residents), all must wear masks, and the vehicle must remain at 50% capacity. If you would like to enjoy some time outside, we continue to recommend scheduling a time to use Springbrook’s Oneonta Campus or Main Campus outdoor areas for safe outdoor time.

The Main Campus playground may only be used by one residence at a time and is reserved for Community Homes use on Sundays from 3 pm to 6 pm. Please bring disinfecting wipes when visiting the playground, as equipment must be disinfected before and after use by each house. Home unit employees have received instructions on reserving this space

Any surface that is near a high-traffic area, or touched by multiple staff and/or residents needs attention several times per shift.

This includes repair/service vendors, deliveries, even other Springbrook employees (like IT or Administrative staff). If staff have a question about someone asking to enter the home, they are to contact the Administrator on Call (AOC).

This is a new way of delivering support. It might seem counter-intuitive to stay away to show you care, but you could help save a life by doing just that.

Communal (“family-style”) meals between unvaccinated staff and residents in a shared space in the home should not take place. For your scheduled meal times, find a private room in the home that is not used by residents. Do not eat in shared spaces, like dining/living/sitting rooms (even if no one else is in the room with you).

Vaccinated staff may enjoy communal meals with other vaccinated staff and residents


Vaccinated staff may enjoy meal and break times with other vaccinated staff

Join Today!

Who is Eligible?

  • DSPs
  • LPNs
  • TAs
  • CAs
  • Assistant Managers
  • If your position is not listed, you will need approval from your department director to join

To be considered for the Response Team please email

What to include in your email:

  • Your Name
  • Your Position
  • Your Home Unit Assignment
  • The best way for us to reach you

When we receive your interest email, we will schedule a time to discuss the Response Team in detail with you. It is vital that staff who join the Response Team understand the commitment. We must depend on you to respond should we need to deploy you to an Emergency Setting (including a hospital). We will discuss the additional training, your family obligations, medical conditions, and commitment to using PPE before putting you on the Response Team. If, after this review meeting, you join the Response Team by signing our Fall/Spring Contract, you will be eligible for the initial $250 Sign-On Incentive. The initial $250 Sign-On Incentive will be paid to you regardless of if you are deployed to an Emergency Setting. If you are deployed to an Emergency Setting during your contract period, you will be eligible for the $250 Completion Incentive.

Emergency Schedule & Pay Program

Emergency Schedule Highlights:

  • Response Team members work up to 14 days, 12 hours on/12 hours off, until the resident returns home or is hospitalized
  • After working a full 14-day Emergency Schedule (with a confirmed COVID-19 positive), Response Team members complete a paid 14-day non-working isolation period

Emergency Pay Program Highlights:

  • When deployed, Response Team members are paid 1.5x their regular pay rate for 40 hours per week
  • Response Team members earn overtime (1.5 x the Response Team pay rate) for all hours worked over 40 hours per week
  • In addition to regular and overtime pay, Response Team members earn $500 per week (7 days) worked in an Emergency setting
    • If the team member does not complete a full 7-day week, the $500 payment will be pro-rated
    • This may occur if an awaited test result is negative or a resident is hospitalized
  • After working a full 14-day Emergency Schedule, Response Team members complete a paid 14-day non-working isolation period
    • During this period, they are paid their regular rate of pay (40 hrs per week) and receive an additional $500 per week for the isolation period


Response Team members will be deployed to emergency locations if a resident is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.


  • Response Team members work up to 14 days, 12 hours on/12 hours off, until the resident is sent home or hospitalized. When deployed, employees on the Response Team will be paid 1.5x their current pay rate and earn overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. The overtime rate will 1.5x the Response Team rate of pay
  • In addition, response team members will receive a weekly Response Team payment up to $500
  • If the employee does not work the full 7-days to complete a full week, the $500 payment will be pro-rated for that week This could occur as a result of hospitalization
  • Housing accommodations will be provided for the first 14-days by Springbrook (if applicable)
  • After working up to 14-days in the emergency location, with a positive test result, Response Team members will begin their 14-day non-working period
  • During this period, the Team members will be paid their regular rate of pay and receive an additional $500 per week for the isolation period
  • Employees will receive a COVID-19 test to ensure the safety of residents before entering back into another work location and the safety of the employee’s family and friends
  • During the mandatory self-isolation, the employee may self-isolate at home or Springbrook will provide housing accommodations

Response Team members will be deployed to the emergency location pending the results of a COVID-19 test. If the test is negative, the response team employees will return to their work location.

  • When deployed, employees on the Response Team will be paid 1.5x their current pay rate and earn overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. The overtime rate will 1.5x the Response Team rate of pay
  • In addition, Response Team members will receive an incentive payment weekly up to $500
  • If the employee does not work the full 7-days, the $500 payment will be pro-rated for that week. This could occur as a result of hospitalization or a negative test result
  • If the resident has a negative test result, it will not be necessary for Response Team employees to isolate for 14-days. Therefore, they will return to their normal location schedule under the discretion of the Assistant Director. No additional payment will be provided in this case
Contract Periods & Incentive Pay

Fall/Spring Response Team – November 15 – April 30

Join the Springbrook Response Team by December 4 and receive a $250 Sign-On Incentive on December 10. If you join the team and are deployed during the contract period (ending April 30), you will receive a $250 Completion Incentive on May 6. The Completion Incentive will only be paid to Team Members who work when called on with a Response Team assignment. Previous members of the Response Team are eligible for the Fall/Spring Sign-on and Completion Incentive Payments if they sign the new Response Team contract.

Emergency Settings
If a student or resident needs to be tested for COVID-19 or becomes ill with the virus, they will be moved to one of Springbrook’s Emergency Isolation Homes – McDowell House (on-campus) and Averill Road (off-campus). Emergency Isolation Homes are equipped with a complete supply of Personal Protective Equipment. This equipment includes N95 Masks, Goggles, Face Shields, Gowns, and Gloves. We have a complete supply ready now and are also connected to the NYS Office of Emergency Response, NYSACRA, and OPWDD to ensure our supply of complete PPE remains stocked.
Response Team Training
Response Team members receive specialized training including:
  • VNS
  • G-Tube and Diabetes Training
  • CPR and First Aid certification
  • Med Certification, Epi-pen Certification
  • SCIP-R
  • Detailed PPE Training
  • Specific COVID-19 infection control training
  • Training in the use of Telemedicine equipment

Many employees in direct care roles already have many of these certifications. Springbrook will verify certifications and train any person willing to join the Response Team, even if they do not already hold these certifications.

Staff Travel

Unnecessary travel at this time is irresponsible and increases the possibility of exposure to the employee, other staff members, and our residents.

Important Reminders
  • All employees should follow all travel guidelines and warnings put forth by the CDC. There should be no international travel
  • Employees should only commute between their home and work location, or to access essential services within their home communities
  • Employees should avoid all unnecessary travel within our region, the state, or the US
  • Noted hotspots change daily and are found throughout the state and country. Staying as close to home as possible is the best way to avoid hotspots
Required Travel Reporting

Required Travel Reporting

Springbrook employees are now ONLY required to report travel in the following circumstance:

  • You were in any state that DOES NOT border New York State for more than 24 hours.
  • To comply with all state mandates, Springbrook requires that employees report ANY travel to non-contiguous states (planned or emergency).
  • You are also required, as per Governor Cuomo’s Travel Advisory, to report your travel to New York State using this form: New York State – Traveler Health Form.

Springbrook employees do not need to report travel within the state of New York, or to states that border New York State (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont).

To help with this process we have updated the Staff Travel Report Form.

For Planned Travel: Notify your supervisor at least two weeks in advance.

  • If you are traveling to a non-contiguous state for more than 24 hours, employees must report any travel, even if the travel does not require the use of PTO (for example, a weekend trip). This is a COVID-19-specific addition to Springbrook’s regular PTO policy.

Reporting Procedure Update:

Reminder: Per Springbrook’s existing PTO policy, you must notify your supervisor at least two weeks in advance of using PTO, regardless of plans to travel.

If you travel to a state that DOES NOT border NYS for more than 24 hrs:

  1. Report your travel to New York State: NYS – Traveler Health Form.
  2. Report your travel to Springbrook using the Staff Travel Report Form prior to returning to work.

If you travel within New York State or to a bordering state (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont) you do not need to report your travel.

Return to Work Procedure Update:

In compliance with New York State’s new Travel Advisory, for employees who were in a non-contiguous state for more than 24 hours:

  • You must obtain a COVID test within three days of departure from that state.
  • You must, upon arrival in New York, obtain a COVID test and quarantine for three days.
  • On day 4 of your quarantine, you must obtain another COVID test.
  • Springbrook recommends finding testing locations that provide rapid results.

