COVID-19 Update
January 4, 2020

Reporting COVID-19 Vaccination to OPWDD 
The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) worked with the Office for Mental Hygiene (OMH) and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) to develop a consistent tool to gather information on COVID-19 vaccination across the three agencies. Developed using the REDCap platform, the tool will provide OPWDD the ability to gather information in a way that can be consolidated for reporting externally to providers and to the Executive Chamber. 

The survey tool is designed to gather site-specific demographic data from providers at the program level. A weekly survey will be sent to collect new data from the previous 7 days, as well as some cumulative information. The data points will include the number of employees and individuals at the site, the number of employees and individuals receiving the first and second dose, the number of employees and individuals who refused vaccination, and the number of employees who were unwilling to disclose. Additional information will be collected, such as the location of vaccination (onsite and offsite). The main goal of the survey is to measure vaccine uptake. Names of staff will not be reported, just numbers. 

The survey link will be sent to the provider's Chief Executive Officer and dedicated Incident Management Unit emails. Data will be collected through close of business on Wednesdays, reviewed by OPWDD on Thursdays, and reported out on Fridays. 

Training on the survey and reporting requirements is being finalized and will occur either this Wednesday or Thursday. Notice of training will be circulated to all providers once finalized.
OPWDD also answered some questions from providers.

Q: Is this reporting only for people receiving the vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Facilities Program (i.e., the 414 identified sites and the Pfizer vaccine)?
A: The reporting is for all residential providers, regardless of vaccine type.
Q: Are providers to input data every time it changes or weekly updates?
A: These are weekly updates.
Q: Which facilities will need to report?
A: ICFs, Supervised & Supportive IRA, and Family Care.
Q: Are staff in the residences included?
A: Yes. The data includes both for staff and individuals.
Q: When is the first report due?
A: OPWDD intends to develop the first report this week. Several pieces of demographic information are already prepopulated (operating certificate, program addresses, etc.)
Q: How will staff who are working across multiple locations be reported?
A: OPWDD would like to avoid duplication. Ultimately, providers will need to designate an employee to one facility. For individuals, whoever administers the first vaccine is responsible for administering the second.
Q: What does OPWDD anticipate reporting out?
A: This is still being determined.
Q: Is OPWDD considering how to address people who live in community settings?
A: OPWDD is thinking about this internally, and has discussed this with OMH. More information will follow. 
Q: What about RNs reporting to a specific site?
A: That is how the current survey works. OPWDD is going to go back and review this.
Q: Is each provider going to get an email every Wednesday?
A: The email will come to the CEO and the dedicated mailbox from the survey tool automatically each week. You will not be able to use a previous week's survey link.
Q: Will feedback be provided to the provider community on vaccination progress, both statewide and regionally?
A: Yes.
Q: Will data from the previous reporting period be available in the next reporting period?
A: A summary is built into the survey that shows what was previously reported.
The Arc New York and New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) data work group have developed a set of data points that will be incorporated within the weekly reporting by The Arc New York Chapters through the Chapter Information System (CIS). In light of the information shared today, we are revisiting these data points to better align them with those being captured by OPWDD, so fewer data points are being requested. The Arc New York and NYDA will be analyzing the data to inform operational decisions and advocacy. We will discuss the data points in detail during our weekly call with the Chapters on Wednesday.

NADSP Webinar: Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines for Direct Support Professionals
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals developed a 15-minute video addressing the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as some common myths. This video can be a great resources when discussing the COVID-19 vaccine with DSPs. We encourage all Chapters to view the video and share it with staff.

NYSDOH Week Five Vaccination Prioritization Guidance
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) published week five of their COVID-19 vaccination prioritization guidance. The guidance further details the requirements to prioritize employee vaccination, the proof of occupation documentation that employees need when seeking vaccination, and the requirements communicated during the Governor's press conference today that all doses of vaccine must be administered within the week received. Providers who cannot meet this requirement may be subject to penalties and fines.
Please review this document carefully and share with all parties who are responsible for scheduling vaccination of staff or people supported.
NYSDOH Recognition of Vaccine Advocacy
We recently received acknowledgement from the NYSDOH regarding our recommendations on vaccine prioritization. Although the success regarding prioritization is somewhat "old news" at this point, formal recognition of our efforts is important. 
NYSDOH Vaccine Provider MOU
NYSDOH published a memorandum of understanding between the Department and any entity that intends to act as an "Authorized Vaccine Provider."  Chapters (or clinics) that expect to be receiving, storing, and administering the COVID-19 vaccine will be expected to execute this document.  
Executive Order 202.87
Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.87 on December 30, 2020, extending the provisions of the earlier EOs, including 202.55, 202.60, 202.72 and 202.79, which provided the previous extensions of flexibility on criminal background checks (CBC) and abbreviated training. The flexibility is now extended through January 29, 2021. 
We have confirmed with OPWDD that the flexibility afforded in OPWDD's interim guidance on CBC and trainings is also extended. As a reminder, we detailed these guidance documents in our August 6 COVID-19 Update

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, Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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