COVID-19 Update
December 3, 2020

CDC Revises Guidance on Exiting Quarantine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised their guidance regarding when a person who is a close contact of a person confirmed positive with COVID-19 may exit quarantine. Until Wednesday, the guidance has required a 14-day quarantine. 

The new guidelines allow a person who is a close contact of a person with COVID-19 to exit quarantine at day 10 if they have been asymptomatic. The person may exit quarantine at day 7 if they have been asymptomatic and a receive a diagnostic test with negative results. The person must continue to wear a mask/face covering and continue daily symptom monitoring for the full 14 days
Local Health Departments (LHDs) retain authority to direct periods of quarantine longer than the CDC guidance. We anticipate the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) will issue revised guidance on quarantine time frames in response to the new CDC guidance. Please continue to consult with your LHD on any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Executive Order 202.79
Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.79 on Wednesday, extending the provisions of earlier EOs, including 202.55, 202.60 and 202.72, which provided the previous extensions of flexibility on criminal background checks (CBC) and abbreviated training. The flexibility is now extended through January 1, 2021.

We are reaching out to OPWDD to confirm that the flexibility afforded in OPWDD's interim guidance on CBC and trainings are also extended. As a reminder, we detailed these guidance documents in our August 6 COVID-19 Update.

Additionally, Executive Order 202.79 modifies the cluster zone initiative by permitting schools to continue in-person instruction within red and orange zones, which was previously prohibited.

OPWDD shared data regarding the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to COVID-19 within the service system.
As of December 2, 2020:
  • 4,603 individuals supported have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • 3,574 of these cases involve individuals residing in certified residential facilities.
  • There have been 488 deaths relating to COVID-19.
  • 5,962 staff have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
OPWDD has not yet supplied more detailed data regarding COVID-19 cases by setting. As a reminder, New York state maintains data on cases by county here.

COVID-19 Data Project Resource Page
As you know, The Arc New York is collaborating with New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) and Syracuse University on an ongoing project to collect and analyze weekly COVID-19 data from voluntary I/DD providers, including all Chapters of The Arc New York. This data helps inform our understanding of the risks of COVID-19 for people with I/DD, strengthen our pandemic response, and support our advocacy efforts. We have aggregated the published studies, along with media and academic coverage citing the project, into a COVID-19 Data Project webpage for your reference. We will continue to add materials as the project develops. Thank you to all Chapters for your participation in this important project. 

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, Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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