A family-based organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

COVID-19 Guidance & Resources



The Arc New York is actively monitoring information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York Department of Health (DOH), and working directly with OPWDD to address concerns specific to our field and the people we serve. We are regularly reviewing our response plans and procedures to ensure the health and safety of our families, individuals and staff, while minimizing disruption of our operations, and continue to emphasize best practices for infection control. 

We remain committed to providing The Arc New York Chapters with up-to-date and accurate information. Trusted resources and guidance for responding to COVID-19 can be found below, and will be updated regularly as the situation evolves. 


A Message from The Arc New York Executive Director Mark van Voorst regarding State Office and Trust Services Operations during the health crisis 

Please direct any questions about COVID-19 to Josh Christiana, Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations.

The Arc New York Updates
  • October 26 - OPWDD Cluster Zone Strategy, CDC Updates Close Contact Definition 
  • October 21 - NYS Travel Advisory Update, OPWDD Management of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections 
  • October 19 - The Arc New York Responds to Appendix K Waiver Amendments & Budget Cuts, Inconsistency Between OPWDD Regulations and Guidance, Capital Reimbursement Policy Update, NYSED FAQ on Provision of Services During 2020-21 School Year, Harvard Political Review Story on COVID-19 and I/DD Congregate Care 
  • October 14 - Hold Harmless Letter to Governor Cuomo, OPWDD COVID-19 Data, NYS Travel Advisory Update, NYSDOH "Yellow Zone" Testing in Schools, OSHA Reporting of Work-Related Cases of Coronavirus, Senator Gillibrand HCBS Response Letter 
  • October 7 - NYS COVID-19 Cluster Action Initiative, OPWDD Hot Spot Resource Materials and Tools, DSPs as Essential Workers, NYS Travel Advisory Update, HRSA Webinar and HHS Instructions for Phase 3 PRF Distribution 
  • October 6 - Bonadio Webinar Oct. 30, Executive Order 202.67, OPWDD Program Flexibilities Chart, OPWDD Routine Surveys and COVID-19 Protocols, NYDA Online Advocacy Campaign - Add Your Voice!, CDC Tips for Personal and Social Gatherings  
  • October 2 - OPWDD Clarification to Remote Nursing ADM, OPWDD to Resume Routine Survey Activities, Influenza in the Time of COVID-19, $20 Billion in New Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding 
  • October 1 - Approval of 1915(c) Waiver Amendment, Willowbrook Class Individual Return to Day Program, Bonandio Leadership Institute Presentation  
  • September 30 - NYS Travel Advisory Update, Wage Theft Prevention Act: Hazard Pay Concerns, Residential Habilitation Billing Guidance 
  • September 25 - NYS Travel Advisory Update, OPWDD COVID-19 Data, Webinar - Transitioning Away from Center-Based Day Programs, OPWDD Return to Day Services Webinar Materials, Follow-up to Thursday's Phone Rally  
  • September 21 - OPWDD Interim Guidance of Day Service Billing in ICFs, OPWDD ADM on Remote Nursing Services in Certified Programs and Services, OPWDD Revised Interim Care Planning Guidance, FFCRA Update - Changes to Health Care Provider Definition Effective Sept. 16 
  • September 17 - NYS Travel Advisory Update, OPWDD Interim Guidance for Non-Emergency Site Visits of Certified Facilities, OPWDD FAQs on Post Day Service Retainer Program Flexibilities, New Study Released by Lerner Institute Based on COVID-19 Impact Survey Data 
  • September 14 -  Important Message Regarding New FEMA Eligibility Policy Relating to COVID-19 
  • September 11 - NYS Travel Advisory Update, Senate and Assembly Hearings on COVID-19 Impact in the I/DD Community, OPWDD Webinar September, USDOL Guidance on Tracking Compensable Hours of Remote Employees
