Dear Family Members and Caregivers;
We have been notified by the Oneida County Public Health Department that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
We have immediately worked with the Oneida County Public Health Department to follow their recommendations on notifying staff and stakeholders of this news, which we are doing as quickly as possible.
It is imperative to note: The Oneida County Public Health Department has told us that there was a very low risk of exposure to others, and they do not require that anyone - staff or people we support - is tested, isolated, or quarantined.
Many weeks ago, we put comprehensive infection prevention and control practices into action at all of our sites. We continue to follow all universal precautions and recommendations put forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health and we assure you the safety, health, and well-being of staff, people we support, and families is and will continue to be our top priority.
As Governor Cuomo and New York State continue to take measures to promote social distancing, temporary suspensions have been announced by New York State's Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.
RESIDENTIAL SERVICES: As of Wednesday, March 18th, at 11pm, OPWDD is mandating a temporary suspension of visitation to all Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) across the state, except when medically or clinically necessary, effective immediately.
While physical visits aren't possible at this time, all Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter houses are equipped with NVITE Telehealth equipment. We encourage family members to visit with their loved ones through video chat on phones/tablets, or computers. We ask interested families to please call 315-982-2063 for more information.
DAY HABILITATION PROGRAMS AND PRE-VOCATIONAL SERVICES: The Arc, Oneida-Lewis self-imposed the temporary suspension of Day Habilitation Programs on Tuesday, March 16th. This suspension includes the CollegeWorks program at MVCC, Progress Industries sites at Arnold Ave., Lewis County Industries, and more.
UPDATE: Since our self-imposed suspension of programs, NYS OPWDD has mandated all programs remain temporarily suspended at this time. No timetable for the duration of this suspension has been given.
The temporary suspension includes:
- All Day Hab programs in Oneida and Lewis Counties
- CollegeWorks at MVCC in Utica and Rome
- Progress Industries at Arnold Ave. in Utica
- Progress Industries at LCI in Lowville
- Respite Care Home in Utica including after school activities
- Night Recreation
- Children's Services
- Pre-K Services
- Early Intervention Services
Our Executive Management team and Board of Directors will continue to communicate and monitor the COVID-19 situation in our communities. We will also continue to update people we support, families, and staff, including posting updates to social media, our website, and through the media. Please see the materials that have been mailed to families, which are housed on this page to the right of this information.
We wholeheartedly appreciate your understanding that decisions are being made after much evaluation, and our goal remains to keep communicating any changes and updates to you as soon as we can.
Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions. We have set up a specific email address, COVIDemail@example.com, so that we may respond to any concerns appropriately. Thank you, and stay safe.
Chief Executive Officer
The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter