March 25, 2020 Update:

For Families, People Supported and Staff

A Message from Marco Damiani, CEO, AHRC New York City

As we enter another week of responding to the coronavirus, we see additional positive cases, as we would expect. These individuals are being well cared for and, as always, they are in our thoughts for a speedy return to good health.

This past week we witnessed the remarkable compassion, talent, and responsiveness of our thousands of staff. Staff who are working overtime to attend to someone’s needs; a manager that spends the night at a residence to be sure that there is adequate supervision and coverage in the house; nurses that work tirelessly to monitor the health and wellbeing of people in our programs and staff; inventive staff who are using technology to strengthen connections among one another, support people in need and their families and provide training; industrious staff who scour the Internet in search of facemasks and other protective equipment and are successful in increasing our supplies; devoted administrative staff that ensures our day-to-day financial, human resources, facility and IT needs continue to be met; highly committed managers that provide the local leadership so desperately needed right now; and our COVID-19 central response team that convenes every day to keep track of the myriad of issues and challenges we face and then deploys supports and strategies to the best of their abilities.

We will persevere and will meet these challenges, together.

Marco Damiani
CEO, AHRC New York City

As of today…

Almost all of us have likely been exposed to the virus, may not know it at this point and may never know it. Many that contract the virus will have mild to moderate symptoms that will resolve in a week or two.  A much smaller number of people will need access to appropriate treatment from medical professionals.

As regards programs:

  • The schools in New York City, including AHRC NYC’s schools are closed. The staff is engaged in distance learning with some students.
  • After school programs operated through AHRC NYC’s Recreation Department which take place in schools are closed.
  • Site-Based Day Habilitation programs and prevocational programs are temporarily suspended.
  • For people that reside in the community with their families, staff has contacted every family to review their needs and to assess our ability to provide other supports.
  • People living in AHRC NYC residences are being provided with extra activities in the residence.
  • We have put telehealth in all residences.
  • Online and virtual supports are being developed as well as other services to keep in touch and support people and families.
  • Additionally, AHRC NYC  is exploring our ability to provide additional Community Hab in the home.

Positive developments:

  • We have been successful in obtaining additional supplies of PPE (protective personal equipment) and are continuously in search of additional equipment.
  • The Governor has issued an Executive Order designating all of our staff as essential personnel. Staff are doing their best to perform vital responsibilities.

We will do our best to keep everyone informed using this communication method.  

FAMILIES, if you have not already done so, it is important that you send the following information to AHRC NYC by email using

  • The email address you prefer to receive communications
  • Your full name and the full name of your family member
  • Your cell phone or home number

STAFF, as this will be our primary method of communication going forward, we ask that you forward these communications to your colleagues if you suspect they are not receiving them. Staff who are not receiving these communications directly or who do not have an AHRC NYC email address should email with their full name and email address to enable communication.

This message can be viewed as a pdf file in the following languages:


Additional Resources – March 25, 2020

Suspension of Community Outings and Home Visits
Interim Billing Guidance for Providers of Day Habilitation, Prevocational and Day Treatment
Management of Coronavirus/COVID-19 in OPWDD Family Care Homes

New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH)
Guidance When Enjoying the Outdoors

U.S. Department of Health and Human and Services (DHHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
COVID-19 and HIPAA: Disclosures to Law Enforcement, Paramedics, other First Responders and Public Health Authorities