  • September 8 - COVID-19 Impact Testimony, Executive Order 202.60, Unemployment Reimbursement Update 
  • September 4 - OPWDD Interim Guidance on Various Services
  • September 2 - State Universities and Increasing Cases of COVID-19, IRS Guidance on Payroll Tax Deferral, Exemption from 20% Withhold, OPWDD ICF Claims Edits & Changes in Compliance Program Requirements, NYS Travel Advisory Update, NYDA Letter to Governor Cuomo 
  • August 28 - OPWDD Webinar on Billing Flexibility Now Available, OPWDD COVID-19 Data, CDC Simple Mask Guidance, Update - Employee Payroll Tax Deferral 
  • August 25 - OPWDD Interim Guidance on Billing Flexibility, OPWDD 20% Withhold on Local Assistance Funds, NYS Travel Advisory Update, Virtual Forum With Senator Carlucci Tomorrow 
  • August 21 - CMS Approval of Appendix K, Your Voice Matters Survey, Voting Rights for People With I/DD 
  • August 20 - Correction to 8/19 Update, COVID-19 Plain Language Materials, CDC Guidance on Duration of Isolation & Precuations 
  • August 19 - OPWDD Interim Guidance Regarding In-Person Services at Article 16, Appendix K Waiver Revisions and State Aid Funding Reduction 
  • August 18 - OPWDD Revised Interim Guidance Regarding Community Outings, NYS Travel Advisory Update
  • August 14 - OPWDD Webinar on Containing COVID-19, DOB Approval of Rates and OPWDD COVID-19 Data, NYDA COVID-19 Impact Data, Person-Centered Reviews Update, NYS DOB Q1 Budget Update 
  • August 12 - Southern District of New York Court Decision Regarding FFCRA, New York State Travel Advisory Update, Confirmation of OPWDD Training and Background Check Policy Extensions, OPWDD DQI Survey Process Update 
  • August 6 - Executive Order 202.55, Medicaid Reminder on Charging for PPE and Other Protective Measures, Sample Safety Monitor Checklists, Study on the Impact of COVID-19 on Work, New York State Survey on Rebuilding 
  • August 4 - OSC Audit of OPWDD Transportation Expenses and Services, NYS Travel Advisory Update, COVID-19 Reporting Requirements Clarification, CARES Act Update, Federal Policy Campaigns, ConnectNY Panel Discussion on ADA 
  • July 24 - White Paper on COVID-19 Support Guidelines, Mid-Hudson Clinic Patient Communication Letter, School Reopening Plan Template, NYDA Panel Discussion with Senator Gillibrand
  • July 23 - Semel Consulting Webinar, OPWDD COVID-19 Safety Assessment, CAB Memo on Day Program Attendance, OPWDD Data Revision of COVID-19 Events/Situations, Mozaic Offering Face Masks, Montgomery Offering Hand Sanitizer, Schenectady ARC Return to Work Video 
  • July 21 - Advocacy - Call to Action, NYSED FAQ on Reopening Guidance, New York State Travel Advisory Update, Justice Center Unredacted Investigative Summary Reports, Virtual Meetings Untangled 
  • July 20 - OPWDD Revised Safety Plan Template, OPWDD Memo on DSP Increases, Register for NYDA Discussion with Sen. Gillibrand
  • July 17 - OPWDD Memo on Conclusion of Day Service Retainer Program, Revised FAQ on Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services, OPWDD Weekly Data, NYDA Panel Discussion with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  
  • July 16 - ​​​​​​OPWDD Supplements to Day Services Reopening Guidance, OPWDD Revised Interim Guidance Regarding Reopening of Day Services, SED School Reopening Guidance, CDC Natural Disasters and COVID-19 Response Website 
  • July 14 - NYSDOH In-Person Instruction Guidance, Federal Health Care Provider Relief Fund Webinar Materials, Provider Association Billing Proposal, Updated Travel Advisory List, Lunch & Learn Series Materials
  • July 13 - OPWDD Reopening Guidance Documents and Call Summary, School Reopening Guidance, Media Coverage
  • July 10 - OPWDD COVID-19 Data, On-Demand SNAP Training Course, AHRC Suffolk COVID-19 Policy and Procedure Binder Sample, EVV Technical Assistance Call 
