• PHASE-Industries COVID-19 Program Preparedness Plan 

    Revised 6/07/ 2021 (Version 10) 

    Key modifications are highlighted in light blue 

    1. Introduction 

    PHASE-Industries is committed to providing a safe and healthy program and workplace for our program participants and staff. To ensure that, we have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. All statements in this Plan represent the organization’s formal COVID-19 related Policies & Procedures. This Plan is designed to be a dynamic document, meaning that it will be updated and modified as new information and “best practices” emerge specific to COVID-19.  Managers and staff members are all responsible for implementing and monitoring this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of Covid-19 in our workplaces, and that requires full cooperation among staff and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our workforce and workplaces. 


    COVID-19 is a relatively new and highly infectious respiratory disease, which began spreading in the U.S. in early 2020.  This plan outlines new policies and procedures for both workforce and program participants to minimize exposure risks, promptly identify COVID-19 symptoms, and safely respond when exposure/infection is suspected.  This Plan is posted at each PHASE-Industries licensed site, and is available on our webpage (www.pinehab.org).  Please look for any updates to the Plan at either of these locations. 


    A copy of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan will be offered to each person receiving services, their legal representative, if any, and their case manager.  

    This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan will be available to the Commissioner upon request. 

    This Plan supplements existing PHASE-Industries policies and procedures.  


    1. COVID-19 Background 

    The outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a new (novel) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected across the globe, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). 


    On May 14, 2021, Governor Walz rescinded many COVID-19 safety measures put into place in prior Executive Orders, including a statewide mask mandate.  On May 24, 2021, MN-DHS announced they will be lifting many of the COVID-19 related program restrictions put in place over the last year.  MN-DHS is allowing provider organizations to return to regular days and hours operation at full capacity, as well as eliminating “cohorts”.  MN-DHS does continue to require providers to have a COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan, which includes practices consistent with MN-MDH (MN department of Health) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) requirements 


    1. How COVID-19 Spreads: 

    • People can spread the COVID-19 disease to each other. 

    • The disease is thought to spread by nose and mouth droplets when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or exhales. 

    • The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. It may be possible for people to breathe the droplets into their lungs. When possible, try to stay 6 feet away from other people in public. At home, someone who is sick should stay alone, in one room, as much as possible. 

    • Droplets can land on surfaces and objects that other people then touch. It is important to wash your hands before you touch your mouth, nose, face or eyes. Clean surfaces that are touched often. Clean surfaces often if someone in the house is sick. 

    • Infected people may be able to spread the disease before they have symptoms or feel sick. 


    1. COVID-19 Symptoms, Severity & High Risk Factors: 


    1. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include: 

    • Fever or chills 

    • Cough 

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 

    • Fatigue 

    • Muscle or body aches 

    • Headache 

    • New loss of taste or smell 

    • Sore throat 

    • Congestion or runny nose 

    • Nausea or vomiting 

    • Diarrhea 


    • These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. 

    • Not everyone with COVID-19 has all of these symptoms, and some people may not have any symptoms. 

    • Many people with COVID-19 have mild illness. However, anyone can become severely ill from this virus. 

    • Based on current information and experience, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions have a greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. Ask your health care provider if you have greater risk of getting sicker. 


    1. People at higher risk of developing severe outcomes of COVID-19: 

    Individuals with underlying medical conditions or other factors (below) are at higher risk of developing severe outcomes of COVID-19. Severe outcomes are defined as hospitalization, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.  Guidance issued by the CDC Identify “at-risk persons/higher-risk persons” as described below 


    • Age 65 and older. 

    • Living in a nursing home or long-term care facility. 

    • Any age if they have underlying health conditions, especially if the conditions are not well controlled: 

    • Chronic lung diseasemoderate to severe asthmaChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis or Pulmonary Hypertension. 

    • Serious heart conditions. 

    • Down Syndrome 

    • Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2). 

    • Dementia. 

    • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis. 

    • Liver disease. 

    • Obesity. 

    • Pregnant and recently pregnant people (42 days following end of pregnancy). 

    • Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia. 

    • Stroke or Cerebrovascular Disease. 

    • Substance Use Disorders. 

