COVID-19 Update
February 2, 2022
Emergency/Proposed Regulations for Increasing Certified Capacity
The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) released emergency/proposed regulations pertaining to the certified capacity limits for supervised IRAs. The amendments to the Part 686 regulations (686.3 and 686.16) will provide OPWDD the authority to exceed the IRA capacity limit of 14 individuals in emergent circumstances and with approval of the commissioner. This would also be allowable for state operated homes. The regulations will take effect upon publication in the New York State Register. 

As a reminder, Willowbrook Class Members (WBC member) have additional protections regarding capacity under the permanent injunction. We encourage you to review the specific protections regarding Maintenance of Size of Community Residences, beginning on page 7 of the injunction document. An increase in capacity at a residence serving a WBC member would require approval of the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), and possibly others, and would likely be met with objection if not specifically in the best interests of the WBC member. This is detailed a bit further in a 2003 memo on residential expansion.

We will update everyone once the regulations are published in the New York State Register.

NYS Extends Duration of Mask Mandate
The New York State Commissioner of Health has determined that the indoor mask mandate will remain in effect until February 10, 2022. The mandate was set to expire on February 1. The mandate applies to healthcare settings regulated by the NYS DOH, p-12 schools, and all indoor public places which are defined as any indoor space that is not a private residence. NYS DOH has also shared an FAQ that further details the requirements of the mask mandate.

Free At-Home COVID Tests Available from Federal Government
On Tuesday January 18, 2022 the Federal Government launched a new program that will provide 4 at-home COVID tests per household free of charge. Tests are anticipated to ship in late January. You can sign up to receive these tests here. Please share this opportunity with staff if you have not done so already.

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
This email was sent to:
  • President Jack Kowalczyk 
  • Board of Governors 
  • Chapter Presidents
  • Executive Directors 
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers  
  • HR Directors 
  • PR Directors 
  • Quality & Compliance Staff 
  • Residential Directors
  • Joint Committee on Quality & Compliance 
  • Guardianship Coordinators 
  • State Office Staff