COVID-19 Vaccinations Are Coming to The Arc on Monday, January 11, 2021 and Monday, February 1, 2021

  • COVID Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
  • COVID CVS Responsible Party Consent Form
  • State of Florida executive order

January 5, 2021

The Arc of Alachua County was contacted on Monday, January 4, 2021 by the CVS COVID-19 Vaccination Team informing The Arc that a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic will be held at our main campus across from Santa Fe College on Monday, January 11, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This vaccine administration is part of Florida's Phase I Vaccination Plan. This vaccination clinic will welcome all Arc employees, and Arc clients who reside in one of our group homes and Arc clients who reside in the community and attend our Day Program. This vaccination clinic complies with the prioritization contained in Governor DeSantis' Emergency Order 20-315 (see PDFs attached). This Emergency Order 20-315 states that during Phase I of vaccine administration all providers administering any COVID-19 vaccine shall only vaccinate the following:

  1. Long Term Care Facilities
  2. Persons 65 years of age (65+) or older
  3. Healthcare personnel who work directly with patients

A second vaccination clinic will be conducted by the CVS Vaccination Team to administer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, February 1, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

If you are the parent/guardian/legal representative/authorized representative/responsible party of a person residing in one of our APD-licensed group homes or of a person who attends our Day Program, you will be asked to complete the consent form attached (see CVS Consent Form attached) for both Dose # 1 and Dose # 2 of the vaccine. There are three (3) options available to provide consent:

  1. Come to The Arc of Alachua County's main campus in Gainesville (the front desk) and complete the CVS Consent Form (COVID-19 Responsible Party Consent Form attached) in person by Friday, January 8, 2021
  2. Complete the CVS Consent Form (COVID-19 Responsible Party Consent Form attached) and send via email using Docu-Sign (you will receive a separate email if you elect this option). Docu-Sign is a simple electronic signature program whereby you follow a few, simple instructions in providing your signature
  3. Provide email confirmation of consent (If you are unable, for any reason, to use Docu-Sign, you can provide email confirmation indicating your consent for that client or person for whom you serve as the parent/guardian/legal representative/authorized representative/responsible party to receive the vaccine) to the Arc at jadams@arcalachua.org or dtowery@arcalachua.org.

Carefully review the attached Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers provided by CVS Pharmacies for more detailed information on the vaccine. If you still have questions or concerns about the safety or efficacy of the vaccine, we urge you to speak with your Primary Care Physician regarding your concerns.

The time has come to act!


Mark A. Swain


January 8, 2021

A Letter from Daniel J. Driscoll, MD, PhD
on the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for The Arc of Alachua County

As I am sure all of you know, COVID-19 is ravaging our country and the rest of the world. It has already killed over 365,000 Americans and it is going to get much worse! We are very fortunate to have 2 great vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) that have been shown in large clinical trials to be highly effective at preventing this severe and potentially lethal disease. I am strongly urging all my patients, friends, family, and everyone else to strongly consider receiving one of these 2 vaccines. My wife and I have already received our vaccines. She received the Pfizer vaccine and I received the Moderna vaccine.

I have been caring for clients at the Arc of Alachua County for over 30 years. I care very much for all the clients and staff at the Arc so I am urging everyone to please get vaccinated unless there is a compelling reason not to get vaccinated.

The types of vaccines now available in the United States against COVID-19 use mRNA technology. This type of vaccine has been under development for many years and, unlike other immunizations, does not place a weak or inactive germ into the body, but instead teaches cells in our body to make an immune response that then produces antibodies which provide protection if exposed to COVID-19.

Given the scale of the pandemic with the impact upon lives and long-term health, experts from the US (FDA, CDC) and Europe (MHRA, EMA) have carefully reviewed data from very large clinical studies conducted by the vaccine developers and provided emergency authorization approval to expedite availability to the public. Reported side effects from the vaccines currently available (Pfizer and Moderna) are rare, but their use in those with a history of severe allergies should be discussed with a medical adviser and possibly avoided. Studies are currently underway looking at the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in children.

I understand that the decision regarding COVID-19 vaccination is a personal/family decision, but I strongly advocate for vaccination, particularly among those with individuals who are at an increased potential risk for severe COVID-19 complications (i.e., those individuals with severe obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes and cardiovascular disease).

Be Safe,

Daniel J. Driscoll, MD, PhD, FAAP, FFACMG
Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics
The John T. & Winifred M. Hayward Professor of Genetics Research
Chair, Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA) Clinical Advisory Board
Chair, International Prader-Willi Syndrome Organization Clinical & Scientific Advisory Board
University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville, FL

The Facts About Covid-19 Vaccines For Direct Support Professionals

Rick Rader

Rick Rader, MD | NADSP
Medical Advisor, Director,
Habilitation Center,
Orange Grove Center

Direct support professionals have been on the frontlines of supporting people with disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines are now here and becoming widely available. As this is good news, we also know there is some confusion and worry among people about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. In this webinar, NADSP in partnership with the American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry (AADMD) will address vaccine concerns. Please join Rick Rader, MD as he shares up to date and research-based information on the COVID-19 vaccines.

