The following letter was sent by OPWDD Deputy Commissioner Leslie Fuld to providers late Sunday, Jan. 31:
As you are aware, the Federal Government has made a commitment to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccine to states for a minimum of three weeks. We are hopeful this commitment will be extended and further increased.
Beginning this week and going forward, all Local Health Departments (LHDs) will be coordinating with OPWDD and working with providers in their counties to prioritize and vaccinate residents and eligible staff of certified residential facilities as quickly as possible and in the most appropriate manner. As you know, staff of OPWDD certified day programs and other community-based and self-directed staff are also eligible for vaccination as part of phase 1a of the NYS vaccine program. OPWDD will work with you over the upcoming week to refine its understanding of the numbers of this type of staff working in each county so that additional direction can be provided to the counties.
All LHDs must accept the NYSDOH consent form for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The form can be found here.
It is imperative all agencies continually monitor communications from OPWDD and their LHD beginning immediately to facilitate sharing of information. OPWDD will communicate using the CEO/Director emails and the agency dedicated mailboxes. The LHDs have been provided with this same contact information for programs in their county.
Please submit any questions to opwdd.sm.EOC_Activation@opwdd.ny.gov .
Thank you for your assistance in this matter of critical importance.