April 17, 2020

The COVID-19 virus is taking a disproportionate toll on our most vulnerable population. The New York times, in a recent  article,  reported that, as of Monday, April 7, 1,100 of the 140,000 people with developmental disabilities had tested positive for the virus; 105 people had died. 

This rate is much higher than in the general population and  similar to the toll in some nursing homes. New York Disability Advocates similarly reported that residents of group homes and similar facilities in New York City and surrounding areas were 5.34 times more likely than the general population to develop Covid-19 and 4.86 times more likely to die from it. What's more, nearly 10 percent of the homes' residents were displaying Covid-like symptoms but had not yet been tested, according to the consortium. National news  reports  indicate even more concerns.

OPWDD Guidelines

To assist, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has released guidance  documents to staff and voluntary provider agencies regarding visitation and quarantine protocols at their facilities. Yet the guidance had proven ineffective to protect individuals, as the system is inherently flawed due to a shortage of qualified workers, insufficient supplies and not enough monitoring. 

In this crisis, it is even more challenging, as due to the state of emergency, most facilities limit or preclude family member visits. Most family members can only bring their loved ones home, if they are willing to agree to an indefinite and uncertain date of return. Due to the New York State of emergency, unfortunately, certain OPWDD regulations may have been temporarily suspended, such as increased flexibility on written treatment plans for individuals. It is important for family members to monitor situations as closely possible.

  • Monday, April 20, 2020
  • 12:00 PM (EST)
Learn about the Provisions of a Free Appropriate Public Education for Students during the COVID-19 Shutdown. Marion will respond to questions and why the need to properly plan is crucial right now. She will discuss how we can respond to your needs and questions through teleconferencing, videoconferencing and emails.
Registration is required for this event and seating is limited.
Register here.

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We are available to work around your busy schedule to address your legal needs. Ask us about evening hours and virtual appointment options. Please call 914-684-2100 or 212-490-2020 or send an email to icastillo@littmankrooks.com 

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