COVID-19 Update
July 16, 2020

OPWDD Supplements to Day Services Reopening Guidance
OPWDD recently published supplemental documents to their Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services.  These documents include:
  • The Day Program Site Attestation form referenced on page 2 of the Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services. 
  • The Day Program Safety Plan Template.
  • OPWDD's response to The Arc New York's comments and questions on the guidance documents.  These questions were raised to us by The Arc New York Chapters within 48 hours of the documents being published. We sent the questions to OPWDD's Commissioner and senior leadership. OPWDD provided a response within 24 hours. Some of the responses help clarify OPWDD's guidance. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services. This document incorporates most of the responses provided to the questions submitted by The Arc New York.
Both the Day Program Site Attestation and Safety Plan must be completed and submitted to for each OPWDD certified day program before reopening. OPWDD will not be individually approving the completed documents. Chapters may begin delivering services in accordance with the guidelines once the documents are submitted.

We reached out to OPWDD's Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Quality Improvement (DQI) to inquire about surveys of reopened day programs. OPWDD is currently working on protocols. However, they will take some time to finalize. OPWDD also shared that the surveys would be intended to assist and be non-disciplinary in nature.

OPWDD Revised Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services
This afternoon, OPWDD published a " Revised Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services." The revisions are underlined, and the most significant changes we made to the transportation guidance in section G. The guidance begins to address concerns we raised about the significant operational challenges created by the strict limitations established in the first iteration of the guidance. 
As a start towards addressing our concerns, the revised guidance now allows individuals and staff to travel together if they are traveling to or from the same day program. Furthermore, if individuals and staff reside or work in the same home and are traveling together to day programs, the 50% vehicle capacity reduction does not apply. If individuals or staff from multiple residences are in the same vehicle, the 50% vehicle reduction still applies.
We continue to give OPWDD feedback on the interim guidance documents. These  guidance documents are subject to change, so your comments and questions are very helpful. Please send any other comments and questions to John KemmerErik Geizer and/or Joshua Christiana.
NYSED School Reopening Guidance 
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) released a lengthy guidance document related to the re-opening of schools. The full document can be found here. The Board of Regents and Department's task was to create a framework to help guide schools and school districts as they continue to plan for school to return in the fall, whether instruction takes place in person, remotely, or through some combination of the two. That framework is presented in this guidance document.
CDC Natural Disasters and COVID-19 Response Website
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a new website dedicated to planning and preparing for natural disasters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are some great resource materials on various natural disasters that Chapters should review against their emergency preparedness plans.

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

This email was sent to:
  • President Jack Kowalczyk 
  • Board of Governors 
  • Chapter Presidents
  • Executive Directors 
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers  
  • HR Directors 
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  • Quality & Compliance Staff 
  • Joint Committee on Quality & Compliance 
  • Guardianship Coordinators 
  • State Office Staff