UPDATE March 29, 2021 : Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in New York. Beginning Tuesday, March 30, all New Yorkers 30 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Beginning April 6, universal eligibility goes into effect and all New Yorkers 16 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Additionally, the Governor announced more than 2 million total COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered at New York State-run and FEMA-assisted mass vaccination sites. Statewide, more than 9 million total doses have been administered across all vaccination sites. 171,419 doses have been administered across the state’s vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and more than 1.3 million doses have been administered over the past seven days. Delivery of the week 16 allocation begins mid-week.
UPDATE March 10,2021: Governor Cuomo announced the eligibility of the COVID-19 vaccine for New Yorkers 60 Years and older beginning March 10.
Vaccine Distribution Eligibility Expanded; All Providers Except Pharmacies Can Now Vaccinate Any Eligible New Yorker Starting March 17; Pharmacies Can Vaccinate 60-plus and Teachers Per Federal Guidance Starting March 10
Beginning March 17, 2021 the following essential workers will now be eligible to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Public-facing government and public employees
- Not-for-profit workers who provide public-facing services to New Yorkers in need
- Essential in-person public-facing building service workers
This includes workers such as public works employees, social service and child service caseworkers, government inspectors, sanitation workers, DMV workers, County Clerks, building service workers and election workers – the everyday heroes who have been showing up day in and day out throughout this pandemic.
New Yorkers Can Make Appointments at State-Run Vaccination Sites by Utilizing New York’s ‘Am I Eligible’ Tool or Calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX
UPDATE February 5, 2021: GREAT NEWS! The Governor’s Office has announced that ALL Individuals with I/DD in New York State will be eligible for vaccinations BEGINNING ON February 15, 2021. This announcement means that ALL the people we support will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in just 10 days.
The full announcement from the Governor’s office can be found here. Please read this announcement carefully as it shares comorbidities and underlying conditions that New York State will use to determine eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. We have fought hard to ensure priority access to the vaccine for all people we support. This is a huge victory.
At this time, we are still facing challenges with vaccine supply and appointment availability, but I am hopeful that will also work out. Please be advised that The Arc Westchester is unable to provide the vaccine, and we do not have any additional information on available locations.
We thank everyone for all the advocacy and support as we continue to make a difference in the lives of the individuals we support and our dedicated workforce. We all know that the vaccine is our best defense in combating COVID-19 and saving lives.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has lifted micro-cluster zone restrictions for all of the state’s 26 orange and yellow zones except for five, citing ongoing declines in positivity and hospitalization rates across the board. He is not tweaking New York City’s indoor dining ban just yet, calling that an ongoing and “city-specific” issue. Lifting most of state’s color-coded micro-cluster zones, which apply varying rules to schools, businesses, mass gatherings and houses of worship based on risk and haven’t been changed in more than a month, is a significant step forward.
Around the country, we are seeing increases in Coronavirus cases, and in the tri-state region, we are seeing an uptick in cases. As cases rise in the State, Governor Cuomo’s Cluster Action Initiative will divide clusters (COVID-19 hot spots) and the areas around them into three categories with successively higher restrictions within each one: Red Zone – cluster Itself; Orange Zone – warning zone; and Yellow Zone – precautionary zone.
Certain areas in the communities of New Rochelle, Ossining, Tarrytown, Yonkers, and Peekskill have been designated YELLOW ZONES. This is a precautionary zone that is following specific guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus in the communities. Click on the button below to view specific addresses.
Effective November 16, the City of Mount Vernon issued a stay-at-home advisory. While this is not mandatory, we are adopting the suggestion to limit travel to essential outings only and ensuring our homes avoid the area for non-essential travel. Mount Vernon residents are urged to get tested at local medical facilities.
Port Chester along the Connecticut border including areas of Rye Brook has been designated an ORANGE ZONE which is categorized as a warning zone. Many new restrictions including public schools moving to full remote have been put in place.
We have a Day Services program site in Port Chester and are following all regulations and guidelines set forth by the state and OPWDD which includes suspending in-person services at that location. If you live in the area and/or frequent locations in this designated zone, please stay vigilant, keep posted on the metrics of the Micro-Cluster areas, and take every precaution set forth by the Department of Health. All reports indicate that we have entered yet another wave of the virus and we have the power to make careful decisions that can reduce the spread in our local communities.
Westchester County DOH and Open Door Family Medical Center have coordinated to provide rapid testing at 5 Grace Church Street in Port Chester. To make an appointment CLICK HERE or call (914) 995-7425. To learn more about Governor Cuomo’s Micro Cluster Strategy and to check your address, click on the button below.
The Governor has also announced new guidelines to the TRAVEL ADVISORY to ensure successful containment of COVID-19 in New York. The Governor has stopped posting a quarantine list of states. Effective Wednesday, November 4, there will be one rule that applies across the country for non-essential workers.
- Out-of-state travelers will now be allowed to “Test Out” of mandatory 14-day quarantines.
- Travelers from Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, these travelers must still continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. View Interim Guidance→
For any traveler to New York State from out-of-state (excluding CT, NJ, PA, MA & VT), the new guidelines for non-essential travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are as follows:
For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:
- Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
- The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
- On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:
- The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
- The traveler must fill out the traveler information form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID test 4 days after their arrival in New York.
Additionally, the Governor has requested that people avoid non-essential tristate travel, and warnings have been issued against holiday travel.
The Arc Westchester’s OPWDD programs have been designated as Essential Services. Essential workers are exempt from Mandatory Quarantine (as they were before), however, if any of our staff have out-of-state travel plans, they will alert their direct supervisor immediately as to their destination. Essential workers continue to report to work and do not quarantine themselves from work. Essential workers returning from out of state should still get a COVID test as outlined above.
To ensure the health of all our community, we need to make sure that all infection control guidelines are followed when returning from another state. Ongoing cooperation is needed as we all continue to live in a COVID-19 environment.
Click the button below to view zoned maps and enter your address to see if you live in one of the designated areas. We are monitoring this closely and are working diligently to implement plans that will ensure the safety of the individuals we support, our staff, families, and the community.
Update 6-17-20: We are pleased to learn the Governor announced today that group home visitation will be allowed beginning Friday, June 19th. Please refer to the following Guideline for Family Visits that includes your need to call ahead, wear a mask and other requirements aimed at keeping our community healthy and safe. We are still awaiting further directions from OPWDD and will share those with you once we receive them. Thank you for your continued support, cooperation and patience during this challenging time.
Click here to view pdf →
Update 5-15-20: Governor Cuomo’s announced his New York Forward plan to begin reopening the state. This happened on a regional basis on 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. We will be sharing more information about this with you at a future date.
We continue to stay informed and closely follow all recommendations by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), The Arc New York, NY State Departments of Health (DOH) and the CDC. We request all of us to remain vigilant in following the latest executive order extending a stay in place until May 15 set forth by Office of the Governor:
- Wear masks and gloves whenever you are out of your home, traveling or engaging in necessary activities
- Continue infection control protocol like hand-washing with soap and water frequently
Definition of face covering: Face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, and face shields.
The Governor’s Office and OPWDD 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. View all executive orders.
We recognize we must continue to be follow all health guidelines, keep up social distancing, preventive procedures and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when required. Our staff have been informed of these new safety guidelines and we are providing staff with the necessary PPE whose job requires community interaction.