The Arc Westchester is paying special attention to the widely reported and unfortunate outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), that is now spreading in Westchester County. We are following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended guidelines, and all local and national organizations.
We were notified that an administrative staff member located at The Arc Westchester’s headquarters (265 Saw Mill River Road in Hawthorne, NY), has tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member had NO contact with any of the people that participate in our programs. We have spoken to both the New York State and the Westchester County Departments of Health (DOH) to report the situation and received recommendations for our next steps.
We have decided that in order to best protect the individuals we support and the staff at our headquarters, anyone who came in direct contact with this staff member will work remotely. These preventions were taken out of an abundance of precaution. We have been notified from OPWDD to screen scheduled and unscheduled visitors to our locations with questions regarding recent travel and any health symptoms.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on March 10 that he is implementing a “containment area” around a one-mile radius in the city of New Rochelle, where there is a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases. Please be assured that none of The Arc Westchester program sites or residences fall within the one-mile radius.
To keep you up to date on the latest information that may be helpful in assisting your own risk, please find a link to the CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Public Health Management Decision Making Chart, which is use to help identify both risk of potential infection and preventative measures.
The Arc Westchester has taken steps to keep our community safe. Deep sanitizing has taken place and continues to take place daily using CDC/EPA approved products, sanitizing of the common areas and offices at ALL Arc Westchester locations.
This message is to assure you that we are carefully monitoring the situation, and to share with you the recommended precautions that we can all take to ensure the health of our community.
For additional information, please visit the following websites:
Please be mindful of the following precautions to minimize contracting the virus which are very similar to the usual steps we take to avoid the cold and flu:
• Frequent and thorough hand-washing for at least 20 seconds
• Use of hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash
• Get a flu shot, if you have not already done so
As a reminder, all family members and employees of The Arc Westchester who are ill should refrain from visiting an Arc Westchester location or any public location in the community as directed by the Health Department.
The Arc Westchester is prepared to take all the necessary steps should the situation escalate and require further collaboration with local officials. We appreciate your help in keeping our community healthy. While we understand that this is a stressful situation, filled with much waiting and uncertainty, we hope that our continued communication and transparency helps to keep us all grounded during this difficult time.
Tibi A. Guzmán