COVID-19 Update
February 11, 2021

CDC Mask Fit and Filtration Study and Updated Guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) completed a study on face mask fit and filtration. A summary of the results can be found here

The study assessed the extent in which two modifications to medical procedure masks would improve the fit of the masks and reduce exposure to COVID-19: first, wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, more commonly referred to as "double masking" and, second, knotting the ear loops where they attach to the mask's edges and tucking in and flattening the extra material. 

The results of the study revealed a significant improvement in both mask fit and source control. In response to the study, the CDC updated their guidance on how to "Improve the Fit and Filtration of Your Mask to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19." 

Please keep in mind that this is only guidance at this time. There are no federal- or state-issued mandates to modify mask wearing based on the results of the study. We will monitor developments in this area and share any federal or state directives or guidance that may follow.

CDC Quarantine Guidance Update
The CDC updated their quarantine guidance in response to growing vaccination rates. Fully vaccinated people who meet the following criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19:
  • fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
The revised guidance does not appear to apply to the people supported in our congregate settings. However, it does appear to cover our employees. We have been in contact with OPWDD regarding this guidance and they are working with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to develop clarifying guidance. 

The Governor's Office also released a statement acknowledging this updated guidance. It is noteworthy that the statement indicates that NYS was not yet subscribing to this CDC guidance.

We continue to monitor developments in this area and will provide additional information during our weekly call and as part of our COVID-19 updates.

Pre-K to Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit
The NYSDOH published a useful toolkit for providers of Pre-K through Grade 12 educational services. 

The toolkit includes decision-making flowcharts for determining when a student should or should not go to school and employees to work, flowcharts detailing when someone can come back to school following the appearance of COVID-19 symptoms, and a few other informative tools. 

Please distribute this to all stakeholders involved in your educational programs.

New York to Receive 5% Increase in COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments
The Biden Administration announced a 5% increase in vaccine allocations to states set to occur over the next few weeks. This increase will bringing the New York state allotment up to approximately 315,000 doses per week. While this still falls short of the supply needed to quickly vaccinate those in need, it does represent continued progress in making additional supply available. We anticipate additional information regarding the distribution of the 5% increase will be forthcoming as part of the Governor's press conferences. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Media coverage on the increase can be found here and 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. 

Josh Christiana, Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

This email was sent to:
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