Welcome to our Covid Updates Page
COVID Update from Orange County Health Commissioner 8.12.21
PHA #21 Mask Recommendation and COVID Update
STEVEN M. NEUHAUS PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT
Dr. Irina Gelman, DPM, MPH, PhDc August 12, 2021
Commissioner of Health
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE TO AND POST CONSPICUOUSLY IN PEDIATRIC, FAMILY PRACTICE, PRIMARY CARE, EMERGENCY ROOM, INTERNAL MEDICINE, URGENT CARE, INFECTIOUS DISEASE, OB/GYN, EMERGENCY
MEDICAL SERVICES, LABORATORIES, AMBULATORY CARE STAFF, HOSPITALS, NURSING HOMES, ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES, SKILLED -NURSING FACILITIES, LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES, CONGREGATE LIVING SETTINGS, MUNICIPALITIES, COUNTY STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS, SENIOR ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESSES, ALL SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES, AND ORANGE COUNTY RESIDENTS.
PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT #21
COVID Update and Mask Recommendation in Orange County
As our community is experiencing a rise in cases, in large due to the Delta Variant, the Orange County Department of Health is recommending the continuation of mitigation strategies which allow for the safe reopening and operation of schools, businesses, and events. Due to the increased number of cases and the presence of the Delta variant in the County, the Orange County Department of Health strongly urges and recommends ALL PERSONS wear a mask when indoors in public, in accordance with CDC guidance.
Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Orange County. As of August 8, 2021, Orange County’s transmission rate was classified as HIGH by the CDC, up from SUBSTANTIAL two weeks ago, and MODERATE only two months ago. The average daily count of new COVID-19 cases over the last seven days has increased 115% from the previous week. Approximately 50% of the total population in Orange County is fully vaccinated, which leaves our community vulnerable to continued disease transmission. With the Delta variant
present in Orange County, it is imperative that health care providers encourage and residents adhere to the CDC Disease Prevention Guidelines including, but not limited to wearing masks when in public and vaccination among all eligible residents to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For more information about how you can get vaccinated, please visit the Orange County website: Orange County, NY | Official Website (orangecountygov.com) or call the Orange County Department of Health at (845) 291-2330. For more information about public health recommendation for fully vaccinated people, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-
COVID-19 Interim Guidance on Home Visits July 10, 2020
Revised: November 20, 2020 (Revisions underlined)
Home Visits for Individuals Residing in OPWDD Certified Residential Facilities
On March 24, 2020, OPWDD issued “Health Advisory: COVID-19 Suspension of Community Outings and Home Visits”, which suspended community outings and home visits for individuals living in certified residential facilities. This policy aimed to safeguard and maintain the health and wellbeing of residents and staff, while containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 during the State’s initial growth phase of the public health emergency.
OPWDD’s March 24, 2020 guidance related to home visits is hereby rescinded and replaced with the following guidance. Effective July 15, 2020 for regions of the State that have entered into Phase Four in accordance the New York Forward Reopening Plan, and until further notice, home visits may recommence for individuals living within OPWDD certified residential facilities, consistent with the restrictions herein.
A. Interim Requirements for Participating in Home Visits
Individuals may resume participation in home and family visits with all appropriate risk mitigation strategies in place. These include safe social distancing, use of masks or other face coverings when tolerated, meticulous attention to hand washing and proper cleaning and disinfection.
Families must be reminded that during any off-site visit, exposure to members of different households and to public places, in general, should be done with caution and on a limited basis. Good hygiene must be practiced and safe social distancing should be maintained, whenever possible. Consistent with Executive Order 202.17, masks must be worn in public whenever social distancing cannot be maintained, to the extent they can be medically tolerated.
Individuals may participate in home or family visits only if all of the following circumstances are met:
1. The individual is not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, and is not under any quarantine or isolation requirements;
2. The individual passes a health screen and temperature check immediately prior to leaving the certified residence;
3. The individual washes their hands immediately prior to their departure from and return to the residence;
4. The location(s) of the visit does not include: (a) any household member suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19; (b) any household member who has been exposed to COVID-19 in the prior 14 days; or (c) any household member displays any symptoms of COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days;
5. There shall be no travel to any state that is non-contiguous to NY (any state besides VT, CT, NJ, MA or PA) for more than a 24 hour period unless, upon return to NYS, the individual complies with any quarantine and/or testing protocols currently required by the NYS COVID-19 Travel Advisory prior to returning to their certified residence; and
6. Staff should remind families to ensure that individuals are washing and/or sanitizing hands throughout the day, implementing social distancing whenever possible, meeting current local requirements regarding indoor/outdoor gathering capacity limitations, and wearing face coverings whenever social distancing cannot be maintained in public.