You will be cleared to return to work only after providing proof of both tests (negative). You will upload test results to the Staff Travel Form.

  • If you are planning travel, plan in the additional 4 days needed upon returning to New York State.
  • ALL Springbrook employees, including Remote Workers, will be required to quarantine for the three days and test on the fourth day before returning to work.
  • This means Remote Workers will not be permitted to work while in the quarantine period.

Keep in mind – Any delay in test results could result in the use of additional PTO or be unpaid (if PTO is unavailable).

Building Use Procedures

As our regions begin phased reopening, Springbrook’s priority is (and always has been) the health and safety of each person who is a member of our amazing community – residents, students, and employees.
For the safety of all, we have established a set of Rules and Procedures for using our many buildings. These rules apply to all Springbrook employees and are effective Monday, June 1. We appreciate your continued commitment and cooperation as we move together toward a new “normal.”
Important Reminders
  • All employees working remotely should continue to do so. These rules and procedures are NOT a mandate to return to the office
  • Unnecessary use of Springbrook’s facilities at this time increases the possibility of exposure to all employees
  • Only employees with job responsibilities that require the use of a Springbrook facility are to use Springbrook’s buildings at this time. A supervisor will tell you if you are required to go into a building to complete a job responsibility
  • ANY employee using any Springbrook facility must follow the rules outlined below:
Building Use Rules
  • Wear a face mask!
    • Vaccinated staff may wear a face mask!
    • Masks must be worn in building parking lots
    • Masks must be worn in all entrances, exits, hallways, and corridors (any place where you may interact with another person)
    • Masks must be worn within offices when another employee is present (even if someone just “pops in” for a moment)
    • Masks may be removed when an employee is alone in an office with the door closed
    • Masks may be removed during meal or break times if all employees are vaccinated2

  • Avoid unnecessary interaction with other employees when in a Springbrook building
  • All Conference Rooms and shared spaces (like break areas, lounges, etc.) are closed until further notice
  • Clean all equipment and surfaces
    • Office equipment like printing/scanning stations must be wiped with a sanitizing wipe before and after each use
    • Frequently touched surfaces like desktops, countertops, light switches and door knobs should be wiped upon entry to a space and when exiting
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • If possible, avoid using restrooms
    • All public restrooms in Springbrook buildings are being renovated to “touchless” spaces. Until those renovations are complete, please plan accordingly. Restrooms are spaces with an increased risk of exposure. If possible, avoid using public restrooms
Building Check-In Procedure
Before entering a building, STOP at the check-in station, complete the Health Monitoring Check-in Procedure, log your entry, then proceed into the building. You must check-out at the same station when you leave the building.
Maintaining accurate logs of staff use of buildings is critical. Check-in logs will enable us to complete contact tracing, should the need arise.
Assigned Building Entry & Exits
Use the following assigned building entry/exit points for your department, or the department you are conducting business with:
The School at Springbrook
  • 1st Floor Entry: Staff who work on the 1st floor
  • 2nd Floor Entry: Staff who work on the 2nd floor
  • 3rd Floor Entry: Staff who work on the 3rd floor
The White Building
  • Main Entrance: All Staff
Family Engagement Center
  • Right Side (staff) Entry: FEC Staff
  • Main Entrance: All Others
The Oneonta Campus
  • Kids Unlimited Preschool Entrance: Kids Unlimited, Quality Assurance
  • Main Entrance: IT, Training, Community Homes, Community Services
  • Back Entrance, Program Side: Day Hab Staff, Dietary, Behavioral, Therapy
The Wellness Clinic (Main Street)
  • Main Entrance: All Staff
Norwich Office
  • Main Entrance: All Staff
Norwich Day Habilitation
  • Main Entrance: All Staff (use back parking lot building entrance)
Binghamton Office
  • Main Entrance: All Staff
Ithaca Office
  • Main Entrance: All Staff

Springbrook Response Team

The Springbrook Response Team is comprised of direct support employees who volunteer to work in one of Springbrook’s Emergency Isolation Homes (or in a hospital setting) to support residents who are being tested for COVID-19, and/or residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Springbrook Response Team works on an altered Pay Program and Emergency Schedule.

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