October 30, 2020
IMPORTANT UPDATE & GUIDANCE FOR DAY PROGRAMS
Dear Parent/Guardian/Family Member,
I write to you today to provide an update on our ongoing responses to the Coronavirus
pandemic, and steps we are taking in response to the Governor's recent announcement of
his 'cluster action initiative'. OPWDD has issued guidance to providers on actions they
must take if programs are located in a Red, Orange, or Yellow Zone. That guidance can
be read in full here, or by typing the following web address into your browser:
Currently, none of our day habilitation programs are located within a yellow, orange, or
red zone. OPWDD will be notifying providers if any program they operate are located in a
Red, Orange or Yellow Zone. Should we receive notification that we have any programs
in any zone we will take the following steps:
Red Zone: Any site based program located in a Red Zone will temporarily close. We will
make every effort to relocate your family member to an alternate Site that is not located
in a Red or Orange zone. This may not be possible in every situation due to limited
transportation capacity and limited capacity at sites. We will prioritize services for people
living in the community, family members of front line workers and first responders, and
those with significant needs.
Orange Zone: Any site based program located in an Orange Zone will temporarily close.
We will make every effort to relocate your family member to an alternate site that is not
located in a Red or Orange zone. This may not be possible in every situation due to
limited transportation capacity and limited capacity at sites. We will prioritize services
for people living in the community, family members of front line workers and first
responders, and those with significant needs.
Yellow Zone: Programs remain open if they are located in a Yellow Zone. We will be
encouraging staff to go for weekly testing, or more frequently if they wish to. We
encourage people supported to go for regular testing as well as their family members.
Tests are available at no cost to staff at Garnet Health Urgent Care locations in Orange
and Sullivan County. Attached to this letter is a listing of test sites in Orange and
Q. What if I live in a Red, Orange or Yellow Zone, and attend a program outside of the zone?
A. If you live in a Red or Orange Zone attendance at program will be determined on an
Individual basis (the Care Manager or QIDP will be asked to facilitate a meeting) taking
Into account the following considerations:
- Individual medical conditions and risk profile
- Family situation and status
If you live in a Yellow Zone, program will operate with additional testing recommended for
Staff and people supported.
Q. What if your staff live in a Red, Orange, Or Yellow Zone and work in a program outside of
A. We are checking daily and advising those staff that live in an identified zone to go for
Testing. We require all staff to wear necessary PPE while at work, and to maintain social
Distancing. Our programs have been reconfigured to minimize all unnecessary contact
Between individual groups and staff, and between staff not working with the same group.
We understand that program closures have significant impact on your daily routines, and
Those of your family. We will work with you in circumstances where we have to close a
Program to provide services - either remotely if this is a format that works for your family
Member, or in person using the array of service flexibilities we have been provided with
During this pandemic. We will communicate with you by phone, email, and social media if
We have a program location in a zone, about the type of zone and impact on our programs.
Please reach out to your program manager if you have additional questions.
Kevin Larragy, Associate Executive Director
Day Program Reopening Plan
On July 15, 2020 the Interim Guidance Regarding the Reopening of Day Services Certified by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (Revised) was sent to all providers. This communication is to inform OPWDD day service providers of an additional requirement regarding day service reopening safety plans.
Individuals, families, other caregivers and Care Managers must be able to make decisions about each individual’s participation in day services. To that end, each day service must consider individuals specific needs and circumstances to ensure they are able to participate to the largest extent possible. In addition, OPWDD day services must provide access to the day service safety plans so appropriate parties are able to review the plan remotely and without the need to specifically request each plan from the agency.
Download & view safety guidelines as we reopen day programs: