An Update on COVID-19 from Virginia Medicaid

Virginia Medicaid is taking action to fight COVID-19
The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) is working with Governor Northam, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and other state agencies to take immediate actions to help fight COVID-19. DMAS is committed to increasing access to health care for the over 1.5 million Virginia Medicaid members and the thousands of low-income residents expected to seek coverage due to concern about the spread of COVID-19. Our members are our highest priority, and we have adopted policies to make sure that no one loses coverage during this critical time. Virginia Medicaid covers all COVID-19 testing and treatment. DMAS recently announced it is taking the following steps, effective immediately, to remove barriers to care for its members and other eligible Virginians: Ensuring members do not inadvertently lose coverage due to lapses in paperwork or a change in circumstances. For the length of the emergency, renewals and redeterminations are extended. Any member who files an appeal during the emergency will automatically have coverage extended while waiting for the appeal. Eliminating co-pays for all Medicaid and FAMIS covered services, including COVID-19 testing and treatment. Allowing Medicaid members to obtain a 90 day supply of many routine prescriptions. Waiving pre-approval requirements for many critical medical services, and enacting automatic extensions for approvals that are already in place. Enabling Medicaid providers and members to make greater use of telehealth. Medicaid officials are working closely with providers to review and respond to the needs of higher risk and older members who are most susceptible to COVID-19. The agency is developing additional policies and initiatives to address health challenges related to the coronavirus as conditions evolve. Virginians who need health coverage can visit to find out if they may be eligible for Medicaid. They can apply for health coverage at any time by going online to

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Stay ConnectedDMAS will be sending regular updates through various channels to ensure members, advocates, and providers receive the latest information regarding COVID-19. Visit the new Virginia Medicaid COVID-19 webpage.Check out the FAQs (including information about coverage lapses, behavioral health, telehealth, appeals, and more) for answers to more of your questions. Sign up to receive updates in your email inbox. Follow us on  Facebook  and  Twitter. Contact DMAS with further questions. For more information about COVID-19, including details about symptoms and what to do if you are sick, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website:  |  Contact Us
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“Managing Behavior at Home” FREE Virtual Live Event

Plan to Attend

“Managing Behavior at Home”
with Rose Nevill, PhD, BCBA
Thursday, March 26
3:00 to 3:45 PM
This interactive webinar will provide some quick tips and tricks for managing challenging behavior while at home with your family member on the spectrum. It will be followed by a discussion that will provide the opportunity for you to ask questions, connect with other parents, and share your ideas.
Thursday, March 26 3:00 to 3:45 PM
Link to Zoom Conferencing:
Registration is encouraged but not required.After you register, you will receive a reminder and can download an appointment for your calendar.Register here
Rose Nevill, PhD, BCBA is the Research Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the UVA Autism Research Core. Rose is interested in applied research with individuals with autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan. Read more about Rose.
Rose’s Quick Tips for Building Routines
Build a visual schedule: For younger learners or learners with greater communication difficulties, help establish new routines using pictures or objects to represent different parts of the day; for example, blocks for playtime, a sandwich for lunchtime, a computer for online learning time.
Create a two column checklist: Create a “To do” and “Done” side of your child’s schedule – once tasks are finished, your child can get satisfaction from moving items over to finished side. Build in incentives in a simple way, like offering a sticker or a snack after a certain amount of things are complete.
Make a menu: To help give your child ownership over her day, create a set “menu” of options – once an item is used off of the list, it is no longer available. This can be especially helpful with meal planning!
Time screen time wisely: Reserve screen time for parts of the day you need to yourself (for exercise, work meetings, and personal tasks). Limit screen time in the evenings to maximize the quality of your child’s sleep.
Play red light/green light: To help your child avoid interrupting your work, use a signal that he is likely to notice that shows when interruptions are not allowed – for example, wear a brightly colored hat or hang a sign off of your desk. Explain the rule to your child regularly (“Remember, I’m not available when the hat is on!”) and reward him for “following the rules” every few hours or once a day.

From the UVA Star- COVID 19 Special Edition

UVA STAR | Curry School of Education and, Human Development

417 Emmet St, S,
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Resources for ASD

VCU-ACE’s Response included helpful resources

…Here at VCU-ACE, we know such rapid changes in routines and schedules will be especially difficult for individuals with ASD and their families. In order to help, VCU-ACE has already begun creating videos and visual supports to ease the transition and to support such vital skills such as handwashing. Our first two new products include a video on handwashing specifically designed for individuals with ASD to watch, as well as a how-to video on the use of evidence-based strategies to teach handwashing.

Click here to view these resources: How To videos on handwashing or copy and paste to your browser

Remember, VCU-ACE has a wide variety of How To videos that cover topics such as Task Analysis, Visual Supports, Prompting, and Reinforcement for those who are not as familiar with the evidence-based practices that are used to teach individuals with ASD. Our entire How To video list can be found by copy and pasting the following to your browser or clicking on the link here.

Additional Information and Resources

Please visit these websites for additional free resources and COVID-19 information.

The Autism Society of North Carolina has pulled together visual supports and social stories/narratives. These resources are easily downloaded at the link here. Or copy and paste the following to your browser:

The National Autism Association has created a list of teaching tools for kids as well as tips for caregivers. Please view by clicking on link here or copy and paste the following to your browser:

Autism Focused Intervention and Research Modules have created a free tool kit at or by clicking on the link  COVID-19 Toolkit to support children and youth with ASD.

VCU-ACE is dedicated to supporting all Virginians during this time of uncertainty. We hope the resources found within this newsletter will support individuals and their families adapt to the ongoing changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the coming days, VCU-ACE will work to provide more How To videos on a variety of topics surrounding COVID-19 including social distancing, isolation / quarantine, and even topics like being more independent across activities such as making breakfast or a snack, hygiene, and academic tasks.  We will update our community as we create and develop more products. 

This is only a portion of what the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center provided. To see this in full format, please visit the following webpage. Copy and paste the following to your browser or click on the link provided below.


Volunteers and Athletes,

It is with a heavy heart that the decision has been made to cancel our 2020 Special Olympics Meet in the Middle.  The CDC has provided guidance that large events consisting of 50 people or more should be cancelled for the next 8 weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Caroline County Public Schools will be following this recommendation in order to keep our students and volunteers healthy.

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered their efforts to plan this event.  Your efforts are most appreciated! Caroline County will continue to work with Special Olympics to plan this event for the 2020-21 school year.

Thank you,

Lora Glass, Director of Special Olympics