COVID-19 Update
July 21, 2020

Advocacy: Call To Action 
As you know, CMS announced that federal funding for retainer days will end today. The Arc New York and New York Disability Advocates are working to mobilize families, self-advocates, staff and community members to call on the state to ensure continued funding to sustain programs and providers supporting people with I/DD throughout the public health emergency.
 
On Friday, NYDA submitted a  Letter to the Governor  calling for action by the state to address lost funding. We are also asking each of you to add your voice to the call with one click through our  Phone2Action online advocacy campaign , and to share this campaign with your own networks. Change is needed now. Please take a moment to advocate today.

NYSED FAQ on Reopening Guidance
The New York State Education Department released an FAQ on their July 16, 2020 School Reopening Guidance. The FAQ addresses questions about social distancing, cohorting of students, returning to school after illness and many other topics. 
 
New York State Travel Advisory Update
Today, Governor Cuomo announced the addition of 10 states to the travel advisory. Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington now meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory. Minnesota was removed from the list. Chapters should continue to review the list and advise employees of the current designated states. The current list can be found here
 
Justice Center Unredacted Investigative Summary Reports
OPWDD provider agencies who operate programs under the jurisdiction of the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs (Justice Center) may have experienced a delay in the receipt of investigative summary reports when an investigation is completed. This has created a delay in the closure of some incidents. To resolve this issue permanently, the Justice Center will begin sending unredacted reports to OPWDD provider agencies in the near future. Please be aware that identifying information for individuals, staff, reporters and others may be visible in the investigative summary report.

Agencies who receive these unredacted reports are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of the information from all improper use or disclosure. If agencies disclose the report because of an appropriate request for the investigative record, such as a Jonathan's Law request or a request from the Consumer Advisory Board for Willowbrook individuals, the agency is responsible for the protection of confidential information and appropriate redaction.

OPWDD's Incident Management Unit (IMU) will continue to upload these documents into OPWDD's Incident Report and Management Application (IRMA) when received from the Justice Center.

If you have any questions, please email incident.management@opwdd.ny.gov. Thank you. 

Virtual Meetings Untangled
We hope you will find value in this resource put together by BoardSource aimed at helping non-profits work through issues surrounding virtual meetings. In particular, there is a thoughtful section about board engagement that you may find helpful. 
 
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 , Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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