OPWDD's Guidance for Post-Reopening

Over the holiday weekend, we received this letter from OPWDD Commissioner Dr. Theodore Kastner, which includes links to revised Telehealth guidance and post State of Emergency guidance for OPWDD certified facilities and programs.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you know Governor Cuomo recently announced that the state of emergency that was in effect during the COVID-19 public health emergency has come to an end.And while this does not mean that COVID-19 is no longer a threat, it does mean that many of the emergency measures issued by the state and its agencies, including OPWDD, are no longer in effect. It also means that many of the public health-related restrictions that were imposed to keep the people we support safe can finally be relaxed.

As of today, guidance documents related to Visitation, Community Outings, Day Services and Staffing Management are no longer in effect.

Below are two new guidance documents which are effective as of today:

Post State of Emergency COVID-19 Guidance for OPWDD Certified, Operated, and/or Funded Facilities and Programs [ https://opwdd.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/07/7.2.21-post-emergency-general-memorandum.pdf ]

Revised Interim Guidance Regarding the Delivery of Services Through the Use of Telehealth Modalities by Facilities and Programs Certified or Operated by OPWDD During the COVID-19 Federal Public Health Emergency [ https://opwdd.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/07/7.2.21-interim-guidance-regarding-use-of-telehealth-covid-19_revised.pdf ]

We know that this has been an extremely difficult time for the people we support, and the family and staff who support them. Throughout the last year and a half, this agency has appreciated your patience, your advocacy, and your unwavering commitment. We look forward to partnering with you as we get back to the business of resuming many of the long-awaited activities that had to be put on hold during this crisis.

Theodore R. Kastner, M.D, M.S.