Dear Families and Friends:
We are delighted to share that Friday evening we received newly drafted Interim Guidance Regarding the Reopening of Day Services from New York State’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), that will be effective Wednesday, July 15.
We are carefully reviewing the details of this comprehensive guidance, which includes many new mandatory protocols and environmental restrictions for safe program operations. Under this guidance, we are required to complete an evaluation of the physical space in each location, make environmental changes where needed, develop and provide new training for all staff, and create a comprehensive safety plan for a phased re-opening. Although we did not have formal guidance until Friday, our planning was already well underway and we anticipate resuming limited day services very soon.
The new guidance also places stringent rules and restrictions on transportation in day program vehicles. One challenge is the prohibition of transporting people together in a vehicle if they live in different households. As you can imagine, this greatly impedes our ability to provide transportation. Additionally, everyone participating in a day program must now follow daily screening protocols prior to entering program spaces. This screening requires the person participating in the program, or someone in their household if they are unable, to successfully answer questions regarding their health; also, the person must have their temperature taken prior to entering the program every day. For more information, here is a link to OPWDD’s Interim Guidance: https://opwdd.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/7.10.2020-reopening-day-programs_opwdd_new-final-agency-guidance-format-final.pdf
Based on these new requirements, we ask that people interested in returning to program consider providing transportation for their loved ones to and from day program. To assist with planning and facilitating a safe reopening, below you will find a survey link indicating your ability or inability to do so. Please note that at this time, we may not be able to provide transportation, even for families unable to drive their family member to and from day program.
CLICK HERE to Submit the Survey
We will send additional information shortly on the safe reopening of day program services. We understand these new requirements from New York State offer new challenges for many in our community. During these unprecedented times, we appreciate your partnership in ensuring that everyone can again come together and safely participate in day program services.