    • Immunocompromised. Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications. 


    Most people with disabilities are not more likely to become infected with or have severe illness from COVID-19.  However, some people with disabilities might be more likely to get infected or have severe illness because of  underlying medical conditions, congregate living settings, or systemic health and social inequities.  All people with serious underlying chronic medical conditions like chronic lung disease, a serious heart condition, or a weakened immune system seem to be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Adults with disabilities are three times more likely than adults without disabilities to have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a stroke. 


    1. COVID-19 Vaccinations:  

    COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in the United States through an emergency use authorization.  According to the CDC, currently authorized vaccines are safe and highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19.  Further, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others. This Plan includes important protocols that are different for vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated individuals, based on guidance from the CDC and MN-MDH. If you are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, you can speak to your health care provider, Human Resources, or schedule directly online through Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector website (https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/connector/index.jsp).  Vaccines are absolutely free, and PHASE-Industries will ensure you have flexibility in your schedule to attend your vaccination appointment(s). PHASE-Industries encourages you in thoroughly evaluating if the COVID-19 vaccine is right for you, and promotes that those who are able to receive the vaccination get one. 


    COVID-19 vaccines continue to be the most effective way to keep people healthy and bring them closer to full community engagement. MN-DHS encourage providers and lead agencies to provide information to people receiving services and staff who are hesitant to receive a vaccine.  Resources include: 


    CDC-Key Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines: 


    CDC-Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine: 


    1. Individuals’ Rights 

    The Commissioner is temporarily modifying Minnesota Statutes, section 245D.04, subdivision 2 pertaining to a person’s service-related rights by adding a new clause:  

    A person's service-related rights include the right to: . . .  

    (10) make an informed choice about whether to receive day services in the licensed facility/community or to “stay-at-home” and receive no day services or receive services remotely during the peacetime emergency to minimize their exposure to COVID-19. This right exists even if the person does not meet the definition of an “at-risk person.” 


    1. Date PHASE-Industries Will Resume Services & Other Considerations 

    Now that capacity and other limits have been lifted, PHASE-Industries is resuming services at a pace that is person-centered, safe and consistent with requirements from MN DHS and MDH. These modifications to PHASE-Industries services include: 

    1. Effective June 14, 2021, PHASE-Industries will open with full days & hours of operation, and work with every program participant in determining if they wish to return to services (if not already receiving services), what type(s) of service they desire, and build a timeline to promptly access requested supports.    


    1. This Plan meets the requirement that license holders of day services for adults with disabilities must establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan as set forth in Emergency Executive Order 21-21 and 21-23, as well as MN DHS Notice on Day Services for People with Disabilities: Resumption of Program Activities. This Plan provides for the business’s implementation of Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC requirements in their workplaces.  


    1. Remote Work and Services for Individuals 

    1. A Remote Services option is available for individuals interested in this option (contact the assigned Designated Manager if interested).  


    1. PHASE-Industries recognizes that some positions may be able to carry out certain work functions by working from home (remotely) temporarily in an effort to promote continued social distancing, and encourages those employees to learn about this potential accommodation through Human Resources. 


    1. Staff Training 

    All PHASE-Industries staff will be trained on all current COVID-19 Preparedness and related Policies and Procedures during orientation, prior to fully re-opening licensed sites, and as needed thereafter.  


    1. Health and Safety Modifications 

    PHASE-Industries will adhere to the following procedures: 


    1. Ensure those who are sick stay home.  Any program participant, staff member or volunteer should stay home or seek the attention of a healthcare professional if they are sick.  Do not enter a PHASE-Industries site, vehicle or program if sick. 


    1. Face Masks:  


    • Face masks shall be required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, during PHASE-Industries transportation services, including beginning-of-day, end-of-day and in-program transportation.  This complies with the current CDC Mask Order for Transportation.   

    • Face Masks shall be required for all employees, regardless of vaccination status, while working with or around individuals considered immunocompromised (see definitions above in Section D.2).   

    • Face masks must be worn by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, if they experience COVID-19 symptoms while at work or during PHASE-Industries services. 

    • Face masks must be worn by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, if they are working with or within close proximity of someone who resides in an ICF setting. 

