This page provides our emergency response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as resources for our service area. Please check this page frequently for updates. We will also be posting updates to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.
RCAP Solutions’ Worcester, MA Headquarters Office is Closed to the Public
RCAP Solutions will be closed to the public until further notice. This decision was made with an abundance of caution and in the interest of protecting the health and safety of our staff and clients. During this time, the office will not be open to the public for face-to-face meetings. There will be no RAFT hours for onsite intakes, housing workshops, first time homebuyer classes or any in-person meetings during this time. In order to continue to serve our clients to the best of our ability, staff will still be available via email, phone, and fax.
We are monitoring the situation daily. Decisions are being made based on the most current information available and our policies and response to this situation are subject to change without notice. Our concern is for the health and safety of staff and clients.
The team will continue to assess the situation and will make a decision as to when we feel it is safe to reopen the office.
If you are a housing client: Please note that cases and files are being processed on a first come, first served basis. For more information on program and contact information, please visit: www.rcapsolutions.org/closing/
This message is regarding our Worcester Office Only and does not affect our Community Resources Services or Staff.
COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis – Worcester and Central MA Area Resources:
- Please click here to access a list of local family and emergency resources. Provided by The Worcester Family Resource Center (FRC), a division of YOU, Inc.
- FDIC’s Receiving Economic Impact Payment Page: www.fdic.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments/index.html
All in-person workshops are cancelled until further notice.
Housing Workshops: In order to continue to serve our clients to the best of our ability, all one-on-one counseling and education will be available via email, phone and webinar. We are also offering multifamily education and counseling through these channels as well.
Community Resources Workshops: In order to continue to serve communities to the best of our ability, our National partner has negotiated Training Contact Hours for web-based training to allow for remote learning opportunities. We are now offering several accredited webinars and online workshops. For a complete list, and to register, visit: www.rcapsolutions.org/events/
Help for Small Water and RCAP, Inc. have launched a web page condensing and summarizing crucial COVID-19 information, tools, and resources for for small water/wastewater system operators, board members, local government officials and others, HERE.
WaterOperator.org has also released guidance on Managing Premise Water Quality As Buildings Reopen.
- Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use
An instructional document on the proactive steps building owners can take to minimize water stagnation and address water quality during reopening. The document offers suggestions to public water systems as well as steps non-community systems can use to open.
- Restoring Water Quality in Buildings for Reopening
A checklist building managers can follow after temporary closures to restore water quality.
- Guidance for Reopening Buildings after Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation
This CDC webpage specifically addresses how to minimize Legionella risk as buildings reopen.
CDC offers free resources including video, fact sheets, and posters. Below are links to current communication tools and resources available for use and distribution.
- What to do if you are sick: English | Spanish If you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019, or suspected of being infected with it, follow the steps in this fact sheet to help prevent spreading it to people in your home and community.
- What you need to know: English | Spanish Coronavirus disease 2019 is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
- Stop the spread of germs: English | Spanish Help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, like coronavirus disease 2019 by avoiding close contact with people who are sick; covering cough and sneeze; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and washing your hands with soap and water.
- Share Facts About COVID-19: English | Spanish Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors.
- Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019: English | Spanish Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- CDC Protect and Prepares Communities: English | Spanish Learn how CDC is aggressively responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19 and preparing for the potential of community spread in the U.S.
- Wash Your Hands: English | Spanish Follow these steps for proper handwashing to prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
The U.S. EPA has Essential COVID-19 Information for Water and Wastewater Utilities
- Incident Action Checklist – Pandemic Incidents
USDA Customers: Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.
For public utilities in facing problems due to the Coronavirus pandemic, WARNs (Water/Wastewater Agency Response Networks) are available to assist you.
These networks allow public water and wastewater systems to receive rapid mutual aid and assistance from other public systems to restore services that have been damaged or interrupted by emergency situations, such as the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Follow the links below for more information on how to join your state’s WARN.