Prior to home visits, staff should discuss strategies to best implement these practices and ensure that families have face coverings if needed
CRVI Coronavirus Reporting Hotline & COVID testing
As we all continue to remain vigilant to protect our supported individuals, ourselves, co-workers, families and community, we are again providing 24/7 support on the CRVI Coronavirus Reporting Hotline. The 24/7 Hotline phone number is 845.673.4038
This 24/7 hotline is strictly to be used for the following reasons:
- If you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 Coronavirus
- You are concerned about feeling ill or have symptoms of the virus or you have recently received a positive test result for COVID-19
In addition, if you need a COVID test, there are free testing sites available in each county. The Department of Health advises to contact your county DOH for information on location as there have been changes to locations. The DOH number for each county is included below.
Orange County Residents 845-291-2330
Sullivan County Residents (Public Health Services) 845-292-5910
Rockland County Residents 845-364-2512
Everyone’s safety and well being is top priority!
Our Respite is re-opened, following the guidelines put forth by OPWDD
Our Respite is open 7 days a week and we offering extended hours during this time, for to up to 6 guests.
We are open for
- 3- day visits 11a-7pm
- 3 - overnight guests from 2pm until 9am the next day
- We are monitoring all staff upon arrival to their shifts as well as monitoring the guest upon arrival and then every 24 hours while attending.
- Mask are to be worn at all times
- Sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces are done throughout the day.
If you have any questions or are interested in having your family member visit our Respite program, please call us at 845-695-6000
The attached document is for the COVID-19 Safety Plan for reopening Respite
COVID-19 Safety Plan for Respite
The attached documents are for the COVID 19 Safety Plans for Reopening Certified Day Programs
COVID-19 Safety Plan for Certified Day Program Reopening - Day Hab
COVID-19 Safety Plan for Certified Day Program - Community/Without Walls
Interim Guidance Regarding Community Outings for Individuals Residing in
OPWDD Certified Residential Facilities
Revised 08/25/2020 (new material underlined)
On March 24, 2020, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) issued “COVID- 19: Suspension of Community Outings and Home Visitation”. That guidance document is hereby rescinded and replaced with the following guidance related to community outings.
Effective July 15, 2020 for regions of the State that have entered into Phase Four in accordance the New York Forward Reopening Plan, community outings may resume for individuals living within OPWDD certified residential facilities. Furthermore, individuals may resume low risk activities, such as going to medical or professional service appointments and work, and participating in community-based outings, as described below, to the extent permitted by NY Forward, and consistent with the restrictions of this guidance and all applicable NYS directives.
A. Interim Restrictions for Community Outings from Certified Residential Facilities
In order to prevent further community spread or increased risk of infection, residential providers shall ensure that the following conditions are met:
• Individuals shall not participate in community outings if any individual or staff member working in the home is suspected or confirmed positive for COVID-19;
• Any person who had close or proximate contact to a confirmed positive individual within the last 14 days, or any person experiencing symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19, such as cough, fever, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, chills, muscle pain, new or worsening headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell must not participate in a community outing. Individuals that are close or proximate contacts or experiencing symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider or local health department for recommended next steps;
• The number of individuals permitted in a community outing shall be at the discretion of the facility, based on the ability to maintain safety, but should be as small as possible. Groups shall include no more than 10 people inclusive of staff members and should be completed only with individuals in regular contact (e.g. roommates or housemates);
• Low risk, outdoor activities are encouraged whenever possible;
• Community outings to stores, outdoor restaurants, salons, etc., should be extremely limited in frequency and duration and must abide by the capacity limitations of such locations;
• Planned recreational community outings should be limited to one location per day for any individual participating;
• Hands should be washed/sanitized immediately prior to leaving the home and immediately upon return to the home;
• Staff must bring hand sanitizer and ensure all individuals are washing and/or sanitizing hands throughout the community outing, whenever surfaces such as door handles, counters, public benches, and store shelves are touched;
• Social distancing principles must be adhered to, to the greatest extent possible;
• Face coverings shall be brought on public outings and individuals must be encouraged to wear the covering at all times. Everyone who is medically able to tolerate a mask must wear one when unable to maintain social distancing;
• There should be no unnecessary interaction with other members of the public while on a community outing; and
• When planning outings, staff should be aware of various capacity restrictions for businesses and should consider calling ahead, where possible, to ensure group size can be accommodated
Individuals who participate in community outings without staff present must be provided with hand sanitizer and a face covering and should understand the risks and obligations of public exposure, as well as the expectations regarding reporting as outlined below.
