Quality & Compliance Update
March 9, 2020

Managing Staff Exposure to COVID-19
In follow up to earlier communications, we wanted to provide resources regarding potential staff exposure to COVID-19. If Chapters learn that a member of their workforce has come into contact with persons confirmed to have COVID-19, it is important that they immediately consult their local health department.  Chapter administration should be aware of their local health department contact information and include this in emergency communication plans. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published "Interim Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)." This guidance may be useful for Chapter administration if confronted with a question of staff exposure to a person confirmed with COVID-19. 

The guidance makes it clear that restriction from work of asymptomatic personnel who have come into contact with persons confirmed with COVID-19 is not the only protection available to healthcare providers. The appropriate protection is determined by the level of exposure risk, which can be mitigated by reducing the length of time that personnel encounter the person and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Education and Communication with Stakeholders
Considering a significant amount of information is being published on COVID-19, it is important that Chapters stay informed and communicate with all stakeholders on proactive measures being taken to manage the spread of infectious disease. 

Toward this effort, the CDC has published template letters for use. 
Several Chapters have already released communications to individuals, family members and staff, alerting them to steps that can be taken to assist with controlling the spread of infectious disease. We have included some samples for your reference.
Should you have a confirmed COVID-19 case at your Chapter, please reach out to us, so we can support you and work with OPWDD, as they have requested regular updates.  If you would like assistance in reviewing any communications you develop, please do not hesitate to reach out to Kate Geurin, Associate Executive Director for Communications, for support. 

Chapters should educate workforce members on the importance of contacting their healthcare provider should they experience any sign and symptoms of respiratory infection. Additionally, immediate notification must be made to Chapter administration. Workforce members should not report to their shift if they have signs and symptoms of respiratory infection and instead immediately notify Chapter administration.

Informational Videos, Webinars and Posters
Nixon Peabody LLP is offering two webinars pertaining to COVID-19. 
  • COVID-19 Update-Health Care:  Essential steps for hospitals and health care entities to prepare and respond now  Tuesday, March 10, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    Register here
  • Coronavirus: Preparing Employers for Impact Wednesday, March 11, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
    Register here
The CDC has developed a variety of communication resources, including videos and simple posters to help educate the workforce and alleviate fear. We encourage Chapters to review these materials and consider incorporating them into your own workforce training materials.  

We will continue to monitor CDC publications, and work with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to keep Chapters informed and prepared to manage this emerging situation. We will share additional resources as we gather them.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. 

Josh Christiana , Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations
Angela Charlap, Director for Quality Improvement & Compliance 
Mike McIntyre, Quality & Compliance Specialist 

This email was sent to:
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