Governor Lamont is telling Connecticut residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” For the latest information, resources, executive orders, and guidance related to coronavirus (COVID-19), visit ct.gov/coronavirus
CtWARN and Resources for Utilities
CtWARN is a Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) that allows water and wastewater systems in Connecticut to receive rapid mutual ais and assistance from other systems in Connecticut to restor facilties damaged by natural or man-made incidents. Utilties sign the CtWARN stanard agreement, which then allows them to share resources with other system in Connecticut that has also signed the standard agreement. For more information, and to participate/join, visit: ctawwa.org/CtWARN
CT Section AWWA and CtWARN have shared some guidance for utilities as well as additional resources to assist in preparing for potential impacts to your utility, visit: ctawwa.org/announcements.php?id=170
RCAP Solutions CT Staff Contact: Matt Cassedy | 860-500-0713
Find the latest information about Maine’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and resources for Maine people on Governor Mills’ website.
Information about changes to DEP programs, processes or procedures as a result of Maine’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus: DEP COVID-19
MEWARN is a statewide Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) of utilities helping utilities to:
- Prepare for the next natural or man made emergency.
- Organize response according to established guidelines.
- Share personnel and equipment statewide.
For more information, and to participate/join, click here.
Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services has a Coronavirus Resources page, here.
RCAP Solutions ME Staff Contact: Kathy Rodgers | 207-270-0145
Massachusetts WARN (Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network) allows public water and wastewater systems in Massachusetts to receive rapid mutual aid and assistance from other public systems in Massachusetts to restore services damaged by natural or man-made incidents. Public utilities sign the MAWARN standard agreement, which then allows them to share resources with any other public system in Massachusetts that has also signed the standard agreement. For more information, and to participate/join, click here.
- View the informational brochure here.
COVID-19 Information for Drinking Water and Wastewater Operators: Public Water Suppliers please review this guidance MassDEP COVID 19 FAQs for Public Water Suppliers and contact your regional office for assistance on response to coronavirus (COVID 19).
MassDEP COVID 19 FAQs for Public Water Suppliers: Public Water Suppliers please review the following guidance and contact your regional office for assistance on response to coronavirus (COVID 19):
- MassDEP COVID 19 FAQs for Public Water Suppliers
- MassDEP COVID-19 FAQs for Wastewater Service Providers
- MassDEP regional offices by community
- MassDEP Directory of Certified Operators: “MassDEP put together a directory of certified operators who are willing to work on a contract basis for small public water systems. The directory can be found on the MassDEP website. A hard copy of this directory can be mailed upon request. MassDEP updates the directory each quarter with edits and additions that are received from the operators.”
The Massachusetts Environmental Health Association (MEHA) has a COVID-19 resources page with a great amount of links and information in one place.
On March 25, 2020 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts released required guidelines and procedures for construction workers and all other public works officers.
RCAP Solutions MA Staff Contact: Jim Starbard | 978-502-0227
New Hampshire Resources
Get the latest Coronavirus COVID-19 Update at: www.nh.gov/covid19/
NH Public Works Mutual Aid Program (NHPWMA): NH has its own mutual aid network and systems are urged to participate in this important program.
- View the informational brochure here.
NHWWA has several industry updates and resources on their website. Learn more about how the drinking water industry is responding to the COVID-19 threat and access links to stay updated.
NHDES (New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services) has a COVID-19 Response page. NHDES is using their webpage as a clearinghouse for information related to any changes in NHDES program activity.
