The health of the New Star community is our top priority

This website is intended to provide the New Star family – consumers, their families, staff, donors and volunteers – with the latest information concerning the COVID-19 outbreak and measures implemented to reduce its spread.

New Star is monitoring the situation and will make every effort to provide information and implement policies intended to ensure the continued health and safety of our community.


It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t know COVID-19 existed. Now when people say “virus,” we know what they mean. The impact of COVID-19 on our lives, our activities, and our freedom has affected us all. The responsibility is ours, as a community, to help stop this virus. Now we have a new, safe, and effective tool to help us do that—COVID-19 vaccines.

Getting vaccinated adds an important layer of protection for you, your family, and loved ones. Here are some things you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are very effective at preventing the disease.
  • The most common side effects are pain in the arm where you got the shot, feeling tired, headache, body aches, chills, and fever.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available—wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet apart from people who don’t live with you, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, washing your hands frequently, and getting vaccinated.

We want everyone in our community to be safe.

Below are some resources for you and your family as you make this very important decision.

Safety and Development of Vaccines

Video for Consumers Regarding COVID Vaccine 


COVID Myths vs Facts


Below are up-to-date New Star policies and procedures. While every effort has been made to address the many related issues, it is recognized that it may not be all-inclusive and does not constitute a legal document or contract. We will continually revise these policies and communicate changes through normal channels. The updated policies will then be added to this page. Advance notice may not always be possible. New Star reserves the right to manage New Star health issues that may or may not be addressed in these manuals.

Agency Policies:

NS COVID-19 Testing Policy- UPDATED March 10, 2022

NS Covid-19 Travel Policy

NS Hand Hygiene Policy

NS Covid-19 Mask Policy

Community Living Policies

NS COVID CLS Home Visit Policy

NS COVID CLS Visitor Policy

Day Services Policies

NS Covid-19 Day Visitor Policy

NS Covid-19 CDS Cleaning Policy

NS CDS Infectious Disease Policy

NS Covid-19 CDS Transporting Policy

NS Covid-19 CDS Arrival and Dismissal Policy

NS Covid-19 CDS Community Based Policy

When a Consumer can Return to Community Day Services

NS Covid-19 CDS Vehicle Disinfecting Policy


As an additional precaution in our efforts to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 virus, New Star has implemented a new policy that requires temperature checks of each residential consumer at least once a day.  The consumers are also continually being evaluated to see if they exhibit any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.  In addition, all staff members at all the houses, and the four New Star office sites will have a temperature check before entering a building.

We will be implementing the same policy in Indiana for our two supported living homes. For all other programs, before entering a consumer’s house, a staff member checks their temperature.  We have asked families to report any temperatures or symptoms within their home. If any signs or a temperature manifests, we will cancel staff support. We will then maintain communication with the family and initiate services once they no longer have symptoms for 24 hours. All quarterly meetings with consumers, families, and case managers will be administered via teleconference. Recreational therapy sessions via skype will begin soon.


To protect our consumers, New Star will implement a temporary visitation policy that strictly limits the exposure of both consumers and staff to the coronavirus.  Visitors will only be allowed in a New Star residential home under certain circumstances and will not be permitted to engage with any consumers or staff.

In order to minimize the risk to all our community living residents, we are discouraging consumers from making visits outside the New Star residence. Family/guardians have been made aware that a consumer who leaves the New Star residence, may not return for 14-days in order to limit the possible exposure to other consumers and staff. The Illinois Department of Human Services endorsed this recommendation.


We know how important it is to keep in contact with your loved one during this unique period.  However, it is important to maintain the strict visitation policy to keep all our consumers safe. 

In lieu of visits to our residential homes, New Star staff is offering alternative means of communication for family members and guardians.  The virtual communication methods could include phone calls and video-communications such as Skype, Facetime, etc.  Families are encouraged to reach out to their service coordinator if this is an area they would like to pursue or if they have any questions or concerns. We also have daily virtual events that our consumers can participate in. For more information on these events please see the Daily Virtual Lineup.


If you are a member of the New Star family, your service coordinator will be in close contact with you.  We will update the New Star website frequently with any future developments. We will also be sending out emails and posting on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Resource Links:

Situations surrounding the COVID–19 outbreak change at a moment’s notice. We are committed to staying up-to-date, responding to recommendations from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Health, the Indiana State Department of Health, and keeping you informed.

Below are links to government and health agencies that can provide you with updated information on the coronavirus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

How to Protect Yourself and Others

Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know

World Health Organization

Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Mythbusters

National Institue of Health

Resoures from NIH

Social Security Administration

Social Security and the Coronavirus


Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)


Indiana State Department of Health

Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Services – Indiana