CLICK FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE, FAQs, GUIDANCE & RESOURCES 

GENERAL SUPPORT HOTLINE: (716) 304–0003 Mon – Fri:  8AM – 12PM, 4PM – 8PM
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BEHAVIOR SUPPORT HOTLINE: (716) 371–1027 Mon – Fri:  8AM – 5PM
(after hours: leave a message with phone number, your call will be returned)

COVID-19 NEWS & RESOURCES

A MESSAGE FROM LEADERSHIP & OUR RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

We are all in this together and together we will help keep the people we support, ourselves, and our families safe.  We will all need to exercise patience and flexibility in the coming weeks and months as we adapt to the changing circumstances. 

Please also make a point of not responding to or furthering information that may not be accurate. That can lead to further confusion for everyone. If you have a question about something, please speak with your supervisor and ask for clarification/information.

DAY HAB STATUS - OPWDD instructed all providers to temporarily suspend the provision of day habilitation supports effective 5 p.m. on 3/17/2020.  During this suspension, Day Hab staff have continued to provide supports to as many people as possible, both reaching out to individuals who live at home with their families and providing Day Hab support/services in the residences.  This relocation of staff has helped to take some of the burden of day coverage off of the residential department.  The Residential and Day Hab teams have shown solidarity in their efforts to handle this crisis in a manner that promotes teamwork and a genuine commitment to the people we support.  THANK YOU ALL FOR THAT!!!!!!

SCHOOL CLOSURES - So far school closures have not posed too great a burden on staffing levels.. This is a remarkable achievement and a testament to teamwork and flexibility of many staff throughout our agency! 

ICF SAFEGUARDS - OPWDD issued guidance to providers on additional safeguards to be put in place at Intermediate Care Facilities (an “ICF”). The safeguards that were implemented include: (a) with very limited exceptions, prohibition on visitors  (b) conducting body temperature checks of staff prior to beginning their shift (and sending staff home if their temperature is greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit) and sending any staff home if they develop a fever during their shift NOTE: like all other providers, we are struggling to acquire needed supplies such as facemasks, thermometer covers, and hand sanitizer. We are working to acquire additional supplies and the city is offering assistance with this. 

IRA SAFEGUARDS - Effective 3/18/2020, OPWDD issued guidance prohibiting visitors to our IRAs.  Effective 3/26/2020, Maureen Simington, Director of Nursing, has sent out information on how to use the thermometers that we have and what to do if we run out of probe covers.  As stated above, we are working diligently to acquire more supplies, and the city is helping with those efforts.  In the meantime, if staff want to use personal thermometers to take their own temperature, they may do so. Your personal thermometers should be kept in a labeled bag in your purse or in your car.  Maureen has also sent out “Guidance for Healthcare Workers” to help staff understand what to look for, and how to respond to COVID-19 related concerns. 

MONITORING - Staff will have taken their temperature prior to the beginning of their shift and if their temperature is greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit they will be sent home and will send any staff home if they develop a fever during their shift. In addition, in all certified homes, staff will check the body temperature of people receiving supports at least once daily and respond in a manner prescribed by OPWDD and local departments of health if fever (temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit) is present.  

HYGIENE - We will continue to provide education to staff on the importance of frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizers and are encouraging staff to educate people receiving supports on these techniques. We continue to monitor sites to ensure that staff are regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (including phones and computer keyboards used by staff and the electronic devices used by people receiving supports).  If you are in need of more cleaning supplies, reach out to your supervisor so they can get you what you need. 

TELEHEALTH – Wherever we are able to, we are using telehealth equipment to have telemedicine visits for medical, psychiatric, behavioral health and other services. This includes visits with the FQHC Clinic. If you have questions about this, please discuss with your supervisor.

EXECUTIVE TEAM - We continue to have daily executive team check-in conference calls, texts and emails to assess the internal and external environment and to act as required. 

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT - We continue to have regular contact with the program management team to share information, respond to concerns and ensure that everyone is aware of what actions we are taking. 

NO DIAGNOSED CASES OF COVID-19 in any of our Hudson Valley Programs - To date, no person receiving supports from us has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and we are unaware of any staff member having been diagnosed with COVID- 19. We understand that this could change and when and if it does, we will act in a manner consistent with requirements of the applicable local Department of Health and OPWDD. We will also the “Guidance for Healthcare Worker Self-Monitoring and Work Restriction In The Presence of Sustained Community Transmission of Coronavirus Disease” that has been shared with all executive and management staff and is available for your information. If you need this information, please speak with your supervisor. 

ESSENTIAL WORKER STATUS - It is important that we continue reporting to work and carry our ID cards with us to ensure that we encounter no difficulty in traveling to and from work. 

REMAINING SAFE - One way that we can keep ourselves, our families, co-workers and people we support safe is practicing the same techniques at home that we do at work: frequent handwashing (and use of hand sanitizers), regular and frequent disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, covering your cough and avoiding unnecessary public interaction with larger groups. 

EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR - The NADSP has recorded a webinar called “The Role of the DSP and The Coronavirus” that includes very helpful information presented by a physician. Staff are encouraged to watch this during an appropriate time during their work shift, view this 34-minute webinar. The link to the webinar is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud4Q4e_hcuw 

THANK YOU ALL for your partnership in helping to ensure the well-being of all members of The CP-U Team as we face this challenge TOGETHER. 

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Constructive Partnerships Unlimited (Formerly Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State)

40 Rector Street, 15th Floor New York, NY 10006

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