Information continues to pour in regarding COVID-19 globally, nationally, and locally in the Central PA community. Although the scale of the impact is unknown, it’s incumbent upon PCO to do its part to protect our employees and be responsible to our community locally and beyond.
At PCO, we care deeply about the health and well-being of our employees and our clients. Keeping people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision is part of PCO’s core values. Now, in such a time of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to return to our core values for guidance.
In doing so, the PCO office in Spring Mills, PA is closed to the public until further notice. We have decided to continue to stay “open”. Most staff will work remotely with the exception of a rotational team that will check postal mail and send mail to those that do not have access to electronic communication. We will also be keeping our phone and fax lines open. As the situation unfolds, we will continue to keep you informed of any operational changes.
With these changes to our operations, you may experience some delays in service. We are making every attempt to limit any delays and continue to provide the customer service PCO is known for. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 814-422-0251 (see the included directory of staff with extensions).
PCO is strongly recommending that in-person inspections NOT occur at this time; until further notice, inspections SHOULD be conducted by other means such as virtually with a desk audit or by desk audit only. Operations where the inspection is conducted virtually or via desk audit will be subject to a follow up inspection, which may be announced or unannounced. Operations will be charged for virtual inspections, desk audits, and in-person inspections; however, we do not anticipate a significant increase in the overall inspection cost for individual operations as verification of aspects of an operations Organic System Plan will not be duplicated across all inspection types (virtual, desk audit, in-person).
However, the decision to conduct an on-site inspection is ultimately at the discretion and comfort levels of both the inspector and the operator. PCO asks inspectors and operators to take state and local travel guidance into consideration when making this decision. PCO also suggests the following be implemented to protect all participants health and safety:
For new applicants, at this time, PCO cannot guarantee any timeline for certification, as we are uncertain if in-person inspections will be able to be conducted for the foreseeable future. As stated above, we may be able to complete virtual inspections with desk audits. If that is possible, we may be able to issue a certificate. If not, we will need to perform an in-person inspection, and we cannot guarantee any timelines. At this time, we’re recommending no earlier than June 1 for in-person inspections.
We will be doing everything we can to provide attentive and responsive service. On behalf of PCO, thank you for being a valued member of our community and for your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation. Please keep yourself, your family and companions safe during this time.
Interim Executive Director