  • July 9 - COVID-19 Update: NYSDOH Revised Return to Work Protocols, NYSDOH Travel Advisory FAQ, Federal Health Care Relief Fund Webinar, Self-Directed Services Webinar Materials, Integrated Day Habilitation Services Webinar, Phase Four Reopening 
  • July 7 - COVID-19 Update: Lunch & Learn Community Hab Presentation, Executive Order 202.48, New States Added to Travel Advisory,OPWDD Webinar on COVID-19 Life Plan/Staff Action Plan Addendum, Innovative Town Hall Meeting Example, Results of DSP & COVID-19 National Survey 
  • July 1 - COVID-19 Update: COVID-19 Travel Advisory Update, NYSDOH & NYSDOL Guidance on Use of COVID-19 Sick Leave, Clarification on Community Habilitation-Residential Service Documentation,Fiscal Year 2019-2020 CFR Filing Date Extension, Sample Day Habilitation Reopening Plan, American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Training Modifications, Media Coverage and Advocacy on Proposed OPWDD Cuts  
  • June 29 - OPWDD COVID-19 Weekly Data, Rensselaer Family and Community Supports Visitor Screening Sample Policy, Managed Care and the I/DD Community, Lawmakers Urge Governor and OPWDD to Rescind Proposed Cuts, EVV Update 
  • June 26 - Advocacy Update: The Arc New York Comments on SIPs-PL Draft Document and HCBS Waiver Amendments, Oppose OPWDD Cuts by July 1! 
  • June 25 - Syracuse University Study on COVID-19 Impact Data Released, Executive Order 205 
  • June 24 - IRMA Provider Training, DRNY COVID Review, Montgomery Visitation Videos, Medicaid Delay Reason Code 15 (Natural Disaster) Guidance, New York State Incoming Travel Advisory, NYC Human Resources Administration Alert on Medicaid Program Modifications, Virtual Rally Opposing OPWDD Cuts 
  • June 23 - Call to Action - Oppose OPWDD Cuts, OPWDD Visitation Guidance Clarification, Results of The Arc of the US COVID-19 Survey  
  • June 18 - OPWDD Visitation Guidance, New IRMA Functionality, DQI COVID-19 Activity, Community Hab-R Billing and Multiple Day Service Providers,Bonadio Cares Act/PPE Flexibility Webinar June 19 
  • June 17 - OPWDD Commissioner Kastner/The Arc New York Webinar on COVID Data, Forthcoming OPWDD Visitation Guidance, DOH Hospital Visitation Program Expanded  
  • June 16 - Visitation at Residential Programs to Resume Friday, Research Article Examines COVID Impact on Individuals with I/DD, Today Show Segment and Recent Media Coverage, FDA Rescinds Emergency Use Authorization for Hydroxychloroquine
  • June 12 - OPWDD Guidance on Day Service Retainer and CH-R Programs, Mid-Hudson and Long Island Entering Phase 2 Reopening, HHS $15 Billion Relief Fund for Medicaid Providers, Consolidated CDC Guidance, FEMA Grant Resources, DOH Special Education Guidance, Employee Leasing Agreements, EO 202.40, Unemployment for Self-Insured Chapters, DOL Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor, Phase Three Reopening Guidance, Coverage of Day Program Advocacy 
  • June 8 - New Executive Orders, Incident Management Unit Update 
  • June 5 - DQI COVID-19 Prevention and Control Review Experience, OPWDD Provider Association Update, OPWDD Revised Protocols for Personnel Returning to Work, CDC Updated COVID-19 Symptoms, Executive Order 202.37 
  • June 3 - The Arc New York SIP-PL Virtual Town Hall, OPWDD IRMA COVID-19 Data Entry Webex, Executive Order 202.36 
  • May 29 - New Executive Orders, Phase Two Reopening, 1915(c) Waiver Amendment Comment Period, Care for Face Coverings, Death Investigations, IRS Guidance for Section 125 and Flexible Spending Accounts, Revised OSHA Recordkeeping Guidance
  • May 28 - OPWDD Webinar Materials, Employee Health Screening and Temperature Checks, NYN Webinar, Self-Direction Webinar
  • May 22 - Governance Webinar Materials, EEOC Guidance, iV4 Return to Work Toolkit, OPWDD Message Regarding Visitation, CDC Guidance on Reopening Specific Settings, Rockland Sample Policies, Justice Center Investigation Procedures, NYS DOH Hospital Visitation Guidance, OPWDD COVID-19 Impact Data
