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Phased Reopening Update - Phase B

Please refer to the Coronavirus section for the most up to date communications.

While many of our People Inc. services remained in full operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to date, others were suspended or significantly altered. A planned and gradual reopening of our programs is in progress, based on a variety of factors to support our primary goal – maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both the people we support and our employees. To be as transparent as possible, and allow for families and others to best plan, we are sharing the below information. 

Our reopening is reflected in lettered “phases” – Phase A, B, etc. – which may not, and are not meant to, correspond directly with the externally-issued government “phases." Progression, pause or reversal of our phases will be determined by our Emergency Management Team based on continual monitoring and regulatory guidance. Updates may be made rapidly as a result. Some phases may be brief in duration, but are important to pace through in order to ensure the people we also deeply care about are as safe as possible. We appreciate your support as we work together through this extremely challenging time.

We will continue to post updates to this information online, and as always, families are welcome to call group homes or programs for specific questions or participate on our family conference calls also posted on our website (next one on Monday, November 23)

  • A special Coronavirus Phone Line has been established for families to call, 716.817.7445, and is checked and responded to directly. 
  • A new, afterhours Coronavirus hotline is now available for the people and families of people enrolled in our Day Habilitation Programs and Vocational Services to express questions and concerns. The number is 716.529.6505. 
  • A special email address has been established as well, so that concerns can be addressed at
  • Our Advocacy Phone Line is also available for people we support to ask non-emergency questions by calling 716.322.7070.

New York State has released information regarding COVID-19 “cluster zones,” which are focus areas designated based on geographic case prevalence. The People Inc. Emergency Preparedness Team is proactively engaged in monitoring any potential changes in our service areas (from Yellow to Orange or to Red) and will adjust agency policies accordingly. For more information, this chart includes greater details.

PHASE B – Effective July 15, 2020




Residential Group Homes


Visitation at Group Homes

Prescheduled outdoor visits at group homes* between the hours of 9 a.m-9 p.m. with limit of 2 family visitors that have been pre-screened, and observe other safety precautions provided in advance. In-home visits can be arranged during inclement weather. Details are included in the most recent family letter (English and Spanish). *No visits will be scheduled at a location if a quarantine is in place.

Medical Appointments

Family/Guardian can attend emergency medical appointments and procedures in accordance with any precautions established by the medical provider.

Person Served Return to Group Home

Phased approach for return to group home begins with testing. Additional safeguards outlined in operational policy, which will be reviewed in detail with family/person supported as part of the process. 

Community Outings

Resume community walks, going to parks, drive-thru meals, in-person dining, in-person retail and community for haircuts, in accordance with any precautions established by those venues.

Senior Living

Common Areas

Services continue. Community rooms will reopen on Monday, August 3, with reduced room capacity and social distancing. Communal patios are open with socially distanced guidelines and tenants cleaning before/after each use.

Mixed Income/Tax Credit Apartments

Common Areas

Services continue. Community rooms and communal patios open with safety precautions/limitations in place.

Day Habilitation/ Community PreVoc

General Operations

Some Day Services opened on a limited-basis. Please contact the Day Program director for further details. Information is provided on the Reopening Phases - Day Programs - Contact List.

Please note: An afterhours Coronavirus hotline is now available for the people, and families of people, enrolled in our Day Habilitation and Vocational Programs for questions at 716.529.6505. 

Employment Services

General Operations

Community-based Employment supports have continued, following employer/placement’s status. Limited Contract Manufacturing is operational at 181 Lincoln location.

Free-standing Respite

General Operations

Northtown Respite Center on Townline will be temporarily closed, for internal use as of Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Traditional respite services at Downing Respite are suspended, see Temporary Respite Center. 

Temporary Respite Center

General Operations

Temporary Respite is available at the Downing Respite Center as a regional resource to care for people with disabilities who are COVID positive or recovering.

Site-Based Respite

General Operations


In-Home Behavioral

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Community Habilitation/    In-Home Respite

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Recreation Respite

General Operations

Recreation Respite open as of October 2020

Elmwood Health Center

General Operations

Continued operations, open for in-person and virtual visits.

Home Health Care

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Headway of WNY

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place. Virtual support groups held the first and third Tuesday each month.

Deaf Access Services

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center

General Operations

Limited schedule of riding appointments will begin on Monday, August 3.

Ombudsman Services

General Operations

Remote support, in line with operator’s visitor policies.


Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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