COVID-19 Update
May 15, 2020

Executive Order 202.31
While many news outlets reported recently that New York on PAUSE was extended through June 13, in fact, Executive Order (EO) 202.31 only extends the requirement to wear a face mask through June 13, and provides state and local governments with continued enforcement authority in general on EOs. The order makes it clear that your particular region could be cleared when it meets the defined metrics for reopening On PAUSE is extended through May 28 for regions that have not yet met their metrics. This should not represent a significant change for our business operations. 

Phase One Reopening Guidelines and Business Safety Plan
The Governors' office released guidelines and business safety templates for industries that are being allowed to open today during phase one. These guidelines apply to both essential and non-essential businesses that were permitted to remain open. The guidelines are broken out by industry and provide a detailed overview of steps employers must take to protect against the spread of COVID-19. They focus on three main areas where employers need to ensure compliance:
  • People
    • Ensure physical distancing
    • Monitor gatherings in enclosed spaces
    • Workplace activity: limiting employees on site to only those who are necessary to be on site, adjusting hours, rotating schedules
    • Movement and commerce: limiting visitors, establishing designated areas for deliveries and drop offs
  • Places
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE): providing all employees with PPE, employees must be allowed to use their own acceptable face coverings if they choose 
    • Hygiene and cleaning: employers must adhere to hygiene and sanitation requirements as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH)
    • Phased reopening
    • Develop a communication plan for consistent delivery of updated information to employees and customers
  • Processes
    • Screening and testing: employers must implement mandatory daily health screening practices
    • Tracing and tracking: employers must notify the local health department and NYS DOH immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result. Additionally, they must comply with local health agencies to trace all contacts in the workplace.
Detailed information regarding reopening guidelines broken out by industry can be found here

In addition to these guidelines, employers who are reopening must develop a written safety plan outlining how the workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. These plans must be conspicuously posted where employees can view them.
Although these plans do not need to be submitted, they be must be retained and made available to NYS DOH or local safety authorities in the event of an inspection. You can view the sample template here to ensure your plan covers all required elements.

OPWDD Webinar Recording 
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and Managed Care Community of Practice (MCCOP) published a recording of the May 14, 2020 webinar, "Supervised Residential Habilitation & Updated Flexibilities for Delivering and Documenting Day Services." The recording and the PowerPoint can be found here.

COVID-19 & OPWDD Media Attention 
The response to COVID-19 by the OPWDD service delivery system and voluntary providers of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) recently received media attention in Albany and Rochester . We continue to work to enhance public and media understanding of the challenges faced by I/DD providers in responding to COVID-19, and the work being done to ensure the health and safety of people we support.

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

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