    • Face masks may be worn by any individual at any time as a preventive safeguard against communicable diseases, such as COVID-19.   

    • Fully Vaccinated (from COVID-19) Individuals: Except as noted above, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a face mask while at work.  Fully vaccinated is defined by at least two weeks (14 days) after completion of your final COVID-19 shot. 

    • Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated Individuals must wear face masks at all times during work or PHASE-Industries services, except in limited circumstances (e.g., when outside and able to maintain adequate separation from other persons and while working alone in a non-shared space such as an individual office). 


    There are limited exceptions/exemptions from wearing an approved face mask as identified above, such as a verifiable health or other condition that is subject to an employee request and approval through Human Resources for a reasonable accommodation, a disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering, circumstances where a clear face covering or no face covering is required to communicate with others in the course of services, circumstances where wearing an approved face mask would create a job hazard as determined by regulators, while eating or drinking, if unconscious or experiencing a medical emergency/illness that necessitates the absence of a face covering.  Alternatives to face coverings, such as use of a clear face shield, may be considered in limited circumstances, as face shields are significantly less effective than approved face masks. 


    Staff may encourage breaks from face coverings by going outside, and ensuring a minimum of six (6) feet of distance between each individual while outsidewhen an individual is not vaccinated.  The following mask types will be allowed: 

    • N95 respirator without exhaust valve (because of very limited supply, company-issued N95 masks are only used in the event an individual exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, and must be isolated from others until such time as they can leave the premise). 

    • KN95 masks  

    • Cloth or medical masks 

    • Employer supplied face covering  

    • Employee supplied face covering approved by the Employer in the event other mask types listed are not available due to shortages. 


    1. Provide accommodations for “high risk” and vulnerable populations.  Vulnerable individuals are encouraged to self-identify (however, PHASE-Industries will avoid making unnecessary medical inquiries).  PHASE-Industries will take particular care to reduce risk of exposure to these individuals. 


    1. Ensure program participants, staff, volunteers and visitors regularly wash their hands.  PHASE-Industries will reinforce handwashing routines upon entering a program, as well as after having been in a public place, prior to & after eating, after using the toilet, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.  Handwashing should consist of washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  Handwashing and “cover your cough” signs shall be posted within licensed sites. 


    1. Community drinking stations and water fountains will not be available for use.  Personal bottled water, touchless water-filling stations or water filled from the faucet are acceptable. 


    1. Site Entry & Work Location Screening  

    1. Instructions shall be posted at entrances informing people: 

    • Not to enter if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; 

    • To wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival; 

    • Screening for COVID-19 symptoms by staff & visitors is required prior to or immediately upon entering the program; 

    • To wear face covering, as applicable; and 

    • To adhere to hygiene and social distancing instructions, signage and markings. 


    1. Every staff will conduct the Daily health screening for themselves, participants and visitors prior and/or upon initial boarding of a program vehicle or entering a PHASE-Industries building/program/community site.  Staff shall document results on the Health Screening & Exposure Risk Form (revised 06/2021), and submit this documentation in the designated area. 


    The Health Screening & Exposure Risk form serves to confirm and document: 

    1. Name of person being screened and date 

    1. that they are not experiencing a fever 

    1. that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms 

    1. If unvaccinated, that they have not been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past 14 days nor are living with anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and is under quarantine 


    1. Any individual presenting respiratory symptoms, fever, and/or meet the criteria developed by PHASE-Industries to be categorized as a risk to human health, as it relates to Covid-19, shall not enter and will be denied access to the PHASE-Industries site and vehicles. Affected individuals shall immediately isolate and contact the appropriate PHASE-Industries personnel to determine how to proceed with subsequent precautions.   


    1. Visitors 

    PHASE-Industries may limit visitors to licensed sites to the extent feasible.  All visitors (e.g., deliveries) and volunteers will be directed via signage at the building’s entrance on safe protocols for that site. People arriving to pick up program participants must follow building safety protocols, and will be directed where to pick up the program participant.    


