The Arc Westchester is pleased to announce that we will begin welcoming back participants to Day Program locations on Monday, August 17. Prior to your family member’s returns to any of our day programs, please discuss your individual arrangements with your day program supervisor.
The safety of the people we support and our staff is our highest priority. In order to provide the safest program environment for all, please review our COVID-19 Reopening Safety Plan carefully. Above you will find a link to our Day Services COVID-19 Safety Plan and links to letters that were sent to families and residential providers. The safety of the people we support and our staff is our highest priority. With that in mind and with the guidance of OPWDD, we have developed our Day Services COVID-19 Safety Plan for your reference and use.
OPWDD’s guidance includes serious limitations to transportation by only allowing vehicles to operate at 50% occupancy. Therefore The Arc Westchester will unlikely be able to provide your transportation at this time. We will work with each family to discuss your specific needs.
We ask that you carefully read Day Services COVID-19 Safety Plan and contact your program’s supervisor with any and all questions you may have. You will see that there are plans for health screenings, vehicles and transportation, signage, social distancing, hygiene, infection control and tracking and tracing. The plan is current as of this date and will be amended as new guidance is issued.
Your cooperation with NY State, DOH and The Arc Westchester guidelines is vital and will help us to do our part to prevent the spread of this dangerous disease. This plan will help ensure the health and safety of all involved while being able to support your family member in our site based programs once again. We have greatly missed everyone!
Avery Valins, Assistant Executive Director
Update 7-14-20: We received guidance from NYS OPWDD regarding options to resume some in-person day services. At this time, we are reviewing the guidelines that, like residential community outings, will have extensive restrictions regarding transportation, health checks and continuation of infection control procedures. Until we can ensure a safe and healthy environment for our individuals and staff, we will continue to provide remote day and wellness services.
Update May 6, 2020: Governor Cuomo’s announced his New York Forward plan on May 6th to begin reopening the state. This will happen on a regional basis starting after May 15 with four announced phases of priority for reopening. Since we are an essential provider, and we have been operating during this time, as a result, we are not listed in the regional opening plan.
There is no current change in how we are operating during this crisis. We are continuing our shelter in place mandates. However, we are awaiting guidance from The Department of Health and OPWDD as to when we can resume some of our services and what restrictions we will need to put in place when we open. We have started to develop a strategic plan mapping out the months ahead and a detailed plan for resuming some of our support services.
The Governor’s Office and OPWDD have designated The Arc Westchester as an ESSENTIAL SERVICE PROVIDER. As such, we are exempt from the Governor Cuomo that mandate businesses to have employees stay home from work. We know you are aware that we provided vital services to the people with developmental disabilities and they depend on us during this critical time. The health and safety of ALL members of our community is a priority.
Update 3-18-20: The Arc Westchester’s Day Services Program, including Choices Neighborhood, was temporarily suspended on March 18, 2020. We realize the impact that suspension of our day programs has on our families, staff and the people we support, however, it is critical we follow precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Effective April 1, 2020, our agency headquarters at 265 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne, NY will be closed to all visitors. Only essential staff with security codes will have access to the building. Mail and package deliveries will be accepted during regular business hours. Please leave a message at our reception line at 914.949.9300 if you need access to the facility.
- All community outings and home visits for individuals living in our residences have been suspended. Our Residential Staff and Nursing teams are first responders to each individual’s health. They support their daily needs in order to keep all members of the residence safe and prevent the spread of the virus. People who live in any of our residences, will be provided with Day Services in the residence in which they reside.
- For those who reside in the community with their families, our Day Services staff we will share access to available resources and day supports. Additionally, The Arc Westchester will continue to explore our ability to provide supports within the home for families that might prefer this option and for whom staff is available.
- Our Wellness Center Clinic is an essential service and remains open with safety measures in place to both screen staff and individuals for clinic access, and continues to practice extensive cleaning and sanitizing. The clinic is pleased to be able to provide telemedicine by either telephone or Zoom to offer continuity of care during this time. Appointments are necessary. We will be screening any visitors to the clinic with a series of recent health-related questions.