B. Interim Transportation Requirements for Community Outings
Community outings requiring transportation to and from a location should be implemented on a limited basis and only when providers of certified residential facilities can ensure that all infection control and mitigation strategies will be applied during the transportation of individuals to and from community outings. The following measures will be required in order to transport individuals for community outings:
• Only individuals and staff from the same residence are to be transported together. Individuals or staff from other residences should not be intermingled for purposes of transportation;
• Capacity on buses, vans, and other vehicles should be reduced to 50% of total capacity to maximize social distancing and reduce COVID-19 transmission risks; however, individuals and staff who reside/work together in the same home may be transported together in the same vehicle without a vehicle capacity reduction
• To the greatest extent possible, individuals and staff should restrict close contact by not sitting near each other or the driver. The use of directional tape and signage can assist in accomplishing this. Additionally, if there are multiple doors in a bus or van, one-way entering and exiting should be utilized. Individuals should be directed to not exit the vehicle at once, instead following driver or staff instruction on exiting one person at a time;
• To the extent individuals can medically tolerate a face covering, individuals, staff, and the driver must wear face coverings at all times in the vehicle. Staff who cannot medically tolerate the use of a face covering should not be assigned to transport individuals;
• After each trip is completed, the interior of the vehicle should be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected before additional individuals are transported.
• Where appropriate and safe, windows should be rolled down to permit air flow.
C. Interim Documentation Requirements for Community Outings
In order to be able to sufficiently trace and track any potential COVID-19 exposure, in addition to the requirements set forth above, providers are required to maintain a daily log of all community outings from the home. Logs must contain the following information:
• The names of all individuals and staff members who participate in each community outing throughout the day;
• Confirmation that each person passed the daily health screen and temperature check, per OPWDD’s April 28, 2020 guidance, “Revised Staff Guidance for the Management of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Facilities or Programs Operated and/or Certified by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities”, available at https://opwdd.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/06/6.12.2020-opwdd_covid19_staffguidance_updated-symptoms.pdf, and any successor thereto;
• The location, including address, where the community outing occurred;
• The times the outing started and ended;
• The transportation that was used for each outing, where applicable; and
• Any additional notes that are relevant or may inform increased precaution on future outings. These logs may be required to be produced to OPWDD at any time.
We thought you would be interested in Senator Gillibrand's Message regarding New York's I/DD Community:
Senator Gillibrand’s Message to New York’s I/DD Community: “Lift Your Voices Up”
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) met with members of New York’s intellectual and developmental disabilities advocacy community this week to hear from them and offer her support of the field. Senator Gillibrand stated that this type of outreach with elected officials is important and continued advocacy is key so that decision makers in Washington, D.C. and the State of New York know what’s happening in the disabilities community.
New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) organized the virtual meeting with the Senator so that providers, family members and self-advocates could learn more about the status of COVID-19 related legislation including the Heroes Act and other legislation that will address inequities in the disabilities field. Senator Gillibrand joined the meeting for over 30 minutes and informed the attendees that she is an ardent supporter of increased Medicaid funds to states and localities, allowing for Medicaid reimbursement for caregivers, increased Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP) for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) as well as new federal grant funding for HCBS and ensuring that there’s no subminimum wage to ensure equal pay for equal work.
Senator Gillibrand acknowledged that the I/DD community is one that stands together and continued to urge meeting attendees to inform elected officials on the needs of the sector so that we survive the pandemic and thrive afterward.
We hope this update finds you well. We are happy to report to you that once again this week, we have no new positive COVID-19 cases at any of our residences. We would like acknowledge the continued diligence our staff is showing in caring for the people we support and keeping them healthy and safe.
Community outings have begun with some of the individuals. Outings are done with great caution and all staff and people supported are following the guidelines provided to them.
We are working on the re-opening of our Day Hab program. This is quite involved as we are working on guidelines with OPWDD as well as our transportation company. There are many guidelines and logistics to work out. As soon as we have information to pass along to you, we will.
As a reminder, home visits and visits to our residences are now permitted. You can see the information on both of these visiting options in our posts below.
We wish for your continued good health and we will continue to update you.
07.16.2020 OPWDD Gives "Go Ahead" for Family Visits
We hope you and your family are doing well and enjoying the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having. We are very happy to tell you that we have been given the “go-ahead” by OPWDD to begin family visits. We know how you have missed visiting with your loved one and even more so, they have missed you. Additionally, community outings, day habilitation and respite will begin again too.