    1. Physical plant and space requirements  

    1. A 6-foot minimum distance shall be promoted between all individuals while onsite, to the extent possible in relation to support for the program participant or the task at hand 


    1. To the extent possible, staff and program participants should minimize working or interacting across multiple groups of individualsunless they are fully vaccinated.  This will help reduce risk of cross-contamination between groups in the event an individual contracts COVID-19. 


    1. PHASE-Industries will ensure the facility is cleaned and disinfected between shifts. 


    1. Seating in the PHASE-Industries building shall be spaced to promote social distancing and staggered seating to the extent possible.   


    1.   Transportation: 

    1. All drivers, riders and staff must wear an approved face mask during transportation (unless alone in the vehicle).  The 3/23/2021 CDC facemask requirement of drivers and riders of public transportation is still in full force, with limited exceptions (e.g., child under the age of two years, person with a disability who cannot safely wear a mask because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety or job duty as determined by relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations, a person taking medication, eating or drinking for a brief period of time, persons communicating for a brief period of time with a person who is hearing impaired and the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication, a person who is unconscious, unable to be awakened, has a medical emergency requiring removal of mask, otherwise unable to remove mask without assistance). 


    1. Each vehicle will be sanitized between transportation routes following current CDC requirements. Staff will ensure each vehicle is equipped with a fully stocked PPE kit, including face masks, face shield, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, no touch or one-use thermometer and a small trash receptacle. 


    1. Staff wilpromote vehicle ventilation settings that maximizes outside air exchange, and keep the ventilation on at all times while in vehicle, including air purifiers, if equipped.  Further, staff will ensure windows are open fully or partially when feasible in order to maximize outside air exchange.   


    1. PHASE-Industries shall follow the COVID-19 Plan of each public transit agency used for transportation.  In the event the public transit agency’s COVID-19 requirements are less stringent than those of PHASE-Industries, we will follow the public agency’s COVID-19 requirements, as long as they are compliant with regulatory agencies and health guidelines.  Prior to entry onto a route vehicle that are staffed with PHASE-Industries employeethe employee shall conduct a health screening of each individual preparing to board the vehicle. An individual who presents a COVID-19 exposure risk and/or symptom(s) will be denied access to the vehicle. 




    1. Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Ventilation 

    All areas of each facility and PHASE-Industries vehicles (in use) will be thoroughly cleaned at least daily or as often as required in other areas of this policy, licensing requirements, and requirements by CDCAll personnel will be required to participate in cleaning and sanitizing common areas.  


    PHASE shall establish and follow a sanitation schedule and checklist.  High-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, stair rails, counters, tables and chairs, phones, keyboards, program equipment and other shared items shall be regularly cleaned and disinfected.  Use of shared supplies shall be minimized. 


    Current cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilation requirements as set forth by the CDC will be followed. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html 


    The Transportation and Maintenance Manager shall use MN OSHA and MN DOLI guidelines to inspect and upgrade, as needed, facility and vehicle ventilation filters and systems (See Exhibit B for guidelines).  More information from MN-MDH is available at: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/hvac.pdf 





























    1. Response & Notification Procedures for Confirmed Cases, Exposures, Symptoms): 

    In the event of any of the following, response & notification procedures will be followed to minimize exposure and transmission of Covid-19. Notifications shall occur accordingly.  



    Fully Vaccinated: 

    Unvaccinated & Recovered from COVID-19 within previous 90-days: 

    If you have symptoms of COVID-19, then… 

    Stay home until all three of these things are true: 

    Stay home until all three of these things are true: 

    Stay home until all three of these things are true: 

    1. you feel better--your cough, shortness of breath and/or other symptoms are better, AND 

    1. you feel better--your cough, shortness of breath and/or other symptoms are better, AND 

    1. you feel better--your cough, shortness of breath and/or other symptoms are better, AND 

    2. It has been 10 days since you first felt sick, AND 

    2. It has been 10 days since you first felt sick, AND 

    2. It has been 10 days since you first felt sick, AND 

    3. You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medication. 

    3. You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medication. 

    3. You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medication. 

    If you have tested positive for COVID-19, but have no symptoms, then… 

    Stay home and away from others (isolate) for 10 days. 

    Stay home and away from others (isolate) for 10 days. 

    Stay home and away from others (isolate) for 10 days. 

