October 23, 2020

Important Health Advisory and Guidance for Congregate Facilities

Important Health Advisory and Guidance for Congregate Facilities
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Dear Stakeholders, 

Attached please find guidance issued today by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) regarding certified residential facilities located within certain geographic zones designated as high COVID-19 positivity clusters. The mitigation measures outlined in each are effective Sunday, October 25th at 3pm, and are part of Governor Cuomo's data-based strategy of aggressively responding to micro-clusters in order to limit COVID-19 spread via the Cluster Action Initiative.
 
Please be advised that the exception outlined by DOH regarding visitation for an essential companion applies only to those instances when an individual with I/DD is temporarily out of the home for hospitalization and requires support. There is no exception for visitation of an essential companion within a certified residential facility at this time. 

Home visits and community outings will remain allowable from OPWDD-certified residential settings to the extent they may be exercised safely and in compliance with all previously issued guidance.  We are hopeful that these additional restrictions will be extremely time limited and will help ensure the health and safety of all individuals who live within these areas, as well as their families and the staff that support them.  Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Theodore Kastner, MD MS
Commissioner


Interim COVID-19 Guidance: Designated Cluster Mitigation and Oversight
Health Advisory: All Residential Congregate Facilities
New York Forward Cluster Action Initiative