As with everything we do, our first concern is the health and safety of your loved one and all of the people we support. Precautions have been put into place to insure everyone’s health is the priority. Safe social distancing, use of a mask or face covering, hand washing and/or hand sanitizer will be necessary. During home visits, we remind you that exposure to people from households other than your own should be done with caution and on a limited basis. Additionally, upon return to their residence, addresses of all places visited and the names of people who spent time with your loved one during the visit must be provided to their residence staff.
Below, you will find a list of protocols that meet OPWDD’s guidelines; these protocols will need to be followed prior to and during a visit. As always, your visit should be scheduled through the Residence Manager of your family member’s home. We are excited that you’ll be able to have home visits with your loved one again!
Guidelines for Home Visitation
- Safe social distancing
- Use of mask or face covering as tolerated
- Good hand hygiene (hand washing or use of hand sanitizer)
- Proper cleaning and disinfecting, especially in “high-touch” areas
- During home visit, exposure to people outside of your household should be done cautiously and on a limited basis
Home and family visits can occur if the following are met:
Staff will remind families to ensure the person is washing and/or sanitizing their hands throughout the day, implementing social distancing whenever possible, and wearing face coverings whenever social distancing cannot be maintained in public. Prior to home visits, staff will discuss strategies with the family to best implement these practices
- The individual is not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 and is not under quarantine or isolation precautions
- The individual passes a health screen and temperature check immediately prior to leaving the residence
- The individual washes their hands immediately prior to leaving the residence and immediately upon returning to the residence
- The location of the visit does not include: any household member suspected of or confirmed to have COVID-19; any household member has been exposed to COVID-19 in the prior 14 days; any household member who displays any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days (cough, fever of 100°F or greater, sore throat, shortness of breath, headache, or chills)
- This information will need to be confirmed, in a screening tool, prior to leaving the CRVI residence.
Questions about home visitation should be addressed with your family member’s Residence Manager.
As of today, we are pleased to report that we do not have any positive cases of COVID-19. Our staff continues to take all precautions to ensure that our residents remain healthy.
We continue to allow visitation to family members at our homes. Please contact the Residence Management Team at your family members residence to set up your visit.
As of today, we currently do not have any residents who are positive. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have had 12 residents who have tested positive. Considering the number of people supported is approximately 375, we are fortunate that number isn’t higher. Family members and representatives of residents who live in a house with a positive patient have all been notified.
Our staff continues to work diligently to come up with fun and creative ways to keep our residents busy and entertained. In individual residences, we’ve held dance parties, holiday barbecues, birthday parties, and even a fair, complete with face painting and games! We have also had a “heroes luncheon” at all of our residences to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication to the people we support throughout this challenging time. These luncheons were made possible by donations from families and friends as well as the CRVI Foundation.
We will continue to keep you and your family informed as we start to enter the next phase of this very challenging time.
June 15, 2020
We hope you and your family are well. Each day we hear more about COVID-19 and the impact on our world, nation and local communities. We take stock of how it’s changed our lives and look forward to a day when things return to normal. With that in mind we want to keep you informed of what we’re doing to ensure the safety of your loved ones and our employees.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have had 12 residents who have tested positive. Considering the number of people supported is approximately 375, we are fortunate that number isn’t higher. We currently do not have any residents who are positive. Family members and representatives of residents who live in a house with a positive patient have all been notified.
Some of our residents and employees who tested positive for the infection remained asymptomatic. This is one reason extensive testing is so crucial, and why it is our best method of prevention along with quarantining. As test availability has increased nationwide, so has testing availability at our locations.
CRVI continues to implement extensive safety protocols to limit the spread of the virus in our homes and other facilities. These collective efforts have been critical and successful in protecting our residents and employees. These include resident health monitoring, implementation of appropriate isolation protocols, continuing our no visitor policy, eliminating communal activities, employee screenings and temperature checks before each shift, appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper social distancing to limit personal contact. We’ve attached a brief description of these steps.
Our staff has been diligently working to come up with fun and creative ways to keep our residents busy and entertained. In individual residences, we’ve held dance parties, holiday barbecues, birthday parties, and even a fair, complete with face painting and games! We have also had a “heroes luncheon” at all of our residences to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication to the people we support throughout this challenging time. These luncheons were made possible by donations from families and friends as well as the CRVI Foundation.
We will continue to keep you and your family informed as we start to enter the next phase of this very challenging time.
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