COVID-19 Update
November 10, 2020

NYSDOH Update to Interim Guidance on Out of State Travel
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued an update to their October 8 "Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out of State Travel." The update addresses the revised New York State Travel Advisory protocols. We detailed the protocols in our November 4 COVID-19 Update.

OPWDD Revised Return to Work Protocols & Staffing Guidance for Management of COVID-19
Today, The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) published two revised guidance documents. The July 29 Return to Work Protocols have been updated to address the Governor's recent change to the New York State Travel Advisory protocols. The substantive revisions appear in section B of the document.

Section B of the Return to Work Protocols represents a notable change in policy from the prior guidance. Employees that return to New York from travel of more than 24 hours from a noncontiguous state must quarantine for 14 days unless the specific conditions outlined in the guidance are met. The minimum quarantine period is 4 days, and a second negative test result must be received following return from travel and prior to return to work. Previously, an employee who traveled could return to work if they were asymptomatic and received a diagnostic test within 24 hours of arrival. Additional prevention and health screening measures had to be met.

The July 29 Staff Guidance for Management of COVID-19 was also revised. The revisions to this guidance incorporate OPWDD's guidance on cluster mitigation and interim visitation guidance for certified Supportive Residential facilities. We detailed these guidance documents in our October 26 and October 29 COVID-19 Updates, respectively.

Chapters should review this guidance closely and update any associated policies and procedures.

OPWDD shared data regarding the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to COVID-19 within the service system. 

As of November 4, 2020:
  • 3,906 individuals supported have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • 3,107 of these cases involve individuals residing in certified residential facilities.
  • There have been 477 deaths relating to COVID-19.
  • 4,911 staff have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
OPWDD has not yet supplied more detailed data regarding COVID-19 cases by setting. As a reminder, New York state maintains data on cases by county here.

New York Times Coverage of COVID Risk for I/DD Population
The New York Times published a story today outlining the elevated risk COVID-19 poses for people with I/DD and emphasizing the importance of including this high- risk population in plans for vaccine prioritization. The story references a new analysis of insurance claims data, as well as the Syracuse University reports previously published analyzing The Arc New York and other NYDA member agency data. Thank you to all Chapters for your participation in our weekly COVID Impact Surveys. Your efforts continue to forward our advocacy and inform our response to COVID-19. 

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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