This webinar is now available on the NADSP Website. Click the "Watch Video" button below to watch.

Watch Video »


The Arc’s Gone4Ever (G4E) Program has been shut down due to COVID-19 since March, 2020. However, given The Arc's successful effort to date combatting the virus at its main campus, The Arc of Alachua County has decided after much deliberation that it will reopen its Gone4Ever (G4E) shredding program beginning Wednesday, December 2, 2020 on a limited, gradual basis.

Since The Arc's Day Programs, and staff members and clients that populate it, have not returned to our main campus across from Santa Fe College in full force and in an effort to keep our top priority the safety and well-being of our clients, employees, families, friends and visitors, this reopening plan for Gone4Ever (G4E) will occur in stages, with specific guidelines, and on a slow timetable to allow for maximum protection of the health, safety and welfare of The Arc's clients, employees, families, friends and visitors. To that end, The Arc announces the reopening of G4E with these guidelines:

Gone4ever Shredding
  1. Arc Development & Public Relations Director, Dr. Mark Johnson, will continue to be the single point of contact for questions related to Gone4Ever (G4E) for the foreseeable future. Dr. Johnson's email is: mjohnson@arcalachua.org and his phone number is 352-246-3516.
  2. For the foreseeable future, The Arc will limit its community-based shredding pickups to only those customers who currently have a signed shredding contract with The Arc of Alachua County.
  3. Current contracted G4E customer shredding pickups in the community will be limited to no more than 4 per week.
  4. The Gone4Ever Program will not entertain any new requests from community organizations and institutions who wish to explore a contracted relationship with The Arc of Alachua County until January 2021. Requests from organizations and institutions wishing to explore a shredding contract with G4E can contact Dr. Mark Johnson at one of the numbers above.
  5. The Arc will allow County residents to drop off their own shredding at our main campus one day per week (on Wednesdays each week) from 8 AM - NOON beginning on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.
  6. For Alachua County residents who wish to drop off their shredding at The Arc on a Wednesday, we ask that you limit your shredding to one full banker's box (approximately 27-30 lbs).
  7. Given G4E's limited staffing currently, The Arc cannot provide County residents dropping off their shredding on Wednesdays the opportunity to see or witness their shredding being shredded in our shred room; we simply do not have the staff available to provide that service. We ask that you appreciate this guideline as a necessary limitation due the continued presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  8. The Arc will resuscitate 'Free Shred Wednesdays' for County residents, on the 1st Wednesday of the month only, beginning Wednesday, December 2nd from 8 AM to NOON only.
  9. All visitors to The Arc's main campus will be required to have their temperature checked, answer a health survey, and exercise all appropriate mitigation strategies including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently.

2020 Bob Rose Golf Scramble Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, The Arc of Alachua County has decided to cancel the 2020 Bob Rose Golf Scramble scheduled for Friday, October 9, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. at Haile Plantation Golf & Country Club. We appreciate the support of our many golfers, sponsors and vendors throughout this pandemic, but The Arc must keep as its main priority the health and safety of our clients, employees, and guests. The Arc has set the date for next year's event, however: Friday, April 2, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. at Haile. Although we regret that this year's signature event had to be cancelled, we look forward to seeing all 'Friends of Arc' out in full force for the 2021 Bob Rose Golf Scramble on Friday, April 2,2021.

2020 Arc Annual Meeting & Recognition Event Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, The Arc of Alachua County has decided to cancel the 2020 Arc Annual Meeting & Recognition Event scheduled for Wednesday, OCtober 28, 2020 at 6 p.m. at The Village Retirement Community. We appreciate the support of our many clients, employees, families and guests during this pandemic, but The Arc must maintain as its main priority the health and safety of our clients, employees, families and guests. The Arc has not set a specific date for next year's event, but it will most likely take place in October of 2021. Although we regret we had to cancel this year's Arc Annual Meeting, we look forward to seeing all 'Friends of Arc' out in full force at next year's event.

2020 Gear Up Florida Friendship Visit Cancelled

The 2020 Ability Experience/Gear Up Florida Friendship Visit scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Arc of Alachua County’s main campus has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Although we are sorry to have to cancel this year’s event, we look forward to next year’s bicyclist rally in May of 2021.