RCAP Solutions NH Staff Contact: Erick Toledo | 978-227-2277
New Jersey Resources
The state of New Jersey has their own COVID-19 Information Hub here: covid19.nj.gov
NJOEM (New Jersey Office of Emergency Management) has the following instructions for emergency situations:
“For local emergency incidents, water systems are encouraged to establish and strengthen mutual aid agreements with your neighboring systems or systems of similar size to support potential resource needs. For large scale events, the local, county, State OEM structure is the established pathway for resource needs. The OEM process allows for water and wastewater system requests for resources to be elevated from local level to the State OEM. This process is well supported. Any resource needs outside of State availability can be elevated by the State OEM to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC is the nation’s state to state mutual aid system) and/or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as needed. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the local and county OEM coordinators and understand their expectations and procedures for processing your resource needs. A listing of OEM county coordinators is available at: http://ready.nj.gov/about-us/county-coordinators.shtml.”
RCAP Solutions NJ Staff Contact: Michael Cohrs | 201-551-1173
New York Resources
The state of New York has a webpage dedicated to Information on Novel Coronavirus here: coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
NYWARN is a statewide Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) designed to provide utility to utility response during an emergency. The NYWARN program provides its member utilities with emergency planning and response and recovery information before, during and after an emergency. For more information, and to participate/join, click here.
RCAP Solutions NY Staff Contact: Candace Balmer | 845-332-0257
PaWARN Coordinator Mike Snyder sent the following email to PaWARN members on March 13:
Attn. PaWARN Members:
On Monday, the PaWARN Board of Directors (water/wastewater professionals) held a conference call on the potential affects the coronavirus might have on Pennsylvania’s water & wastewater industries should it reach pandemic proportions. Included in the call were representatives from PA DEP, PUC, PEMA, and various Water & Wastewater Associations.
In order to help you prepare for a potential pandemic, which could result in worker shortages and limited supply shipments, attached are some helpful charts you can use at your utility to begin developing a Depleted Workforce/Pandemic Plan. If you need emergency assistance due to a coronavirus pandemic, contact PaWARN Coordinator Mike Snyder at 717-880-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some links to websites with helpful pandemic planning information along with current information on the outbreak. (Place your cursor on the link you wish to open and press the control button on your keyboard)
On Friday (3/13), the law firm of Cozen O’Connor will be addressing the legal concerns surrounding a potential coronavirus outbreak in the workplace and how to best address employee concerns. The link is below.
Updates regarding the Coronavirus will be available on the PEMA Website, which will be linked to the PA Department of Health.
Go to the PEMA HOMEPAGE – then click on the Coronavirus Information link (see below).
Or use this link to go directly to the PA Department of Health updates: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
PEMA has created a dashboard designed to keep the private sector (which includes water & wastewater) informed and up-to-date on various emergency situations including the coronavirus. To join the dashboard, send an email to the PA BEOC (Pennsylvania Business Emergency Operations Center) at email@example.com
Johns Hopkins coronavirus dashboard: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
AWWA’s coronavirus information site: https://www.awwa.org/Resources-Tools/Resource-Topics/Coronavirus
Water Environment Federation’s Guide to Coronavirus: https://www.wef.org/news-hub/wef-news/the-water-professionals-guide-to-the-2019-novel-coronavirus/
CDC’s coronavirus fact sheet: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
For more information about PaWARN, and to participate/join, click here.
RCAP Solutions PA Staff Contact: Sukhwindar Singh | 814-861-7072
Puerto Rico Resources
Guías Para Una Pandemia – Consejos operacionales para los acueductos comunitarios
Tanto el Departamento de Salud como los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés), permanecen en alerta y monitoreo continuo ante un brote de enfermedad respiratoria, causada por un nuevo coronavirus (llamado COVID-19). Ver la página web, aquí.
El 20 de marzo, el equipo de RCAP Solutions Puerto Rico emitió la siguiente declaración:
Estimados Colegas Valiosos, Compañeros de Trabajo y Comunidad:
La respuesta de RCAP Solutions al COVID-19, tiene como objetivo mantener a nuestros clientes y al personal aislados de la exposición y potencialmente detener la propagación del virus. Estamos abiertos para asuntos de los negocios con personal disponible para contestar llamadas y reuniones remotas vía internet a través del portal. Viajes del personal a reuniones, están pospuestos durante este período de tiempo, así como también las reuniones programadas en persona, por lo que se pondrán en contacto para coordinar la participación remota.
