COVID-19 Update
September 22, 2021
OPWDD Statewide COVID-19 Data
On Monday, OPWDD shared their latest statewide COVID-19 data regarding the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to COVID-19 within the service system.
As of Sept. 15, 2021:

  • 11,249 people supported are confirmed to have had COVID-19
  • 7,412 of these people reside in a certified residential facility
  • There have been 676 deaths relating to COVID-19
  • 16,513 staff are confirmed to have had COVID-19

Vaccination data is also available for the five distinct cohorts of individuals and staff for which OPWDD is collecting information. The following have received at least one vaccine dose as of Sept. 10, 2021:

  • 88% of individuals living in certified residential settings (100% of programs reporting).
  • 36.3% of the total staff working in certified residential settings (100% programs reporting)
  • 34.4% of the total staff associated with day and waiver services, excluding residential and family care (with 84.5% programs reporting)
  • 47.7% of adults (18 and over) receiving day, waiver and case management services, excluding residential and family care (100% programs reporting)
  • 54% of Care Managers

OPWDD has been publishing statewide data regarding COVID-19, which is regularly updated and can be viewed here. As a reminder, New York state maintains data on cases by county here.

NYS DOH FAQ on Emergency Regulations
On Monday, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) released a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document clarifying the August 26 emergency regulations requiring the full vaccination of employees at select covered health care providers. Diagnostic and treatment centers licensed under Article 28 are part of the mandate. 

The FAQ makes it clear that the mandate is applicable to a large section of the workforce. If an employee engages in activities that could potentially expose other covered personnel if they were infected with COVID-19, then they would fall within the scope of the vaccine mandate. The FAQ further clarifies which contractors and volunteers are subject to the mandate, as well as the conditions for a medical exemption and documentation requirements. Additional guidance from the federal government is anticipated in the coming weeks. We will provide an update as more information becomes available.
Preschool Testing Requirement
As previously shared in our Sept. 9 Update, the New York State Department of Health issued a Sept. 2 memorandum requiring mandatory testing for P-12 schools. While there is language that broadly applies this requirement, there is an exception for standalone preschools that do not collocate with older students. We have since confirmed with OPWDD that both the requirement for mandatory testing and the exemption for standalone pre-k schools apply to programs serving students with disabilities. 
CONTACT: Josh Christiana, Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations
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