Please notify your primary nurse or PASCO if you develop any of the following symptoms:
If you have a question, feel free to send us a message below. We will get back to you shortly.
Vaccine Priority for Down Syndrome – Now part of Phase 2
Recent revisions were made to reflect data supporting an increased risk of severe illness among persons with Down Syndrome from the virus that causes COVID-19. This newly added data has allowed individuals with Down Syndrome to become part of the Phase 2 vaccine distribution group that is currently slated for Spring of 2021.
The CDC has been providing updated information regarding certain underlying medical conditions that propose an increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.
To view the current list of conditions please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html
PASCO caregivers are now allowed to receive the COVID-19 Vaccination as part of Colorado’s Accelerated Timetable
Colorado is now moving into Phase 1B of the state’s plan. This phase covers Home Health workers including family caregivers, Coloradans that are 70 years old or older, essential workers, and more. PASCO has sent an email to all of our employees regarding this new information that includes a personalized Letter of Employment that can be used when receiving your vaccine. If you have not received this email please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We here at PASCO are working to gather all of the relevant information from each county to provide further guidance.
Please note that PASCO is not involved in the actual administration of the vaccination.
Kaiser Permanente provides health coverage for PASCO employees. If you are enrolled with Kaiser, please visit their vaccine resource page for instructions on how to register for a vaccine appointment
For more information please visit The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment vaccine resource page located at: covid19.colorado.gov/for-coloradans/vaccine/vaccine-for-coloradans
End of Year Message from Kim Bimestefer, Executive Director of the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing
This has been a tough year for all of us. Your efforts to keep yourselves, your households and our communities safe have been inspiring. The ongoing isolation and sacrifice so many are experiencing make it more important than ever to celebrate each other – safely – especially during the holidays.
In order to stay safe and keep others safe this holiday season, please continue to avoid gatherings with people outside of your household or small family pod. Thank you for continuing to social distance, wear your mask and wash your hands. And thank you for continuing to make choices that protect the health and safety of our families, our communities and our health care workers. We know this year has been challenging, but we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines arrived in Colorado last week and are already being given to health care workers.
They will be available for the public in coming months, and it’s important that we remain committed in our efforts until then. We will work to keep you informed about vaccine availability and how Health First Colorado members can get theirs. Please check HealthFirstColorado.org/COVID for the most up to date information.
From all of us at Health First Colorado, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and best wishes for a healthy and hope-filled 2021. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year. However you choose to celebrate, we celebrate right along with you.
View the original message here.
With COVID-19 vaccinations being shipped, we’d like to share with you what we know.
- Vaccinations will begin around the state with the highest-risk health care workers (people who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients or are long-term care facility staff and residents).
- Home health providers are currently included in “Phase 1B” which is currently expected to begin vaccinations in late winter (Feb-Mar 2021).
We will continue to share the latest information we have with you on vaccinations on this page.
The below websites are additional information on vaccinations
Healthcare Worker Support Group
As the Covid-19 pandemic has unfolded, the stressors on healthcare workers have been on-going and complex. These unprecedented times are having a significant impact on the well-being and mental health of healthcare workers across the state. The Colorado Healthcare Ethics Resource Group wanted to create awareness of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Colorado’s healthcare workers and develop a toolkit for healthcare workers to identify and address burnout, moral distress, and traumatic stress responses in themselves, their colleagues, and the healthcare systems in which they provide care.
Return to Work Criteria for Healthcare Personnel (HCP) with SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Symptom-based strategy for determining when HCP can return to work.
HCP with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved
Note: HCP who are not severely immunocompromised and were asymptomatic throughout their infection may return to work when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.
- At least 10 days and up to 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved
- Consider consultation with infection control experts
Note: HCP who are severely immunocompromised but who were asymptomatic throughout their infection may return to work when at least 10 days and up to 20 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.
As described in the Decision Memo, an estimated 95% of severely or critically ill patients, including some with severe immunocompromised, no longer had replication-competent virus 15 days after onset of symptoms; no patient had replication-competent virus more than 20 days after onset of symptoms. The exact criteria that determine which HCP will shed replication-competent virus for longer periods are not known. Disease severity factors and the presence of immunocompromising conditions should be considered in determining the appropriate duration for specific HCP. For example, HCP with characteristics of severe illness may be most appropriately managed with at least 15 days before return to work.
