COVID-19 Update
August 28, 2020

OPWDD Webinar on Billing Flexibility Now Available
The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has posted the recording of their August 25 webinar on the new day service billing flexibilities. The presentation addressed recent billing guidance issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OPWDD provided an overview of the additional billing protocols providers may implement following the conclusion of the Day Services Retainer Program to support ongoing Day Services reopening. The webinar is now available for viewing here.   

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

As of August 26, 2020:
  • 3,437 individuals supported have been confirmed to have COVID-19
  • 2,770 of these cases involve individuals residing in certified residential facilities
  • There have been 464 deaths relating to COVID-19
    • 90% of deaths are located in the downstate region (NYC, LI, Rockland, Putnam, Westchester, Orange, Nassau, Suffolk)
    • 83% of deaths are attributed to individuals that are 50 or older 
    • 61% of deaths are men
    • 80% of those who have passed away also had one or more comorbidities (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, dementia, cancer, etc...)
  • 4,216 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.

CDC Simple Guidance on Wearing, Selecting and Cleaning Masks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently posted easy-to-read guidance on wearing, selecting and cleaning masks. Their updated web page offers simple guidance with images that might be useful when discussing masks with the people we support and our employees.

Update: Employee Payroll Tax Deferral
On August 8, President Trump issued an executive order, which would defer the employee share of payroll tax on wages and compensation paid during the period of September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

As part of the executive order, the Secretary of the Treasury was to issue guidance pertaining to the implementation of the memorandum prior to the September 1 start date. As of August 27, no such guidance has been provided. While no official postponement has been made, concerns of a September 1 start date have been widely voiced by organizations across the country. Efforts to clarify the order are continually underway.

We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.

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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