Updates for People Supported, Families, & AHRC NYC Staff

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 ensure 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. Staff is engaging 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 stayintouch@ahrcnyc.org.

  • 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 stayintouch@ahrcnyc.org with their full name and email address to enable communication.

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

Coronavirus_Families_3.25.20_Spanish
Coronavirus_Families_3.25.20_Chinese
Coronavirus_Families_3.25.20_Russian


Additional Resources – March 25, 2020

OPWDD
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


Make a Difference for People with Disabilities
Donate to the COVID-19 Relief Fund

We are working nonstop to attend to the needs of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Your gift to the COVID-19 Relief Fund helps to purchase personal protective equipment, provide expanded medical and mental health services, increase our technical capacity, and so much more.

DONATE TODAY

Please help us get through this unprecedented crisis. We will persevere and will meet these challenges, together.


Archived Updates

Previously-published updates can be accessed below:


March 20, 2020 Update:

FOR FAMILIES, PEOPLE SUPPORTED, AND STAFF

As always AHRC New York City’s highest priority is the health and safety of ALL members of our community. We continue to be in touch with OPWDD, the NYC and State Departments of Health (DOH) and the CDC. We are closely following their recommendations. We continue to use excellent infection control procedures and follow the guidance of public health experts.

Many of us have likely been exposed to the virus and may not 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.

Not surprisingly, we now have several confirmed instances of COVID-19 at AHRC NYC. The affected individuals are receiving excellent care and we wish them speedy recoveries.

AHRC NYC Programs:

  • NYC’s Mayor made the difficult decision to close the schools in New York City, this includes AHRC NYC’s schools.
  • After school programs operated through AHRC NYC’s Recreation Department which take place in our Department of Education schools are closed.
  • Site-Based Day Habilitation programs with and without walls and prevocational programs began temporary suspension of programs on March 18th.
  • People that live in AHRC NYC residences are being provided with extra activities in the residence.
  • We are putting telehealth in all residences.
  • Online and virtual supports are being developed for day hab, the clinic, recreation and other services to keep in touch and support people and families.
  • For people that reside in the community with their families, staff is contacting every family to review their needs and to assess our ability to provide other supports.
  • Additionally, AHRC NYC is exploring our ability to provide additional Community Hab in the home.

AHRC NYC Positive Developments:

  • We have been successful in obtaining additional supplies of PPE – protective personal equipment—such as masks, gloves and gowns to use in very specific circumstances.
  • The Governor has issued an Executive Order designating our direct service and clinical staff as essential personnel.  Staff are doing their best to come to assigned work locations and performing vital responsibilities.

We will attempt to keep everyone informed. We request that all families send their personal email address to stayintouch@ahrcnyc.org. Please include the name of your family member, your name and cell phone number or home number in order to facilitate communication.

For up to date information on AHRC NYC’s response to the Coronavirus, visit our website at www.ahrcnyc.org. For questions about health and personal issues, call your doctor and/or contact the Department of Health at 888-364-3065 or at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

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

Coronavirus_Families_3.20.20_English
Coronavirus_Families_3.20.20_Spanish
Coronavirus_Families_3.20.20_Chinese
Coronavirus_Families_3.20.20_Russian

Stress Management Tips from NYC Health:

coping with stress disease outbreak


March 19, 2020 Update:

Numbers from Health NY.gov, @ 7:52 pm (3/18/2020)

  • New York City – 1871 (+165)
  • New York State – 3086 (+1400)

Update from NYC (3/18/2020)

  • DOH has updated the status of the current spread to “Community Spread”.
  • Guidance from NYC on self-monitoring and work restrictions for healthcare workers (Click here)

Update from NYS / OPWDD (3/18/2020)

  • A new instruction has been issued from OPWDD regarding the contact tracing process for individuals and staff who have been exposed to Covid-19.
  • Cuomo increase the density control, mandating 75% of the employee base must work from home.
    • Authority to take emergency action on operating certificates (MHL 16.17)
    • Deviation from service plans (14 NYCRR 633.12, Part 636)
    • Restriction on visitors
    • Abbreviated training & med administration
  • Interim guidance for community habilitation services (Click here).
  • Health Advisory: COVID-19 Guidance for Operators of Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs), Community Residences (CRs) and Private Schools Regarding Visitation (Click here)
  • Direct support professionals defined as essential employees (Click here)
  • An OPWDD document repository has been created by OPWDD and collects all printable materials, guidance documents, health advisories, and webinars (Click here)