1 For the purpose of this guidance, fever is defined as subjective fever (feeling feverish) or a measured temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. Note that fever may be intermittent or may not be present in some people, such as those who are elderly, immunocompromised, or taking certain fever-reducing medications (e.g., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDS]).
Integration of these definitions and actions into communications and actions of public health authorities can be guided by CDC’s “Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission pdf icon[PDF – 62 pages]“.
PASCO’s Commitment to the Safety of our Community
All staff members have been instructed to:
- Take their temperature prior to reporting to work
- If a staff member has a fever of 101.4 or greater, they are to stay home and call their supervisor
We encourage all clients to wear masks when receiving care from our Community Care Team.
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: COVID-19 testing for home and community-based service providers
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (CHCPF) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) consider those providing Home and Community-Based Services as critical in helping to mitigate the spread of the disease among these vulnerable populations.
For this reason, we highly recommend that your employees who provide direct care to older adults or individuals with disabilities receive COVID-19 testing on a routine basis. To assist in meeting this recommendation, we have prioritized free testing through the State of Colorado for all home care and day program direct care providers.
Best practices for repeated surveillance testing advise that asymptomatic individuals be tested weekly, on the same day each week. Please inform your workers that they are invited to participate in weekly testing at the following locations. No referral or insurance is required.
Please register in advance with our testing partner at https://www.primarybio.com/l/cdphe for testing.
- Colorado Mesa University (Drive-Through Testing) 1280 Cannell Ave, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501
- All City Stadium 1495 South Race Street, Denver, CO
- North High School 3125 Eliot Street, Denver, CO 80211
- Cherry Creek High School 4700 South Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO
- Instructional Support Facility (ISF) 5416 South Riviera Way, Aurora, CO 80015
- Mountain Range High School 12500 Huron Street, Westminster, CO 80234
- St. Vrain Valley Schools Innovation Center 33 Quail Road, Longmont, CO 80504
- APS Professional Learning Conference Center 5771 E 1st Ave, Aurora, CO 80011
Additionally, the following community-based testing sites are available:
- Water World 8801 N. Pecos St., Federal Heights at the Water World parking lot adjacent to W. 90th Ave.
- Aurora Center for Active Adults parking lot, 30 Del Mar Circle, Aurora
- Centennial Center Park 13050 E. Peakview Ave. (East of Arapahoe Rd & Peoria)
- Citadel Mall in the parking lot just south of JCPenney 750 Citadel Dr. E, Colorado Springs
No referral or insurance is required. Additionally, individuals do not need to identify as home and community-based services workers. We appreciate your ongoing support to keep both your staff and the individuals you serve safe from the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage you to take advantage of these resources.
View the official letter here
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: Paid Leave under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“HFWA”) through Dec. 31, 2020
The Colorado Department of Labor has released the 2020 requirements of paid leave under Colorado’s “Healthy Families and Workplaces Act.”
At PASCO we take the health and wellbeing of all of our employees very seriously and are proud of this legislation to ensure our families are taken care of.
To read more about this notice and your rights as an employee of PASCO please visit:
IMPORTANT UPDATE: PASCO is open and in full operation. However, our office in Lakewood is locked to general access and open for appointments only. If you need access to the office, please call the main number, 303.233.3122 and we can direct you to the correct department to schedule an appointment.
TAP, short for “Therapist Action Plan,” works in collaboration with disability organizations and national therapy professional associations, to help meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and seniors/older adults in our communities during disasters and beyond.
TAP is recruiting for two initiatives.
- TAP Disaster Preparedness, Management & Response
Disaster Preparedness, Management, and Response is an overarching initiative of TAP and the TAP Partners Network. The team believes therapists are uniquely positioned to provide expertise and support before, during, and after disasters and other emergencies. The team is currently recruiting volunteers, who are interested in engaging in efforts at national, state, and local levels, to ensure accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in processes, at shelters, and in community plans of action.
- TAP CPR (Therapist Action Plan for Care Partner Relief)
COVID-19 has changed our world – more than we could ever have imagined. Social Distancing has created unfathomable changes to everyone’s lives. However, for those who require Personal Care Assistants for health and independence, the challenges are even greater – in fact life threatening. A system already experiencing huge shortages is unable to meet the needs of our neighbors with disabilities. TAP CPR is a solution to help meet those needs. Therapy professionals and students, in collaboration with disability organizations and advocates, can be that solution. The team is recruiting volunteers (and possibly paid opportunities) to support individuals who require Personal Care Assistant services. Disability organizations and/or individuals can send requests for support services and the team will reach out to the TAP members in that local community to locate a match for the specific request.
- TAP Disaster Preparedness, Management & Response
JOIN the TAP Partners Facebook Group today to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/groups/211677610128328/
Stimulus Checks and their Impact on Medicaid Eligibility
In a blog post the Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Andrew Saul, clarified:
“..we will not consider economic impact payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.”
For more information please visit this link
Furthermore Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin stated:
“SSI recipients with no qualifying children do not need to take any action in order to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. The payments will be automatic,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Recipients with qualifying children should use the ‘Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here’ web portal to enter basic information so they can receive their payments as quickly as possible.”
The tool will request basic information to confirm eligibility, calculate, and send the Economic Impact Payments:
- Full names and Social Security numbers, including for spouse and dependents
- Mailing address
- Bank account type, account and routing numbers
For more information on Economic Impact Payments click here.
PASCO is staffing a remote social networking opportunity for clients and caregivers to call and talk when they are feeling isolated and lonely during this time stay-at-home time. To learn more please visit this link.
Our April newsletter is out. In this issue we discuss how are strength comes from sacrifice, tips for dealing with stress and anxiety, utilizing unused service units under teh SLS and CES waivers, and more. To view the newsletter visit this link.
How soap kills the coronavirus?
ATTENTION COLORADO! Some states are planning on RATIONING COVID-19 care to EXCLUDE people with disabilities.
Help us SAVE LIVES TODAY AND TOMORROW! Join us alongside Global Down Syndrome Foundation, and Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition over the next two days and write our Governor Jared Polis, Thanking him for rewriting the “Critical Care Triage guidelines for CO” and tell him you support the recommendation for ALL hospitals in our state. We have over 140 disability organizations signed on including all the ARCs and CCBs!
NOW, we need YOUR help and 1,000+ people to write in. Please go to this link to write your message to Governor Polis! And help the nearly 600,000 Coloradans with a disability receive equitable, life-saving care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PASCO has reached out to all of their current supply vendors and new supply vendors requesting additional PPE. PASCO has also reached out to the local county emergency manager and put in a request for additional PPE per Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s guidance. We understand that our caregivers are focused on having supplies for both preventative purposes and planning for the future. PASCO currently has a limited supply of PPE that is being made available for direct care providers who visit multiple homes and is reserved for clients that exhibit signs and symptoms of an infectious condition including the flu and/or COVID-19, i.e. cough, fever, difficulty breathing. Given the limitations of PPE supply, we are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reserve PPE usage for individuals with symptoms.
Please continue to wash your hands, clean common surfaces, and limit physical interaction with your clients. If the situation changes regarding PPE, we will communicate through these same channels.
For situations where PPE is available and appropriate to use for a symptomatic client, please review this video as reference for donning and doffing PPE
Moving to Telehealth. Due in part to the tireless advocacy of PASCO leaders David Bolin & Ryan Zeiger, the Colorado Health Department (CDPHE) approved using telehealth as a home health delivery model where possible.
- For CNA services, this includes supervisory visits by your nurse every 14 days or 60 days, depending on your typical schedule.
- For IHSS services, this includes your annual skills evaluation that is done by a nurse in the home.
- For Personal Care Services and/or Homemaking, this includes supervisory visits required every 90 days.
- For Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability waivers, your coordinator and nurse will work to support you remotely based on your individualized plan.