    If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and have or develop symptoms, then… 

    Stay home and away from others (isolate) until all three of these things are true: 

    Stay home and away from others (isolate) until all three of these things are true: 

    Stay home and away from others (isolate)until all three of these things are true: 

    1. you feel better--your cough, shortness of breath and/or other symptoms are better, AND 

    1. you feel better--your cough, shortness of breath and/or other symptoms are better, AND 

    1. you feel better--your cough, shortness of breath and/or other symptoms are better, AND 

    2. It has been 10 days since you first felt sick, AND 

    2. It has been 10 days since you first felt sick, AND 

    2. It has been 10 days since you first felt sick, AND 

    3. You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medication. 

    3. You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medication. 

    3. You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medication. 

    If you have "close contact" with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, then… 

    Stay home and away from others (quarantine) for 14 days* after exposure.  If COVID-19 symptoms develop, stay home for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and return to work only when you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication, AND your symptoms have improved. 

    Monitor for COVID-like symptoms.  If no symptoms, you do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work.   

    You do not need to quarantine if all of the following are true: 

    1. COVID-19 illness was laboratory confirmed in the past 90 days, AND 

    2. You have fully recovered, AND 

    3. You do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19. 


    *NOTE: quarantine may end after ten days with a negative COVID-19 test result, unless someone in your home has COVID-19, or if you work around individuals with compromised immune systems or residing in an ICF.  In these circumstances, quarantine time is 14 days.  





    1. Detailed Procedure when a Program Participant Exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms:  If a program participant exhibits COVID-19 symptoms while in the PHASE-Industries building or program, then staff will isolate the individual, with appropriate supervision, in the identified isolation room (per site) located within the facility.  Only one staff shall support the individual, and ensure they and the program participant utilize use of the site’s N95 mask.  Staff shall work to arrange the transport home or to another predetermined safe location away from the PHASE-Industries facility/program site.  


    The staff shall ensure a supervisor is notified immediately when an individual exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. The supervisor will immediately report to the Designated Contact below.  The Designated Contact will ensure notification to individuals served, staff, legal representatives, case managers, and residential providers.  Notifications must adhere to data privacy policies and HIPAA.   


    Close Contact is defined as: 

    1. Within six (6) feet for 15 or more cumulative minutes per day, or 

    1. Provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19, or 

    1. Had direct physical contact (e.g., hugging or kissing) with someone sick with COVID-19, or 

    1. Shared eating or drinking utensils with someone sick with COVID-19, or 

    1. Coughed/sneezed on, or somehow got directly exposed to respiratory droplets by someone sick with COVID-19. 

    1. Lives with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. 


    1. All employees and program participants (or residential providers) shall provide notice of any individual who develops symptoms and/or is confirmed for Covid-19 for up to 7 days following their visit to PHASE-Industries. If individuals are determined to have been potentially contagious while at the PHASE-Industries site, protocol for confirmed cases will be followed as laid out in this document. 


    1. If individuals are determined to have been potentially contagious while at the community site, protocol for confirmed cases will be followed as laid out in this document.  If an employee or other member of a community site tests positive, PHASE-Industries will ensure unvaccinated program participants and employees who have been in “close contact” leave the site in a safe manner and quarantine as outlined in this Plan.   Return to the site will be determined on an individual basis 


    1. Confirmed case of COVID-19 for a program participant, employee, or person living with a program participant or employee (when the program participant or employee is unvaccinated): The Designated Contact shall ensure all staff and program participants who were in “close contact” are notified immediately, in addition to those required to be notified by MN MS245D standards.  Notification procedures shall adhere to data privacy & HIPAA policies. 


    1. If the affected person is offsite, the affected person will be instructed to stay home and will not be allowed onsite until isolation or quarantining standards are met.   


    1. The affected person is an employee, volunteer or visitor, they will immediately isolate in designated space away from others or immediately leave the premises as feasible.  


    1. The Designated Contact will gain an understanding of potential locations and individuals the affected person had been in contact with over the last 5 days through a phone conversation with the individual or the individual’s residential provider/guardian. 


