COVID-19 Update
August 6, 2020

Executive Order 202.55
On August 5, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.55which extends the provisions of several earlier EOs through September 4, 2020. 

This extension applies to the provisions under EO 202.5, including the ability to temporarily deviate from an individual's service plan regarding day and community-based programming, or to temporarily relocate individuals to maintain health and safety. The allowances for abbreviated training of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) where a facility is experiencing staffing shortages are also extended.

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities' (OPWDD) guidance on abbreviated training (specific to person- and home-specific precautions, as well as tuberculosis testing) can be found in the March 24, 2020 "Interim Guidance Regarding Abbreviated/Refresher Training and Recertifications." We addressed OPWDD's abbreviated training for approved medication administration personnel in our March 28 COVID-19 Update and OPWDD's interim guidance regarding modified training and recertifications (specific to SCIP/PROMOTE) in our April 1 COVID-19 Update

Lastly, the provisions allowing exemptions and portability of background checks among OPWDD providers and employees of different O agencies have been extended. We addressed OPWDD's guidance on criminal background checks in our April 13 COVID-19 Update.
Medicaid Reminder on Charging for PPE and Other Protective Measures 
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) and eMedNY published reminder guidance that the Medicaid program prohibits enrolled providers from billing recipients for charges related to COVID-19 protective measures. This includes charging for personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing supplies and services. 
Billing Medicaid recipients for any of the above is considered an "Unacceptable Practice" under Medicaid rules, which may result in provider sanctions up to and including termination from the Medicaid program. 
Chapters should ensure that no portion of costs associated with the above is being charged to any individual supported by the Chapter and enrolled in the Medicaid program. 
Sample Safety Monitor Checklists
OPWDD's "Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services" requires that day program services must designate a site safety monitor. The safety monitor is responsible for monitoring the program's continued compliance with all aspects of the site safety plan.
We are pleased to share two sample safety monitor checklists with you, developed by The Arc New York Chapters. The Arc Oswego County and The Arc of Dutchess graciously shared their sample checklists. Both can be downloaded in Excel format from the links above. 
Study on the Impact of COVID-19 on Work 
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published a study exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the nature of work. The study is based on analysis of changes in digital communication patterns. 
The study finds that, compared to pre-pandemic levels, the number of meetings per person has increased by 12.9 percent and the number of attendees per meeting has increased by 13.5 percent, however, the average length of meetings has decreased by 20.1 percent. Collectively, the net effect is that people have spent 11.5 percent less time in meetings per day in the post-lockdown period. The study also finds significant and durable increases in length of the average workday (+8.2 percent, or +48.5 minutes), along with short-term increases in email activity.
This study will be of interest to Chapter Human Resource professionals, and is a potential data set to consider when evaluating employee work experience during this unprecedented time.
New York State Survey on Rebuilding
The Office of the Governor created a survey for New York citizens to provide feedback on the ways technology can be used to help New York rebuild from the COVID-19 public health emergency. The survey touches on questions related to telehealth, access to the internet, employment, and the work environment. Please consider sharing this survey.

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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