COVID-19 Update
June 16, 2020

Visitation at Residential Programs to Resume Friday
Governor Cuomo announced during his daily press briefing that group homes certified by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) may resume visitations at their discretion beginning Friday, June 19. 

Visitors will be required to wear masks and will be subject to symptom and temperature checks. Cuomo indicated that providers must notify the state once they reopen for visitation and follow state guidelines, but the specific details remain unclear. We have reached out to OPWDD and anticipate further guidance within the week. 

While restrictions on visitation were understandable during this public health crisis, we realize they put immense emotional strain on loved ones who have been separated for months. In response to concerns from families, The Arc New York advocated with OPWDD senior leadership to move forward on reopening visitation in our residential programs, with appropriate precautions and procedures  to ensure the health and safety of the people we support, our staff and communities. 

We thank families for their patience and understanding throughout this challenging time, and staff throughout the state for finding innovative ways to sustain connections between family and friends. 

Research Article Examines COVID Impact on Individuals with I/DD
The Disability and Health Journal published an article, "Intellectual and developmental disability and COVID-19 case fatality trends: TriNetX analysis,"  which examines COVID outcomes between individuals with and without I/DD. The Arc New York and New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) are working with the article's author to facilitate further data-based research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with I/DD. 
Today Show Segment and Recent Media Coverage 
Tune in to NBC's Today Show tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. The Arc Westchester will be featured in a special report about the challenges facing residential homes during the COVID-19 crisis.

Newsday released a story on a Disability Rights New York complaint that the state discriminated against  people with disabilities and the workers who care for them by not providing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. The coverage includes an interview with  AHRC Nassau. 
The Arc of Rockland was quoted in this lohud story chronicling families' growing frustration with the state's silence on lifting OPWDD group home visitation restrictions. 

FDA Rescinds Emergency Use Authorization for Hydroxychloroquine 
On Monday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rescinded the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. This revocation is based in large part upon lack of data supporting improved outcomes for patients treated with the drug and potential adverse cardiac events. More detailed information can be found 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 , Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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