    1. All unvaccinated individuals, except those who have recovered from a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case within the last 90 days and do not have symptoms, who had close contact with positively tested person within the last 48 hours will be directed and supported to immediately leave from site (and isolate on-site if immediate departure is not possible), and will self-monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 for 14 days away from PHASE-Industries prior to being allowed back on site, symptom free.  


    1. After an orderly and safe shutdown of the PHASE-Industries affected area, the site will be locked down while it is determined what areas may have been impacted and who may have been exposed.  


    1. As determined within the investigation process, individuals determined to not have been affectedincluding vaccinated individuals as applicable, can continue working onsite so long as it does not affect sanitizing efforts, there are adequate staff to meet program participant/staff ratios, and it is approved by PHASE-Industries leadership.  


    1. All affected or potentially affected areas will be thoroughly disinfected and sanitized per CDC guidelines with an EPA-approved solution.  


    The internal reporting procedure requires employees to immediately notify the supervisor (with live, two-way communication) in the case of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, following the chain of command and ensuring the Designated Contact below is immediately notified: 


    Non-Supervisory Personnel – Report immediately to Supervisor, using  

    Chain-of-Command to ensure a live, two-way communication occurs.   


    Assigned Supervisor (DC, DM, Lead) – Reports immediately to the Designated Contact Below: 


    Designated Contact & Individual to maintain communication with and gather information from staff or volunteers who may be ill, or exposed (if unvaccinated) to COVID-19: 

    Human Resource Director (HRD) – Joyce LaMere 

    (O) 320-245-2246 ext. 1126 

    (C) 952-994-3836 


    Designated Contact & individual to maintain communication with and gather information from program participants or others who may be ill, or exposed (if unvaccinated) to COVID-19:  

    Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Curt Mangan 

    (O) 320-629-7805 ext. 1201 

    (C) 612-618-3683 


    Designated Contacts to report all notifications, quarantining/isolation, contact tracing, and a summary of actions and findings to: 

    Executive Director – Tim Schmutzer  

    (O) 320-245-2246 ext. 1131 


    1. Best Practices Being Continuously Implemented at PHASE-Industries Sites 

    1. Encourage sick employees and program participants to stay home: Anyone with symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home. 

    1. Wear an Approved Face Mask/Face Covering in the circumstances outlined in this plan. 

    1. Social Distancing: Promote maximizing distance between you and others, to the extent possible.  Always socially distance (6 feet or more from others) if you have symptoms of COVID-19.   

    1. Meetings: Large mass meetings may be held through Microsoft Teams, Go-To-Meeting, Zoom or another virtual meeting provider as appropriate. 

    1. Mobile Devices/Shared Computers: Mobile devices and computers will be sanitized before and after each visit to the site. 

    1. Hygiene: The following processes will be implemented at PHASE-Industries: 

    1. Common areas will be cleaned and sanitized daily 

    1. Workers responsible for trash removal will maintain proper PPE/hand washing practices 

    1. Hand wash stations will be maintained with soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels 

    1. All individuals on site will be expected to participate in extra cleanings for frequently touched surfaces (light switches, tables, chairs, door handles, etc.) 

    1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): 

    1. Do not share PPE. 

    1. Sanitize reusable PPE per manufacturer’s recommendation before and after each use. 

    1. Ensure used PPE is disposed of properly. 














    Cleaning & Disinfectant Protocols 

    Workplace cleaning and disinfection protocols 

    1. Establish a documented sanitation schedule and checklist, identifying surfaces/equipment to be sanitized, the agent to be used, and the frequency at which sanitation occurs. 

    1. Routinely clean and disinfect all areas, such as offices, restrooms, locker and changing rooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment, machinery, tools, controls, etc. 

    1. Frequently clean all high-touch items, such as doorknobs, countertops, barriers, railings, handles, and other surfaces. 

    1. Electronic devices (e.g. light-switches, circuit-breakers) should not be sanitized with a liquid agent. Consider covering switches/devices with a poly-covering that allows the user to manipulate the device without touching the switch, and change out the poly-covering frequently. Electronic devices must be sanitized only when disconnected from the power-source, and sanitized in accordance with the listing/labeling requirements. 

