COVID-19 County Safety Plan 2910

Public Defender
The Cattaraugus County Public Defender's Office
175 North Union Street
Olean, New York. 14760
United States
Contact Information
Darryl R Bloom
716-904-0412
Physical Distancing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
The Cattaraugus County Public Defender's Office is fortunate to enjoy a workspace that permits employees to maintain 6 feet of space between one another in most instances. The majority of our staff have physical offices that create separation from the rest of the staff. We do have some staff with cubicles. I am eliminating the use of one designated cubicle so that we can assure no two cubicles adjacent to each other are ever occupied. In prior times it was unusual to find more than 60% of our staff at the physical office due to court appearances and investigations. My staff are capable of working remotely in most scenarios as they have VPN links on their computers so that they can work on files remotely. They also have technology in the form of phones and iPads that permit them to appear virtually in court using skype; conduct interoffice meetings using zoom, and speak to clients by phone or other media. I am going to encourage our staff as much as possible to work remotely and enter the office for essential matters only. This will ensure that the office remains occupied by approximately half of its staff or less at any given time. Lawyers and staff may also flexibly avail themselves of using conference rooms as work stations, as the majority of client meetings will be done by telephone or video-linkup unless exceptional circumstances warrant an in-person meeting and in such circumstances the client and attorney will be obligated to wear a mask and use the large conference room which allows for much greater than 6 feet of social distancing.
I am obligating all staff while walking through common areas or in areas where other people will be present to wear a mask. This will ensure safety protocols and not necessitate a cubicle worker to wear a mask at all times if the other person walking through the area is wearing one. Of course, I encourage the cubicle worker to wear a mask if they see fit. Our professional and clerical staff have remote capabilities and some have expressed a desire to work remotely. This has been feasible given our technology during the Covid-19 pandemic and I have no issue with staff electing to continue to work remotely so long as we always have a core base of personnel at the office ensuring safe and high quality operations. We are a small, tight-knit team who are in close contact with each other due to the nature of our work. Responding to arraignments, court appearances, and client needs on a moment’s notice has prepared our office well to meet the needs of this new normal. We are always in text message, mass thread communication with each other due to our quality representation of indigent people and as such are able to be nimble and adjust on the fly ensuring that the office is never crowded but also high performing. I will ensure that all staff complete the mandatory TargetSolutions Covid-19 online training; I completed this training two weeks ago and am familiar with the policies. I will affix to the office a sign indicating that members of the public should wear masks upon entering The Cattaraugus County Public Defender's Office as well that if they are experiencing a fever or any symptoms of Covid-19 that they should not enter the office and rather seek medical attention. The sign will also encourage the public to call our phone number rather than enter in-person so as to reduce unnecessary foot traffic and our clerical staff can arrange phone and video meetings with the public or safely accept physical materials they are dropping off. In the public foyer of our office I will mark with tape 6 feet distance from the sliding glass window that our receptionist sits at. This will ensure that she is a safe distance away from the individual and we will also have another line in the event two members of the public are in the foyer so that they can also maintain 6 feet of separation between one another. All staff in-keeping with Directive 11-2020 shall take their temperature before going to work and if they are feverish, unwell, or experiencing any symptom of Covid-19, they shall not enter The Cattaraugus County Public Defender's Office and shall promptly inform us of their well-being.
Yes
Yes
To the greatest extent possible all client meetings will be done by telephone or video. If that is not possible or in the rare instance that an in-person meeting is required; the large conference room will be used for the meeting and both our employee and the member of the public will observe greater than 6 feet of distance between one another and wear a mask at all times. Our office has held weekly zoom meetings while we have been working remotely and this practice will continue rather than an in-person team meetings. Additionally, my staff have a county email wherein all matters pertaining to our office are communicated immediately to the entire staff as well as an active text message thread which is comprised of the entire staff. Court appearances are presently done by Skype technology in compliance with The Office of Court Administration edicts. When courts eventual reopen all of my colleagues will wear masks, observe social distancing, and any underlying health conditions or vulnerabilities will be accounted for to ensure a safe work environment for every member of the office.
Yes
Each member of our staff has the technology required to work remotely. During the Pandemic all employees have demonstrated an ability to be high performing while working remotely, utilizing VPN's on laptops which allow remote access to our case management system as well as email and making use of their smart phones and Ipads. While all employees are capable of working remotely I aim to have no more than 50% of our entire staff present at any given time. When open to the public we must have at a minimum one receptionist available at all times, physically present at the office to ensure core functions are met. Shane Booth our family court confidential law clerk and account clerk typist as well as my secretary Amy Minner are essential to-in person operations at the office. This means that all staff including them may work remotely so long as we have a core presence at the office at all times.
Lawyers may work remotely and enter the office to handle essential matters when they deem appropriate: Darryl Bloom, Ben Smith, Stephanie Hale, Dana Fogle, Linda Lovell, Brendon Riley
Staff Client Laison: Kim Singleton may work remotely and Social Worker: Dawn Westfall may work remotely
Clerical Staff: Shane Booth, Paula Bullers, Amy Minner, Margaret Gilroy may all at times work remotely
I believe in giving the staff autonomy in determining when they think it is best to work remotely, since we are in constant communication with each other we can ensure that we are never over 50% capacity in our physical office space even though the spacing safely permits more. I view the 50% threshold as an extra measure in ensuring the health and safety of the staff consistent with Covid-19 directives.
Yes
Affixed to the front door of our office is our Office phone number as well as Shane Booth's cellphone number so that he or another member of the office can safely receive a parcel wearing appropriate PPE during the delivery. We also have a mail slot at the front door which is used for no touch mail delivery.
Additional Comments
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Physical Space Modifications

