The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering up new guidance for day centers and the people with disabilities they’re serving during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidance comes in two documents — one aimed at administrators and staff and another for participants and their caregivers — that were issued late last month.

“We know these populations are at high risk for severe COVID-19 disease, and this guidance will help center administrators and staff protect themselves and adults receiving their services by promoting and engaging in preventive behaviors that reduce COVID-19 spread and help maintain healthy operations and environments of these facilities,” said Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC.

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Federal officials say that day centers for people with disabilities and older adults across the nation should encourage COVID-19 vaccination, hand-washing, mask-wearing and physical distancing when possible. Both participants and staff should stay home if they have tested positive for the virus, have had close contact with someone who has or if they have symptoms.

Nonessential visitors should be limited from day centers, the guidance indicates, as should services and programs that require individuals to be within six feet of each other. In addition, centers are advised to have a plan to isolate and transport anyone who shows symptoms.

The CDC is recommending that day centers modify layouts to allow for physical distancing, install plexiglass barriers and prioritize outdoor activities. Participants should be assigned to small groups that regularly do things together to limit interactions. Meals, drop-offs and other activities should be staggered to avoid crowding.

The guidance is meant to supplement, not replace, existing federal and local rules and regulations for day centers, the CDC said.

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