COVID-19 Update
April 30, 2021
DOL to Issue Refunds of Overpaid Unemployment Charges
In 2020 Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.45, authorizing the Commissioner of Labor to issue a finding related to experience rating charges incurred as a result of the global pandemic. In January 2021, DOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon issued an order providing the New York employers "shall not be charged for the duration of the claim for benefits paid to a claimant during the COVID-19 pandemic." Employers can expect to receive form IA 126R, noting whether or not their account has an overpaid amount credited. If they have overpaid employers can now request a refund for the overpaid chargers using this reimbursement form

Executive Order 202.101 
Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.101, extending the provisions of Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order to 202, including those that provide the extensions of flexibility on criminal background checks (CBC) and abbreviated trainings. The flexibility is now extended through May 6, 2021. 
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) worked with the New York State Department of State regarding updated interim training and recertification guidance. As a reminder: 

  • Several grace periods have been included to allow providers to return to compliance with recertification training requirements.
  • PPD testing must recommence; however, there is a grace period to get employees who received a screening in lieu of a test back into compliance.
  • The abbreviated medication administration curriculum will no longer be available, effective April 30. Employees who were trained using the abbreviated curriculum do not have to take a full medication administration course. Instead, these employees can receive the recertification training. Originally, OPWDD had directed that these employees would have to take a full medication administration course within 120 days of conclusion of the public health emergency, so this is a significant improvement.

The OPWDD Updated Guidance Regarding Abbreviated/Refresher Training and Recertifications provides more detail on this topic.

CDC Updated Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.” The CDC is now advising that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors under most circumstances. The CDC continues to recommend mask wearing at crowded, outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, or sports events, regardless of vaccination status.

Most notable for our field, the CDC updated their guidance for fully vaccinated people residing in a congregate setting. The updated guidance makes it clear that people who are fully vaccinated and reside in a congregate setting are no longer subject to quarantine following exposure to someone suspected or confirmed positive with COVID-19. Previously, this exception existed only for employees in such settings. As with all federal guidance, each state will need to issue their own corresponding guidance. We have raised this updated guidance to OPWDD for their awareness and further discussion with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). OPWDD indicated that they are working on revised guidance and hope to have it available within the next two weeks.

In the meantime, if you are notifying your local department of health of an exposure to COVID-19 involving an employee or resident, you should also raise their awareness of this updated CDC guidance.

COVID-19 Vaccine Consent
OPWDD adopted a regulatory amendment to assist providers with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. The amendment allows the use of an Informed Consent Committee (ICC), to provide consent for individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after all attempts to obtain consent from surrogates have been exhausted. A detailed description of the process can be found in OPWDD’s "Interim Guidance: Informed Consent Committee for COVID-19 Vaccine."

OPWDD shared data regarding the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, and deaths due to COVID-19 within the service system. 
As of April 28, 2021:
  • 10,486 people supported have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • 7,064 of these people reside in a certified residential facility. 
  • There have been 650 deaths relating to COVID-19.
  • 14,763 staff have been confirmed to have COVID-19.

OPWDD has now published statewide data regarding COVID-19, which can be viewed here. As a reminder, New York state maintains data on cases by county here.

This and all related updates will be cataloged on The Arc New York COVID-19 Resource Page for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.

CONTACT: Josh Christiana, Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations
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