COVID-19 Update
October 21, 2020

NYS Travel Advisory Update
On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo announced the addition of Arizona and Maryland to the travel advisory. No states were removed from the list. New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania met the criteria to be added; however, the Governor instead advised that non-essential travel to those states should be avoided. Chapters should continue to review the list and advise employees of the current designated states. The current list can be found here.

OPWDD Management of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections
Late yesterday, The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) published their annual guidance on influenza management. The guidance this year has been revised to incorporate management of COVID-19. Much of the information on COVID-19 management is repeated from separate guidance from OPWDD. Some of the highlights include:
  • OPWDD recommends that any individual who is symptomatic is tested for both influenza and COVID-19.
  • Providers do not need to notify the Local Health Department (LHD) for single cases of influenza. Clusters of cases must be reported to the LHD and local DDSOO Infection Control Officer or Nursing Program Coordinator
  • Once COVID-19 is ruled out via a negative test, an individual with an influenza diagnosis or influenza like illness (ILI) remains under activity restriction for 7 days from the onset of symptoms.
The guidance addresses (on page 6) the return to program conditions for an individual with influenza diagnosis when a primary care provider determines that an individual cannot or should not have antiviral medication therapy. However, the guidance does not address the return to program conditions if the individual or their guardian refuse the therapy. We are seeking clarification from OPWDD on this.
Please share this guidance with nursing staff and anyone involved in the management and reporting of influenza or COVID-19 cases.

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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