COVID-19 Update
June 5, 2020

DQI COVID-19 Prevention and Control Review Experience 
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Division of Quality Improvement (DQI) completed their COVID-19 Prevention and Control Review at an Arc Chapter. The overall experience of the Chapter was positive, and OPWDD provided a summary a few days after the visit. A downstate provider also shared their experience with the review process. The details are below. 
One auditor stayed in her car w/the laptop and the other auditor came into the house in full PPE. They spoke via phone throughout the entire audit (the one in the car asking questions on the list, the one in the house asking and reporting back). We took her temp and asked her the screening questions. She reviewed our staff temperature and visitor log sheets. She did a lot of staff interview, asking questions such as:
  • Have you worked in any other house in the past 7 -14 days? 
  • What would you do if you were on shift and suddenly felt sick?
  • What would you do if you observed an individual coughing and sneezing?
  • Do you have PPE?  cleaning supplies?  what would you do if you needed any?
  • Where would you isolate an individual who may have COVID?  (She asked me about how we monitor and inventory PPE and cleaning supplies)
The auditor looked at our PPE and cleaning product reserves. She literally went around the house and counted the # of hand sanitizer bottles we had out. She reviewed the labels on the cleaning products to identify if they were EPA approved. Her feedback to me was that we're doing everything we should be doing but not taking enough credit for the work by documenting all of the things we are doing. I told her that we continue to work on tightening up our documentation, even pre-COVID. 

She stated that they are coming out to "support" providers through this crisis. I told her that I commended OPWDD for holding providers accountable, but would ask that providers not be over-regulated during the pandemic (i.e. documenting PPE inventories). She also thanked me for "allowing" her in the house. She was very nice (not my usual auditor) and supportive but I did get a sense that they are not thrilled about having to do this."

We received notice that a second Arc Chapter has been identified for a  COVID-19 Prevention and Control Review. OPWDD provided the Chapter with a Documentation Request Form that details which policies and procedures OPWDD will review prior to the onsite visit.
If you receive notification of this review, please let us know. We are keeping track of the activity and experience so we may inform all Arc New York Chapters.
OPWDD Provider Association Update
On Thursday, June 4, OPWDD provided several updates to the Provider Association. A summary from the meeting can be found here
OPWDD Revised Protocols for Personnel to Return to Work
The most significant changes were made in section B. Personnel with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 must have maintained isolation for at least 10 days after illness. This is an increase from 7 days. The 14 days time-frame after the onset of illness for wearing a facemask has also been changed. The new standard is that these personnel must wear a facemask while working until symptoms have completely resolved. 
CDC Updated COVID-19 Symptoms
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the symptoms list for COVID-19. The updated list can be found hereChapters will need to revise their screening practices accordingly.

Executive Order 202.37
Today, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.37. This EO allows for special education and instruction to be provided in-person for the summer school session. 

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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