COVID-19 Update
July 7, 2020

The Arc New York Lunch and Learn Community Hab Presentation
On July 2, 2020, leaders from our Cattaraugus-Niagara (Intandem) Chapter presented a webinar on using an innovative Community Habilitation model during our first Lunch and Learn Session. If you missed the presentation, and for future reference, we are sharing the slide deck, the Chapter's policies and procedures and a recording of the full webinar.  
Executive Order 202.48
On July 6, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.48 which extends the provisions of several earlier EOs through August 5, 2020. 

Of note, the provisions under EO 202.5 include 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 all extended.

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities' (OPWDD) guidance on abbreviated training (specific to person/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, 2020 COVID-19 Update and OPWDD's interim guidance regarding modified training and recertifications (specific to SCIP/PROMOTE) in our April 1, 2020 COVID-19 Update

Lastly, the provisions allowing e xemptions and portability of background checks among OPWDD providers and employees of  different O agencies have been extended. We addressed OPWDD's guidance in criminal background checks in our April 13, 2020 COVID-19 Update.

New States Added to Travel Advisory
Today, Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma were added to the list of restricted states on the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) travel advisory. The current list of restricted states can be found here

OPWDD July 15 Webinar on COVID-19 Life Plan/Staff Action Plan Addendum
On July 15, 2020, OPWDD will be conducting a webinar on "How to complete the COVID-19 Life Plan/Staff Action Plan Addendum." Registration can be completed here The session registration is also available in SLMS under class code  OPWDD-Provider-CCO-InfoSession.

The information sessions are for all Care Manager Supervisors, Care Managers, and provider agency staff that interface with the Life Planning process.
If you have any issues with registration or logging in on the day of the session, please contact Talent and Development by phone at 518-473-1190 or email

The PowerPoint Materials will be available through SLMS the day of the session and a recording will also be made available to view in SLMS following the information session.

Innovative Town-Hall Meeting Example
Several Chapters have been conducting Town Hall meetings open to family members of individuals supported by the Chapter. The Arc of Lexington recently hosted two such meetings on the topics of visitation and reopening plans. The Arc Lexington took an innovative approach by using Zoom to host the meeting. This provided an opportunity for family members to raise questions, exchange ideas, and provide immediate feedback to the Chapter leadership.  We are sharing their July newsletter, which provides a summary of the Town Halls, two family visit videos, and a recording of their June 23 meeting.  For those of you not holding Town Halls, this video will give you a sense of family member concerns and feedback.  For those planning similar meetings, the Zoom platform seems to be working well. We encourage all Chapters to hold these types of meetings to keep families engaged and informed, and to have their concerns addressed.
Results of the Direct Support Workforce & COVID-19 National Survey
The University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) collaborated to conduct a study on the experiences of Direct Support Professionals during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The goal of the study was to inform efforts to better prepare for future waves of the pandemic. 
A one-page summary of the initial findings of the survey can be viewed here. The University of Minnesota and NADSP intend to publish the full report in August.

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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