  • May 20 - Economic Impact Payment Reminder, DQI COVID-19 Prevention and Control Survey Materials, Retainer Day Attestation, Webinar: Planning During the COVID-19 Emergency, OPWDD COVID-19 Impact Data, NYDA Impact Data, Additional Return to Work Toolkits  
  • May 18 - COVID-19 Update: Online Fundraising Registration Requirement, OPWDD COVID-19 Risk Stratified Enhanced Oversight, The Arc New York Governance Webinar 
  • May 15 - COVID-19 Update: Executive Order 202.31, Phase One Reopening Guidelines, OPWDD Media Attention 
  • May 14 - CDC Updated Guidance on Cleaning and Disinfection of Households, OPWDD Guidance on Background Checks and Lease Agreements, Infection Prevention & Control Preparedness Checklist, DOH Contact Tracing Form 
  • May 14 - Federal Advocacy Update: Call to Action 
  • May 13 - OPWDD Flexibilities for Delivering & Documenting Day Services Webinar, Return to Work and Service Delivery Toolkits, iV4 Return to Work Webinar Materials  
  • May 12 - DQI Survey Process and Letter to Families, New York Forward, The Heroes Act 
  • May 9 - Executive Order 202.29, CDC Revised Symptom Checks, CDC Definitions of Quarantine & Isolation 
  • May 8 - Retainer Rate and Enhanced IRA Rate Changes, Return to Work Symptom Attestation and Employee Testing, NYDA COVID-19 Impact Survey Report, Zoom Boosts Data Security Measures  
  • May 7 - SIP-PL Public Comment Period Extended, Governance Webinar, iV4 Webinar Correction, Individual Resource Limits Challenges, Community Foundation Grant 
  • May 6 -  iV4 Return to Work Webinar, Executive Order 202.27, Protexus Electrostatic Spraying System  
  • May 5 - New York Forward 
  • May 4 - Medicaid Update on Telehealth, Billing for Services Delivered, NYDA Federal Funding Call to Action and COVID-19 Proposals,COVID-19 Cyber Threat Resources
  • May 1 - The Arc New York "The Future" Webinar Available, New Reporting and IRMA Requirements, Testing for Essential Workers, Schools Closed for Academic Year, Fiscal Year 2020 Spending Controls, NYDA Summary Report, Cleaning and Disinfecting Options, Self-Insured Unemployment Insurance Directive, CIDRAP Report on Future of COVID-19 
  • April 29 - COVID Reporting Webinar, Revised Staffing Guidance and OPWDD Advocacy Items, Mutual Staff Sharing Template, EEOC Guidance, OSHA Reporting, Testing Guidance, EO 202.25, Aerosol Generating Procedures, The Arc Online Coaching System, Census Webinar, ETU Regulations Adopted  
  • April 27 - The Arc New York "The Future" Webinar, OPWDD Data, DOH COVID-19 Testing Protocols, Candid Searchable Grants Database 
  • April 26 - OPWDD Trainings, Interim Guidance Regarding Day Habilitation & Prevocational Services, Interim Billing Guidance for Day Services Extended, DSPs Eligible for Diagnostic Testing, Summary of Weekend Briefings, Enacted State Budget Financial Plan, Latest Executive Orders, Enhanced Unemployment and Recovery Stimulus Payments GIS, Six New COVID-19 Symptoms, Federal Legislative Update and Action Alert, Additional Funding for Paycheck Protection & EIDL, Grant Opportunity 
  • April 23 - Hydroxychloroquine Not Recommended, Self-Direction Guidance, MS Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers - ICFs, NADSP Survey, OSHA Reporting Webinar  
  • April 22 - Webinar- OCR Update on HIPAA and COVID-19, Draft Supervised IRA Enhanced Rates, Guidance on Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities, Guidance Regarding Management of Decedent Personal Effects, Charities Bureau Guidance, Hazard Pay Advocacy, Employee Refusal to Wear Face Mask, Pine Ridge Industries Awarded COVID-19 Manufacturing Grant 
  • April 21 - Employee Leasing Templates, PPE Available from Allied Industries, August BOG Meeting, #ApplaudDirectSupport