Please provide in detail any physical space modifications that are proposed to achieve social distancing requirements.  These modifications can include, but not limited to rearranging offices, adding physical barriers, etc.

Yes
I will tape off one of our cubicles explaining it will not be used to ensure that no two adjacent cubicles are occupied by people at the same time. This is a no cost modification.
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Protective Equipment
Yes
Yes
Yes
Detailed Summary Options
All PPE will be safely stored in our utility closet and available to the staff. Staff will be required to wear cloth masks at a minimum when walking through common areas of the office or into any area occupied by another individual. Staff will be personally responsible for the cleaning of their own mask. It is expected that they will clean it after use or it being soiled and return to work the next day with a clean mask.
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Hygiene and Cleaning
Yes
Yes
Yes
Detailed Summary Options
Each staff member will be personally responsible for disinfecting their own work station after their daily use. This entails using disinfectant wipes on common areas, their desk, keyboard, and phone. They may also use a disinfectant with paper towels and wear appropriate gloves consistent with their own safety. Our office will continue to use its regular custodial services on a weekly basis complimenting these additional cleaning measures.
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Communication
Yes
Yes
Yes
Detailed Summary Options
My staff will complete the TargetSolutions Covid-19 cleaning and hygiene training and be well versed in these measures. We will post signage throughout the office reminding staff of these policies. Staff are required to report to me if they are feverish, ill, or experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms and understand that if they test positive for Covid-19 that they have an affirmative duty to communicate that to me and I will report this to The Cattaraugus County Health Department.
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Screening
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Symptom Screening
Yes
The front door of The Cattaraugus County Public Defender's Office located at 175 North Union Street, Olean, NY 14760 is our designated point of entry.
Each member of the office is responsible for taking their own temperature before coming to work and are not to enter the premises if they have a fever or any other symptom of Covid-19. I am interested in our office being outfitted with a smart doorbell with a temperature measurement module as an additional layer of protection for my staff and the public.

Personal Protective Equipment, Social Distancing Markers, Signage, or Cleaning Products that you will need to reopen.

Yes
Masks/Face Coverings

Cloth/Fabric Masks

These cloth masks will be worn by employees in common areas or in dealing with the public. An additional 25 will compliment the current stock we were already provided by The EOC in the event they deteriorate over time.
25

Surgical/Procedure Masks

When courts reopen or in dealing with a member of the public who enters our office I would like these available to distribute to a client in the event they are not complying with the mask requirement due to their unavailability.
50

N-95 Respirators

I would like a supply of 50 N-95 masks. Many of our clientele are vulnerable members of society and have greater risk of exposure to Covid-19 due to homelessness or mental health problems that create personal care problems. As such I want my staff to have the additional protection available to them in the event they find themselves in a position that warrants this greater protection.
50

Other, Please describe

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No
No
Yes
Hand Sanitizer
20
7
Yes
Cleaning/Disinfecting Supplies
10
25
15
20
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Yes
Gloves
5
5
5
Yes
Thermometers
Ideally, I would like the office to outfitted with a smart doorbell with a temperature measurement module.
1