In an open letter to Rhode Island’s developmental disability community, Kerri Zanchi, Director of the state Division of Developmental Disabilities, has spelled out steps the Division is taking to limit person-to-person contact to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while still remaining responsive to the needs of individuals and families.

A spokesman for the Division’s parent agency, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, said March 17 that private developmental disability service agencies are required to have emergency preparedness plans as a condition of licensing and indicated the providers are now putting those plans into action.

These plans include “provisions for a limited workforce” and “often include staffing reassignments, program consolidation and other strategies to manage during these emergent situations,” he said. 

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Gina Macris

Gina Macris is a career journalist with 43 years’ experience as a reporter for the Providence Journal. She retired in 2012. While at the Journal she wrote two series about her first-born son that won prizes from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association. Gina now publishes the Developmental Disability News.