  • April 20 - Revised Staffing Guidance, Hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine Approved for Community Settings, Guidance for Management of IV Therapies, Executive Orders, Employee Retention Credit 
  • April 17 - Retainer Payment Guidance Webinar, Community Habilitation Guidance, Care Planning Activities Guidance, CCO Letter to Providers, OPWDD Webinar Recording and PowerPoint, Updated Unemployment and Recovery Rebate Fact Sheets, Updated CDC FAQ, Face Masks for Transportation, Chapter Governance
  • April 16 - Extension of PAUSE and Blueprint to Un-Pause NY, Flexibilities for Delivering and Documenting Day Services, Revised Staff Guidance for OPWDD Programs, Local Health Department Response Activities, Heroes Fund, OCR Resolves Civil Rights Complaint Against Penssylvania Triaging Policies, Research Brief on COVID-19 in I/DD Population, Delay Reason Code 15 - Natural Disaster
  • April 15 - Downstate COVID-19 Discussion, Executive Order 202.17, $200M in Telehealth Funding Opportunities, SSI Recipients to Automatically Receive COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments, OPWDD Poster and Flyer 
  • April 15 - ETIN Recertification,Clarification on Use of Face Coverings, Occupational Therapy Assistants and Telehealth, NYS Non-Congregate Sheltering Plan, OCR COVID-19 Teleconference, CDC Guidance on Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities, Media Coverage, Call to Action - Improved Access to Recovery Rebates, Tell Congress #WeAreEssential, 75 Stay at Home Activities 
  • April 13 - Register for Downstate Discussion, Media Coverage, Waiver Supports During School Closing, DQI Vulnerability Assessment, Guidance Regarding Background Checks, EO 202.16, Essential Business and Enforcement of Compliance With Executive Orders 
  • April 12 - FEMA Grants, Mid-Sized Business Lending Program, Matilda's Law, Guidance on Return of Residents After Hospitalization 
  • April 11- Media Coverage, OPWDD Webinars, Retainer Day Billing Clarifications, Instructions for Agency Contact Tracing, Remote Nursing Services, Resident and Family Communication, Telehealth Guidance, Hospital Visitation Guidance, Workers Comp Claims, ACA Look-back Method, SSI Beneficiaries and Stimulus Payments
  • April 10 - A Message of Hope 
  • April 9 - New York Times Story, LHD Contact Investigations, Cloth Face Coverings, Updated Guidance on Essential Businesses, CCO Emergency Contact Info, Guidance for Authorization of Community Based Long-Term Service and Supports Covered by Medicaid, EO 202.15 
  • April 8 - CMS Approves Appendix K, MC-COP Retainer Day Webinar, Summary of CARES Act Benefits 
  • April 7 - COVID-19 Update: EO 202.14, Provider Association Letter to the Field, Economic Incentive Treatment by Benefit Programs, Package 4 Letter to Congress, FBI Guidance on VTC Hijacking 
  • April 6 - PAUSE Directives Extended, PPE Guidance, IRMA Entry Training, IPSIDD and Retainer Day Billing, Quarantine and Isolation Directives, Economic Recovery Rebates, Medicaid Eligibility Protocol, Residential Live-In Model, Webinar Materials, Tax-Free Payments to Employees, OCR Alert, Learning Resources, Social Distancing Activities  
  • April 3 - Executive Director Update
  • April 2 - Return to Work Guidance, Telehealth FAQ, NYDA Advocacy, Barclay Damon Webinar, MCCOP COVID-19 Compendium, Employee Benefits Summary, Unemployment & Sick Leave Guidance, CARES Act, Wage and Hours Guidance, 2020 Census, Talking to People With I/DD About COVID-19 
  • April 1 - AHRC NYC on NY1, Letters to the Governor, Interim Training and Recertification Guidance, Temporary Emergency Respite Capacity, Regional Update Crisis Contacts, DMEPOS Policy Changes, Medicaid Revaildation Suspension, OPWDD Meeting Summary, Federal Sick Leave Law Applicability, Barclay Damon Webinar, NYC HRA Medicaid Modifications, Employee Leasing Agreement, OSHA Guidelines 