March 18, 2020 Update:

Numbers from Health NY.gov, @ 7:44 pm (3/17/2020)

  • New York City – 1706 (+737)
  • New York State – 814 (+351)

World Health Organization / Federal / CDC (3/16/2020)

Update from NYC (3/17/2020)

Update from NYS / OPWDD (3/16/2020 – 3/17/2020)

CONTACT NUMBERS

  • DOH Corona Virus Hotline for health providers: 866-692-3641
  • Department of Health 24/7 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
  • To receive regular updates on the latest developments text COVID to 692-692

STANDING GUIDANCE FROM NYS DOH

  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  • Consider telecommuting, biking or walking to work if possible.
  • Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
  • Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.

March 17, 2020 Update:

As always AHRC New York City’s highest priority is the health and safety of ALL members of our community.

We at AHRC NYC are staying informed and are in touch with the NYC and State Departments of Health (DOH) and the CDC. We are closely following their recommendations.

A great deal has changed since our update on Friday as regards program closures.

Last night, NYC’s Mayor made the difficult decision to close the schools in New York City. That included AHRC NYC’s schools. They will be closed until at least April 20th.

After school programs operated through AHRC NYC’s Recreation Department which take place in our Department of Education schools will not operate for the same time period.

Day Service programs with and without walls and prevocational programs will also begin temporary suspension of programs as of 5 pm today, Tuesday, March 17th:

People that live in AHRC NYC residences will be provided with Day Hab in the residence in which they reside.

For people that reside in the community with their families, in the coming days, we will contact every family to review their needs and the needs of their loved ones, and to assess our resources and ability to provide other day supports.

Additionally, AHRC NYC will explore our ability to provide Community Hab in the home for families that might prefer this type of option and for whom staff is available.

We will attempt to keep everyone informed.

We request that all families send their personal email address to stayintouch@ahrcnyc.org. Please include the name of your family member, your name and cell phone number or home number in order to facilitate communication.

Even after the closing of programs we request that if any staff is showing symptoms of illness or has had contact with someone under investigation for, or diagnosed with the Coronavirus (COVID 19), please immediately inform AHRC NYC by calling, 212-780-2697 so that we can inform staff and families with whom that staff may have been in contact. Please call this number ONLY with information about exposures to the Coronavirus (COVID19).

As always our priority is the health and safety of all members of the AHRC NYC community.

For up to date information on AHRC NYC’s response to the Coronavirus, visit our website at www.ahrcnyc.org.

For questions about health and personal issues, call your doctor and/or contact the Department of Health at 888-364-3065 or at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

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

Coronvirus_3.17.20_update_English
Coronvirus_3.17.20_update_Spanish
Coronvirus_3.17.20_update_Chinese

March 16, 2020 Update:

As per the NYC Department of Education guidelines, AHRC NYC schools were closed today and will remain closed through April 20th as well as the Afterschool Recreation Programs that take place in our schools.

COVID-19 Questionnaire for Care of Self or Others

Numbers from Health NY.gov (3/15/2020 @ 6.26 pm)

  • New York City – 329 (+60)
  • New York State – 731 (+116)

World Health Organization / Federal / CDC (3/15/2020)

  • The CDC has updated its website over the past 48 hours to include a new section on “How to Protect Yourself” & “If You Think You Are Sick
  • Additional updates to the CDC site include specific sections relating to Symptoms, Older Adults & Medical Conditions and Preparing Your Family.

Update from NYC (3/15/2020)

Update from NYS / OPWDD (3/15/2020)

  • OPWDD has repurposed the quality@opwdd.ny.gov email address, which will now serve as the central location for providers to notify OPWDD of their plans for programmatic changes, where questions or concerns may be raised to OPWDD about containment-related efforts that impact the delivery of supports, and where providers can communicate with OPWDD about potential plans they are developing.
  • Cuomo has required all insurance companies to waive payments for telehealth visits.
  • OPWDD issued guidance on 3/14/2020, regarding access to ICF
  • Additional guidance has been issued from OPWDD on the use of telehealth services at this time
  • OPWDD has issued guidance supporting New York State Medicaid providers identified as Health Homes

March 13, 2020 Update:

As always AHRC New York City’s highest priority is the health and safety of ALL members of our community.
We at AHRC NYC are staying informed and are in touch with the NYC and State Departments of Health (DOH) and the CDC. We are closely following their recommendations.

