COVID-19 Update
April 23, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine Not Recommended or Effective at This Time 
New studies have suggested that Hydroxychloroquine is not effective, and actually harmful, in the treatment of COVID-19. The  study determined that the side effects were significant, and that a test group that did not receive Hydroxychloroquine actually fared better than a group that had received the drug. The National Institute of Health has now advised against using the drug regimen of Hydroxychloroquine and  azithromycin .  More background can be found  here While we are not medical doctors, we caution against using these medications in our population at this time.

Self-Direction Guidance
OPWDD has advised that staff who support people through Self-Direction may be paid through the retainer day methodology, however the individual must not exceed their Personal Resource Account (PRA). Formal guidance on this will be forthcoming from OPWDD. Additionally, OPWDD has advised that Personal Protective Equipment for staff who support people in Self-Direction may be paid for through the Other Than Personal Services (OTPS) portion of the Self-Direction budget.
OPWDD has published an update to their Self-Direction Guidance Manual.

CMS Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers: ICFs
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare has put blanket waivers of federal regulations into effect, with a retroactive date of March 1, 2020. Several Intermediate Care Facility (ICFs) requirements have been waived. Details begin on page 16 of the summary  COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers 

It is important to note that we have no yet received any guidance from OPWDD on waiver of any ICF requirements. However, it is likely that guidance will be forthcoming following the federal waivers.
NADSP Survey
The National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), in partnership with the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota, is conducting a survey of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). The goal of the survey is to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on DSPs and identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people they support. The results of this survey will be shared widely with policymakers, services providers, direct support professionals, families, and stakeholders.
We encourage all Chapters to distribute the survey to their DSPs. The survey can be completed here.
As a reminder, NADSP has several great resources for DSPs on COVID-19 which can be found here
Barclay Damon Webinar: COVID-19 - Reporting to OSHA
On Tuesday, April 28, Barclay-Damon LLP will be conducting a webinar on reporting to OSHA. Information and registration can be found 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 , Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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