COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

Posted on April 6, 2020

CP of NYS is aggregating resources and guidance on COVID-19.
Here you will find guidance from OPWDD, OMH, OASAS, CMS and other state sources, as well as federal actions, and helpful resources from private institutions.

If you have questions or need help accessing a resource, please email Bill DeVoe at


Background checks waived for qualified individuals

In the Governor’s most recent Executive Order, the state will allow current employees of OPWDD or OPWDD approved providers who have previously undergone background checks to be employed by a different OPWDD approved provider and/or OCFS licensed or certified program and/or OASAS certified, funded or authorized program and/or OMH licensed, funded ‘or approved program without undergoing new background checks.

These provisions are also waived to the ‘extent necessary to allow providers the discretion to permit, already qualified individuals and who are not listed on the Staff Exclusion List to work unsupervised while an updated background check is completed.

Read the entire EO here.

Information and Guidance for Schools

Schools closed until April 15, Cuomo waives 180-mandate

Governor Cuomo just announced, on his daily press briefing,  that he will be extending school closures until April 15, as well as the waiver of the 180-day mandate.

This means that your school will be closed and you will continue to bill on enrollment until April 15.   Those 20 days ofCOVID-19 closure  will be waived from the 180 mandate for school days.  Therefore, the mandate will be 160 days of school days  (unless he extends the closure further).

We will provide further detail as soon as we have it.

COVID-19 Interim Guidance Related to General Management of COVID-19, Staffing Guidance, Respiratory Illness, and Article 16 Clinic Management

OPWDD has released the below interim guidance related to General Management of COVID-19, Staffing Guidance, Respiratory Illness, and Article 16 Clinic Management:

Article 16 Clinic Closure Guidance

In the event of an Article 16 Clinic closure, OPWDD will require Voluntary Agencies to submit the date of temporary closure and locations of Article 16 Satellite Clinics, and subsequently, (2) the date that they have re-opened, once that is known. Click here for more information.

Community Outing and Home Visit Guidance

OPWDD has released the below interim guidance related to Community Outings and Home Visits:

Suspension of Individual Community Outings and Home Visits

Coronavirus Guidance for OPWDD Service Providers

Visitor poster

Click the image above to download the visitor poster issued by DOH.

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is providing guidance to caregivers, families, and State/Voluntary provider agencies which provide services or support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Department of Health 24/7 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065

OPWDD Guidance on Use of Telehealth:

Find more guidance on COVID-19 at the following link:

OPWDD Guidance on Intermediate Care Facilities:

COVID-19 Guidance for Intermediate Care Facilities

Main page:

OPWDD Interim Guidance Regarding Site Visits (3/13/20)

Click here to read the document.

NYS DOH Information for Providers

Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19

A comprehensive list of resources from the DOH. 

Updated Information and Guidance on status of Direct Support Professionals

From OPWDD and SED:

Direct Support Professionals are essential and integral employees to OPWDD’s provision of services, and that is especially true during this public health emergency. OPWDD has remained in close consultation with our partners at the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department, as well as with those at the federal and local level, to ensure the health and safety of all staff.

In guidance issued by the NYS Education Department, found at:  Additional Guidance on Statewide School Closures Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State  – March 17, 2020, DSP’s are classified as essential health care workers:

“Essential health care workers may include licensed health professionals such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, LPNs and nurse assistants or laboratory personnel and direct support professionals. First responders may include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, and firefighters.”

As you know this is a rapidly evolving situation. Please check the New York State Department of Health (DOH) Novel Coronavirus webpage for frequent updates.

COVID-19 information from NYEIS including the use of telehealth

Federal Policy Response to COVID-19 to Date

Federal level actions, as compiled by ANCOR.

World Health Organization COVID-19 Q&A

The basics on coronavirus, from origin to transmission and prevention.  

Centers for Disease Control Steps to Prevent Illness

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Read more at the CDC website.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

ANCOR has assembled great resources for education and best practice guidelines for: preparing, preventing, identifying and managing outbreaks of COVID-19 virus as we better understand the virus.
More information.

Webinar – The Role of the DSP and Coronavirus – Recorded webinar offered by NADSP

COVID-19 Toolkit for DSPs – NADSP & ANCOR

Self-Care for DSPs in a Crisis – The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) has created an important webinar targeted to help direct support professionals understand their value and offer them some practical ideas to use for their own self-care during this crisis.

The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do VideoWhat actually happens when it infects a human and what should we all do?