COVID-19 Update
March 4, 2021

Travel Advisory Update
Governor Cuomo announced Wednesday that the New York state Travel Advisory guidelines will be updated. Domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine or test-out within 90 days of full vaccination. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has yet to update the Travel Advisory guidance to reflect this announcement. This represent a significant change and provides some relief for those employees and people supported who are vaccinated and travel. It can also serve as an incentive to consider receiving a vaccine. 

This adjustment is similar to the CDC guidance that allows people who are fully vaccinated to be exempt from quarantine following close contact with someone with COVID-19 for up to 90 days from the date of full vaccination. After 90 days they would be again subject to quarantine orders.

We will share more information as it becomes available. 
NYSDOH Week 12 Vaccination Prioritization Guidance
The New York State Department of Health recently published their COVID-19 vaccination prioritization guidance for week 12. While there are no significant changes to the guidance that impact the eligibility of people we support and the employees, it is important to note that the eligibility standard for employees of congregate settings overseen by OPWDD is contact with residents. Administrative or other staff who do not have contact with people supported in these settings would not be considered eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Employees may be eligible outside of their work role if they meet other criteria, such as having one of the comborbidities or underlying conditions listed on page 7 of the guidance. 
Study on COVID-19 Cases in Nursing Homes Post-Vaccine
The Center for Health Policy Evaluation in Long-Term Care published a report on COVID-19 case rates at nursing homes. The study included a comparison of nursing homes who received early doses of COVID-19 vaccine to those that had not. Notably, the nursing homes that had the earlier vaccine availability experienced a 48% decline in cases, compared to a 21% decline among those nursing homes without the vaccine. 
This is the first study of its kind and the results show a promising outcome as a result of vaccination.
The New York Times published a story on the study, which can be read here.
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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