ProAct in Hudson, Wis. is serving close to half of its pre-COVID-19 entourage of participants, and almost two-thirds when one counts a small group receiving virtual enrichment services provided from Eagan.

“So glad to be back. It was huge, oh my gosh,” said Program Coordinator Margaret Christensen.

Two staff serve, compliance smooth

Hudson reopened with five participants on June 29 and six additional people were added in August with the return of Case Manager LeeAnn Mergens. As more participants return, the hope is to call additional staff back.

“We are kind of back to our normal routine,” said Christensen. “People are good about keeping their masks on and letting us wash their hands.”

Minnesota plan used over border

Wisconsin is less restrictive than Minnesota for COVID-related requirements. That said, Hudson is following ProAct’s overall safety plan. There are adjustments. For a favorite game, each participant has their own set of dice.

The two leaders have been very busy. Community outings are frequent, with trips to a local farmers market on Thursdays and picnic lunches at parks. Participants make crafts in house.

Community welcomes, COVID adds challenges

In the community, residents have said it was good to see people out, said Christensen.

Reading nonverbal cues from those who cannot speak has been harder with the masks, the coordinator explained.

Families are grateful to have people back, and it offers some relief to group homes. COVID-19 had put a strain on them with 24-hour staffing needs, Christensen said.

The Wisconsin site did receive some assistance dollars via the state during the shutdown.