Arc Client Safety Enhanced As Arc Employees Trained on Active Assailant Protocol

Arc Leadership Team members, supervisor, directors and group home managers received Active Assailant Training from certified trainer Deputy Cary Gallop with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office (ACSO). The first half of the training was devoted to learning how to spot potential assailants and how to react to protect our clients. Going through the various possible responses available to our staff in an Active Assailant scenario, Deputy Gallop shared examples of how to respond in one of three different ways: "Run" - "Hide" - "Fight." Arc employees asked a series of tough, pointed questions regarding how best to protect our clients, many of whom are not ambulatory or are not able to "run" or "walk quickly" to exit the building or group home. Deputy Gallop was very familiar with institutions, buildings and homes like The Arc's, and was able to discuss how best to protect the safety of our vulnerable clients.

The second part of the training included a variety of Active Shooter scenarios, played out for Arc staff. Arc employees had the opportunity to respond to shooter scenarios using responses from passive to aggressive. The more passive responses included evacuation of the group home or building, running away from the assailant, barricading the clients in a safe office; to more aggressive techniques like grabbing at the nose or muzzle of the assailant's gun, throwing objects at the assailant to distract him, or having a crowd of folks try to jump him if all else fails. At the end of the training, all attendees were provided maps to their individually-assigned group home, department, building or campus. Each map included details of their location along with the locked, secured doors noted in red. These maps will be posted at all Arc sites/locations. Moreover, all clients and employees will conduct drills on Active Assailant procedures specific to each site from now on based on Dep. Gallop's Active Assailant training.

Together with help from Deputy Gallop and the ACSO, The Arc of Alachua County is making all of its locations, buildings, homes and campuses, safer places for clients, employees, families, friends, and visitors. The Arc's Leadership Team is committed to making The Arc a safe environment for everyone. The Arc will ensure that, if we are ever in need of deploying this training, we are ready to use it and use it effectively in a way that best safeguards the safety and well-being of our clients and employees.

A message from Arc President/CEO Mark A. Swain on the Pandemic

During this COVID-19 Pandemic, The Arc of Alachua County has as its top priority maintaining the health and safety of our clients, employees, families and friends. I know that it can be challenging and frustrating reconciling adherence to the proper mitigation strategies with communication with your loved ones. Please know that The Arc is working overtime keeping all members of our family safe and well during this difficult time. I pledge to you that we will get through this pandemic together as long as we stay united, and treat each other with dignity and respect.

LiveScan Is LIVE Again!

The Arc of Alachua County's digital fingerprinting, screening and photo capture service known as LiveScan is resuming services on a limited, appointment-only basis. Beginning on Wednesday, August 26th - and continuing each and every Wednesday following that date - The Arc's LiveScan service will resume our fingerprinting and screening services at The Arc's main campus (3303 NW 83rd St., across from Santa Fe College)..

To keep The Arc's main campus safe for LiveScan staff and customers amidst COVID-19, we are accepting appointments for this service on Wednesdays only. We do not allow walk-ins at this time.

We ask that LiveScan customers remain in their cars until their appointment time. At your appointment time, The Arc receptionist will then greet you at the front entrance, take your temperature, and escort you into the building. Guests that arrive with customers must remain in the vehicle and will not be allowed into the building. All customers must wear a mask to enter the building.

So if you need fingerprinting done quickly, locally, and reasonably, please call The Arc at 352-334-4060 ext. 106 to schedule an appointment.

For more information about The Arc's LiveScan service, click on the LEARN MORE button below.

Learn More »

Celebrating Ability... Creating Opportunity


The Arc of Alachua County is a community based organization committed to providing a continuum of exemplary services, supports, and advocacy to assure that people with developmental disabilities can enjoy respect and dignity and be full participants in the community.

Who Is The Arc?

The Arc of Alachua County is a community based organization committed to providing a continuum of exemplary services, supports, and advocacy to assure that people with developmental disabilities can enjoy respect and dignity and be full participants in the community.

Who Is The Arc

The Arc has a rich history spanning 60 years and marked by accomplishment. We continue to carry out the mission and vision of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents and siblings.

Over the last 60 years, The Arc has grown and adapted to the changes that people with disabilities face across their life span. Through the decades, The Arc has seen several name changes, advocated for the passage of state and federal legislation on behalf of people with disabilities and established a broad network of state and local chapters that range from small voluntary groups to large, professional organizations.

Although much has changed for those that we serve, we always try to raise awareness, supporters, and always help improve the lives of the intellectually and developmentally disabled.

Take A Look At Us

I am sure it is no surprise to you, but people always want to know what we have been up to around The Arc and at our events. Our followers on facebook get to see quite a few or our pictures, but the rest of you are left in the dark.

Well even though everyone should be our fans on facebook, we still decided to put up a gallery of images to show some of the highlights from the major events we have had this year.

Every year we hold several events we consider picture worthy. But dont worry, you will probably see some other, "non event" pictures sneak in as well. If you have a good picture you would like to share, stop by The Arc and let us scan it and share it as well.

We hope to keep the new gallery up to date throughout the year, so check back and enjoy.

See Photo Gallery »

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