Tenemos las herramientas y recursos para reunirnos con usted de forma remota. Por favor, póngase en contacto con el proveedor de asistencia técnica para reprogramar cualquier reunión pospuesta por esta situación hasta el 21 de abril. Sobre adiestramientos y talleres programados en todos los estados y territorios, busque actualizaciones en las próximas semanas en cualquiera de los enlaces para talleres en línea o planes aplazados. Nuestro socio nacional está negociando las horas de contacto de capacitación en línea versus la capacitación presencial, por lo que nos comunicaremos cuando tengamos más información.
Hemos incluido información técnica de la Organización Mundial de la Salud sobre el agua, el saneamiento, la higiene y el manejo de desperdicios para el virus COVID-19, así como la información más reciente de la Oficina de Servicios Comunitarios / Salud y Servicios Humanos, que ofrece orientación sobre estrategias de mitigación para una variedad de instalaciones.
Gracias por su comprensión y cooperación, a medida que tomamos estas medidas.
El Equipo de RCAP Solutions
Para más información y para todos los recursos, visite: www.rcapsolutions.org/covid-puerto-rico/
RCAP Solutions PR Staff Contact: Josefa Torres-Olivo | 787-725-6523
Rhode Island Resources
RIWARN is a Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) that allows water and wastewater systems in Rhode Island to receive rapid mutual aid and assistance from other systems in RI to restore facilities damaged by natural or man-made incidents. Utilities sign the RIWARN standard agreement, which then allows them to share resources with any other system in RI that has also signed the standard agreement. For more information, and to participate/join, click here.
RCAP Solutions RI Staff Contact: Jim Starbard | 978-502-0227
U.S. Virgin Islands Resources
Governor Albert Bryan Jr. is urging all Virgin Islanders to follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID19, the novel Coronavirus. Visit the Department of Health’s website for official information and health tips about COVID19 in the US Virgin Islands.
On March 24, the RCAP Solutions USVI team issued the following statement:
Dear Valued Colleague,
The COVID-19 response from RCAP Solutions is intended to keep our customers, and staff isolated from exposure and potentially stem the spread of the virus. We are still open for business with staff available for phone and remote web-based meetings. Staff travel to meetings is postponed during this time period as well; if they were scheduled to attend an in-person meeting, they would be in touch to coordinate remote participation.
We have the tools and resources to meet with you remotely; please be in touch with your contact to reschedule any meetings scheduled until April 21st. On trainings and workshops scheduled in all our states and territories, look for updates in the next few weeks with either links for online workshops or postponement plans. Our National partner is negotiating Training Contact Hours for web-based training vs. the required in-person trainings, and we will communicate when we have more information.
We have included a World Health Organization technical briefing on water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus as well as the latest information from the USVI Department of Health, which has guidance on mitigation strategies.
Thank you for your understanding and assistance as we take these steps.
The RCAP Solutions Team
For more information and for all resources, visit: www.rcapsolutions.org/covid-usvi/
RCAP Solutions USVI Staff Contact: Josefa Torres-Olivo | 787-725-6523
COVID-19 Information: Stay informed on public health guidelines, status updates, FAQs, and other resources from the Vermont Department of Health.
Safe and secure drinking water is the highest priority, and water systems are continuing to assess their vulnerabilities and taking action to maintain and improve emergency response and security. The Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division is working to provide systems with training and tools necessary to continue to protect the state’s drinking water and meeting new emergency planning and security challenges.
Owners and operators are encouraged to contact the DWGWPD for further information on how they can protect their public water supply system, including making an appointment for a vulnerability assessment and/or assistance in the preparation/revision of an emergency response plan.
RCAP Solutions VT Staff Contact: Mark Johnson | 802-505-1037