On August 3, 2020, the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) issued an emergency rule that requires group homes and other facilities that care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to start testing staff members every other week for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The state will give APD provider organizations free test kits. The testing requirement goes into effect on August 24, 2020. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration will coordinate with APD provider organizations on how to start the testing program.
The rule applies to staff members at group homes and residential habilitation centers and people living at agency-licensed foster care homes, whether they are staff members or not. In addition to group home staff, the testing requirement applies to staff members at Sunland Center, a state-run institution for people with disabilities in Marianna. Staff at the Developmental Disabilities Defendant Program at Florida State Hospital will also be tested.
Since early June, the state has required staff testing at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. For those tests, the Florida Division of Emergency Management signed a contract with Curative to supply the tests. The tests are provided at no cost to the provider organizations.
The Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities became an agency separate from the Department of Children and Families in October 2004, specifically tasked with serving the needs of Floridians with developmental disabilities. It works in partnership with local communities and private provider organizations to assist people who have developmental disabilities and their families. APD also provides assistance in identifying the needs of people with developmental disabilities for supports and services.
This was reported by WUSF News on August 5, 2020.
Contact information: Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950; 850-488-4257; Fax: 850-922-6456; Email: APD.firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: https://apd.myflorida.com/.