    1. Personal equipment, tools and phones should not be shared or, if shared, should be disinfected after each use. 

    1. Implement immediate cleaning and disinfecting  of the workplace if a worker, client or visitor becomes ill with COVID-19. See CDC’s Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html 

    1.  Select appropriate and ensure the needed supply of disinfectants – consider effectiveness and safety. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) List N has identified a list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2. See EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 here: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-coronavirus-covid-19 


    Review product labels and Safety Data Sheets, follow manufacturer specifications, and use required personal protective equipment for the product.  








  • PHASE empowers Program Participants to live, work and thrive

    through the discovery and development of their individual abilities.

  • PHASE is a private, non-profit corporation, incorporated in 1970 as a 501(c)3 in the state of Minnesota. PHASE primarily serves individuals with a developmental disability, brain injury and/or severe and persistent mental illness.  Services focus on employment development, community integration, skill-building, and social, recreational and therapeutic activities.  PHASE is a CARF Accredited organization, licensed under MS245D by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.  In a given year, PHASE serves close to 500 program participants, and employs approximately 130 staff members.

    PHASE is a Home and Community Based Service, meaning that its primary mandate is to ensure access to the community while preventing institutionalization of individuals served. PHASE works to promote the legal and human rights of individuals with disabilities through its services, and in compliance with the 1999 Supreme Court Decision, referred to as the Olmstead Decision.  The Olmstead Decision provides the legal authority to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities, and to ensure that persons with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

    PHASE and Industries, Inc., a division of PHASE, serve individuals throughout Pine, Chisago, Kanabec, and Isanti counties. While the overall demand for services has steadily increased in recent years, the characteristics of new referrals and the quantity of service authorization have changed.  An increasing number of new referrals are presenting with severe and persistent mental illness, and many present with significant challenges in behavior.  Further, new referrals are commonly authorized for less than five-days of service per week, which has presented a challenge in striking a balance between resource allocation and service quantity.

    New regulations, including the implementation of MS245D, development of the MN Olmstead Plan, repeal of MN Rule 9525 - Rule 40, proposal of MN Rule 9544 - Positive Supports Rule, Moving Home Minnesota initiative, Federal HCBS Plan, Rate Restructuring, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and Employment-First Policy initiatives, have provided both a challenge and opportunity to enhance the overall service delivery to be more person-centered, person-first, and community-integrated.

    PHASE has adjusted its practices, structure and procedures to both comply with the new regulation, and meaningfully participate in the process of leading systematic changes in the field of supports for individuals with disabilities. PHASE has improved individualized planning of services, and moved to expand pathways for diversified employment opportunities to program participants.  PHASE has expanded its community employment contracts, as well as increased the number of program participant and staff positions available through the expansion of internal PHASE businesses, such as PHASE Recycling. These areas of service development, service quality and business growth are further addressed in PHASE's Strategic Plan.


  • Vision Vision

    PHASE is... a community where compassion, expertise and opportunity merge to create a world of discovery and success.


    PHASE empowers Program Participants to live, work, and thrive through the discovery and development of their individual abilities.


    Program Participant First - Considering openly how all processes, actions and decisions will affect program participants. Every decision must benefit program participants.

    Ethical Integrity - Acting at all times with only the highest of ethical integrity and scruples.

    Large Minded - Choosing an empowered state, seeing possibilities, creating solutions.

    Empowerment - Committing in action to individual and team -development, recognizing ompetence, and reinforcing excellence.

    Innovation - Committing to new ideas and creative solutions.

    Excellence - Promoting best practices, accountability and efficiency.

    Service for Social Good - Committing to improve society through service.

    Fun at Work - Promoting an enjoyable and fun workplace in the course of serving others.


  • A CARF Three-Year Accreditation was awarded to PHASE for the following services: Community Employment Services, including Employment Supports & Job Development, Employee Development and Employment Planning Services.

    CARF accreditation demonstrates PHASE's quality, accountability, and commitment to the satisfaction of the persons served.

    CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human service providers in the areas of Aging Services, Behavioral Health, Child and Youth Services, Durable Medical Equipment, Employment and Community Services, Medical Rehabilitation, Opioid Treatment Programs, and Vision Rehabilitation Services. For more information on CARF, visit www.carf.org.