  • March 30 - AHRC NYC on NY1, Letters to the Governor, Interim Training and Recertification Guidance, Temporary Emergency Respite Capacity, Regional Update Crisis Contacts, DMEPOS Policy Changes, Medicaid Revaildation Suspension, OPWDD Meeting Summary, Federal Sick Leave Law Applicability, Barclay Damon Webinar, NYC HRA Medicaid Modifications, Employee Leasing Agreement, OSHA Guidelines
  • March 29 - Executive Director Update: PPE Procurement 
  • March 28 - 1135 Waiver Flexibilities & Appendix K Status, Retainer Days for ComHab & Respite, AMAP Training, PPE Strategies, Executive Order 202.11, School Closures & Special Education Guidance, Essential Business Guidance, CARES Act, Right to Equal Access to Medical Treatment, COVID-19 Screening Tool, Furlough vs. Layoff 
  • March 27 - Executive Director Update 
  • March 27 - Legal Update on Federal and State Leave Laws, Notification of Medical Professional Directive to Quarantine, Supply Order Process, PPE Burn Rate Calculator, Tax-Free Payments to Employees
  • March 26 - COVID-19 Update: Day Program Emergency Response Template Clarification
  • March 26URGENT - OPWDD Clinic Provider Survey, Staff and General Guidance for the Management COVID-19 in OPWDD Programs, Respiratory Illness in Intermediate Care Facilities, Article 16 Clinic Management of COVID-19, Guidance on Closures of Special Class Programs, ESD Guidance on Essential Businesses, Overview of OPWDD Webinar, LHD Orders of Quarantine, Implementing Pay Differentials, Interim Telecommuting Policy, Hand Sanitizer Orders 
  • March 25 - Suspension of Community Outings and Home Visits, OPWDD Interim Billing Guidance, Disclosure of COVID-19 Information to First Responders, Family Care Guidance  
  • March 24 - Executive and Administrative Advocacy, Executive Order 202.10, No Visitor Policy Complaints, OPWDD Residential Site Survey, Court Activity on Hold, OPWDD Training Guidance, Telehealth Guidance, Matilda's Law, OPWDD/PA Meeting Clarification , Chapter Governance, Upcoming Webinars, COCA PPE Webinar, Combat Price Gouging, Free Comcast Internet  
  • March 22 - OPWDD and Provider Association Meeting Summary, Latest Executive Orders, Telehealth Update, OPWDD Webinars, Extension of AHA CPR Requirements, TBI Service Deliver Guidance, Emergency Childcare, Essential Employee Verification Letter, IRS Deadline and Paid Sick Leave 
  • March 20Workforce Reduction, Family Home Visits, Guidance on Community Habilitation, Alternative No Visitors Poster, IMU Notification Updates, CFR Due Date Extended, Waiver of HIPAA Penalties, COVID-19 Cyberscam, Helping Individuals Understand COVID-19 
  • March 18 - Program Closure Materials, Notification Letters on Closure and Confirmed Cases, Group Day Hab in IRAs and Life Plan Addendums, IMU Contact Tracking Form 
  • March 16 -Template Day Program Closure Letters, Background Checks, Telehealth Services, Contact of Contact Info
  • March 15 - ICF Directives, CCO Face to Face Requirements, Large Gatherings and Public Spaces, Non-Public School Closures, Supply Information, Innovation Trainings Suspended
  • March 12 - OWPDD-Specific Clarification of NYSDOH Guidelines
  • March 9 - Managing Staff Exposure; Education and Communication with Stakeholders; Informational Videos, Webinars and Posters
Managed Care Community of Practice
New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is providing speific guidance to caregivers, families, and provider agencies of services or support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

New York State Department of Health (DOH)

Department of Health 24/7 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
Directory of Local Health Departments

New York State Executive Orders 
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO) 
Johns Hopkins