In accordance with requirements from regulatory agencies and public health experts, we have instituted a policy for all visitors, including vendors, who want to enter any of our facilities/programs. Visitors will need to respond to the following three questions prior to being given entry:

• Have you traveled to another country in recent weeks? Which country?
• To your knowledge, have you had contact with any Person Under Investigation for Coronavirus within the last 14 days, or with anyone known to have coronavirus?
• Do you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath)?

If the visitor/vendor answers “YES” to any of the questions, they will not be granted entry.

We do not want to offend anyone, but all people entering one of our programs will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival.

There are still NO plans to close facilities or services, although in order to address the constant changes, we may need to relocate some programs temporarily. We will keep everyone informed.
We have continued our increased cleaning efforts and are:

• continuously sanitizing our facilities
• continue to practice general infection control techniques
• assisting people we support in doing the same.

We continue to request that if anyone feels sick or manifests symptoms of illness – coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, fever – they should stay home and call their doctor. We also request that if anyone lives with or is in close contact with someone who is quarantined or has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus (COVID 19), inform AHRC NYC by calling, 212-780-2697. Please call this number ONLY with information about exposures to the Coronavirus (COVID 19).

As always our priority is the health and safety of all members of the AHRC NYC community.

For up to date information on AHRC NYC’s response to the Coronavirus, visit our website at www.ahrcnyc.org. For questions about health and personal issues, call your doctor and/or contact the Department of Health at 888-364-3065 or visit https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

Numbers from Health NY.gov, 3/12/2020 @ 4.00pm.

  • New York City – 95 (+42)
  • New York State – 326 (+110)

World Health Organization / Federal / Other (3/12/2020)

High-Risk Countries (*This list is being updated on an ongoing basis as the situation progresses.)

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Rep.
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City
  • Iran
  • China

 

Update from NYC (3/12/2020)

  • The office of the Mayor declares a state of emergency in New York City.
  • Case definitions scope for NYC has been refined, only NYC residents will be included in the NYC numbers.

Update from NYS / OPWDD (3/12/2020)

  • State of emergency declared in Suffolk county.

Update from CDC (3/12/2020)

  • CDC announced Global Outbreak designating the globe as level 2 – Sustained (ongoing) Community Spread.

CONTACT NUMBERS

    • DOH Corona Virus Hotline for health providers – 866-692-3641
    • Department of Health 24/7 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
    • To receive regular updates on the latest developments text:
      COVID to 692-692 (for updates in English)
      or text
      COVIDESP to 692-692
      (for updates in Spanish)

STANDING GUIDANCE FROM NYS DOH

  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  • Consider telecommuting, biking or walking to work if possible.
  • Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
  • Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.

March 11, 2020 Update:

Coronavirus Update from AHRC NYC’s CEO, Marco Damiani

AHRC NYC staff can email webmaster@ahrcnyc.org with any questions or concerns that they might have about COVID-19, and its impact on our services and supports.

March 9, 2020 Update:

Members of the AHRC NYC community, your health and safety remain our highest priority!

We just want to again assure you that we at AHRC NYC are staying informed and are in touch with the NYC and State Departments of Health and the CDC. We are closely following their recommendations.

As of today, there are NO plans to close facilities or services.

We have increased our cleaning efforts and are continuously sanitizing our facilities.

We continue to practice general infection control techniques and are assisting people we support in doing the same by:

• Promoting proper hand-washing techniques
• Providing hand sanitizer and Purell type hand wipes
• Covering one’s mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
• Redirecting everyone from touching their eyes, nose or mouth

We request that if anyone feels sick or manifests symptoms of illness – coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, fever – they should stay home and call their doctor.

We ask that all visitors to any of our facilities/programs who may not feel well and have any symptoms of illness DO NOT visit. If people visit and are showing symptoms, they will be turned away.

We do not want to offend anyone, but all people entering one of our programs will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival.

As always, our priority is the health and safety of all members of the AHRC NYC community.

Download this announcement as a pdf file in the following languages:

English
Spanish
Chinese


Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control’s Coronavirus Web Page
New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Web Page
New York City Coronavirus Web Page
US Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus Web Page
COVID-19 News Librarian Aggregator
Coronavirus 101 – Information for Direct Support Professionals

CDC Coronavirus update