What does Telehealth mean? Our nurses and admin staff will coordinate with you to use videoconferencing for the appropriate visit to protect their health, as well as the health of the client, caregiver, and household. PASCO is asking nurses and administrative staff to enact this for all situations at this time due to the Public Health environment associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. We have PASCO admin staff trained to help you with technological challenges and if you do not have a device that is compatible, we will walk through a solution to your particular situation. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
PASCO launches a COVID-19 hotline: (303) 274-3656. To support employees and clients when additional questions arise during the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado, we have established a PASCO COVID-19 hotline to talk through questions, share or report concerns, or find resources as appropriate. We will have dedicated admin staff available to answer the phone, understand your needs, and get you in touch with the right person within PASCO if they aren’t able to support you on the initial call. The hotline will be staffed from 8:00am – 5:00pm on Monday through Friday, while on-call support will still be available beyond those hours and over the weekend. If someone doesn’t answer, please leave a voicemail, as we are committed to responding quickly to your calls.
In-person training requirements temporarily suspended. In response to the social distancing measures requested at the state and federal level, we are temporarily suspending some activities that PASCO can control without federal approval.
- For existing PASCO employees, Skills Den validation is cancelled. We have updated our policy to allow you to continue to work without Skills Den validation.
- For existing PASCO employees, CPR certification is cancelled. While CPR is recommended, it is optional for existing employees and we will not be offering courses in March or April.
- Our events series around Resiliency, Guardianship, and other networking will resume once large group gatherings are advisable.
Administrative Staff is now Available Remotely. Our office staff has built protocols and systems to be able to work remotely, in the case of severe blizzards or other disruptive issues. We have determined that the best way for us to support our caregivers and clients during this virus outbreak is to move to telecommuting. As a result, the physical Lakewood central offices will be temporarily closed. Our staff will all remain working and available through email or their extension. Everyone at PASCO can always be reached by calling the main phone number – 303-233-3122. Darryl is set up to work remotely, and we’re working on a way to virtually snuggle up to Nacho, Darryl’s beloved service dog. As we move to this model, please don’t hesitate to call back and get our staff’s attention – we want to make sure we are highly available and supportive, as in more typical times.
Some updates regarding in-person office services:
- If you typically pick up a physical paycheck, we recommend that if possible, you move to direct deposit. We will have someone available at the office each Monday to provide a physical paycheck if that is necessary.
- If you are a field service provider and need to talk with Scheduling, we have M-Chat, telephone, and video-conference options to connect with Sherri, Ariana, and Hope.
- If you have specific Human Resources needs, please call our main line at 303-233-3122 and we will arrange to have someone on site to support you.
What to do if you suspect you have COVID-19?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and can appear 2-14 days after exposure. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath.
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment recommends that anyone who believes they have the symptoms of COVID-19 to:
- CALL OR EMAIL OR ONLINE CHAT with your primary health care provider first. Ask your provider about private lab sites where you can get tested.
- DO NOT go to the emergency room for COVID-19 testing unless you are experiencing a medical emergency such as breathing difficulties.
- DO call 911 if you are having a medical emergency.
If you or your loved one have a condition that may increase your risk of a serious infection you should speak to your primary health care provider.
For more information about what to do if you are experiencing symptoms please visit this link.
Communication Channels. CEO Adam Steinbrunner distributed a robo-call at 4pm today. If you missed a call from PASCO at 4pm and there was not a voicemail message, the transcript of the call is listed below. More communication will be shared tomorrow (03/18).
“Hello PASCO family members. This is Adam Steinbrunner, CEO of PASCO. The coronavirus is in our community and our priority is to make sure to keep our clients and caregivers safe, healthy and informed. We are using a variety of communication methods. We have and will continue to send emails. For our live-in caregivers, we are also sending messages through PASS and Therap. For field staff, we will use Telephony for voice-to-text messages as well as our secure messaging app, M-Chat. Finally, we are setting up a web page that we will update with any new messages or alerts. For simplicity, that URL is pascohh.com/covid”
Please remember to be gracious and respectful during this challenging situation. Thank you for being part of the PASCO family.
Sick/Vacation Leave. We sent an email to our employees. Please communicate with PASCO HR and/or your primary nurse to report any leave associated with the coronavirus. It’s important that we balance our desire to serve and support our clients and with our interest maintaining a healthy community. Our staff can come up with a plan to support you if you are feeling unwell. PASCO main phone: 303.233.3122 – ask for PASCO HR.