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COVID-19 Latest Updates

9/17/20 Day Habilitation Update

Given the continued local COVID-19 cases within Chemung County, and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision that as of Monday, September 21st, we will Pause our current site-based Day Habilitation programming until October 16th, when we will re-evaluate the status of local cases.  Ultimately, we feel it is necessary to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the people we support, the people we employ, the families of those people and our community at large. 

 

8/17/20 OPWDD Services Update

OPWDD released guidance, on July 10th, which provided guidelines to providers allowing the resumption of home visits, community outings and day services, as well as returning to residential settings following extended home visits.  OPWDD identified the guidelines would be effective as of July 15th, 2020 for regions of the State that have entered Phase Four in accordance with the NYS Forward Reopening Plan.  Able2 has developed appropriate plans by which to effectively and safely address the requirements of the guidelines.  While some limitations remain, home visits and community outings have resumed for those that can safely participate.  Any questions regarding home visits or community outings should be directed to the Program Manager.

Additionally, as of 8/18/20, Able2's Day Habilitation program will resume operations for a small group of individuals.  Our Day Habilitation Re-Opening Safety Plan is below.  If you have questions regarding the plan or program re-opening, please contact Maria Elston at 607-739-3591, ext. 9215.

 

8/17/20  Article 28 Clinic Update

The Article 28 Clinic opened on August 5th as planned.  While the new safety requirements have presented some challenges, overall the first two weeks of operation have been successful.  We ask for your continued patience as we work through rescheduling nearly 1200 appointments that needed to be cancelled due to the pandemic and the Clinic closure.  Appointments are being rescheduled in the order they were cancelled but if you have an emergent situation, please call the Clinic and we will work to see you as soon as possible.

Please remember, appointments will be scheduled in a manner that promotes social distancing and allows for adequate time for us to disinfect all areas of use in between patient appointments.  

To obtain services in person, you agree to take certain precautions, which will help keep everyone (you, our dental staff, our families, other clients and individuals in our building) safe from exposure, sickness and possible death. If you do not adhere to these safeguards, it will result in the termination of your appointment. 

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MINIMIZE YOUR EXPOSURE

·        You will only keep your appointment if you are symptom free.

·        You will use provided alcohol-based (60%) hand sanitizer when you enter our office and wear a face covering at all times (except when service is being rendered).

·        You agree to non-touch temperature check and attestation to pre-screening questions upon arrival to our office.  If your temperature is elevated (100 Fahrenheit or more), or if you have other symptoms of the coronavirus such as shortness of breath, or coughing, or have been exposed to someone who shows signs of COVID-19, your appointment will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later time. 

·        You will enter the office unaccompanied, if possible. For those patients who need a guardian/staff to accompany them, we ask that this be limited to necessary persons only.

·        You will adhere to the safe distancing precautions we have set up in the waiting room.

OUR COMMITMENT TO MINIMIZE EXPOSURE

·        Infection control has always been a top priority in our practice. We follow recommendations and guidelines made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This allows us to make sure that our infection control procedures are up-to-date and enables us to provide the safest environment for our patients and their family members.

·        Our doctor and staff will be wearing all of the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and will be subjected to temperature checks and health screening questions prior to the start of their day. 

 

Previously Issued Updates:

7/13/20 OPWDD Services Update

OPWDD released guidance, on July 10th, which provides guidelines to providers allowing the resumption of home visits, community outings and day services, as well as returning to residential settings following extended home visits.  OPWDD has identified these guidelines will be effective as of July 15th, 2020 for regions of the State that have entered Phase Four in accordance with the NYS Forward Reopening Plan.  Able2 is in receipt of these guidelines, we are reviewing the requirements of each guidance document and plans are being developed that will allow for mindful and safe reopening actions to ensure the continued safety of our staff and those we support.  Affected families/individuals will be notified as these plans and requirements are completed.

 

7/12/20 Residential Services Update

In-person visits with families and advocates are now occurring at Able2 residential sites.  To ensure everyone's safety, all visits must be pre-scheduled and adhere to guidance issued by OPWDD.  If you have questions or wish to schedule a visit, please reach out to the site Manager. 

 

7/12/20  Article 28 Clinic Update

In the very near future, prior to our re-opening on August 5, 2020, we will be calling you to reschedule any appointments cancelled due to this pandemic.  Appointments will be scheduled in a manner that promotes social distancing and allows for adequate time for us to disinfect all areas of use in between patient appointments.  We ask that you please be patient and understand that we will do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs as we know many of you are anxious to get back into our office.

To obtain services in person, you agree to take certain precautions, which will help keep everyone (you, our dental staff, our families, other clients and individuals in our building) safe from exposure, sickness and possible death. If you do not adhere to these safeguards, it will result in the termination of your appointment. 

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MINIMIZE YOUR EXPOSURE

·        You will only keep your appointment if you are symptom free.

·        You will use provided alcohol-based (60%) hand sanitizer when you enter our office and wear a face covering at all times (except when service is being rendered).

·        You agree to non-touch temperature check and attestation to pre-screening questions upon arrival to our office.  If your temperature is elevated (100 Fahrenheit or more), or if you have other symptoms of the coronavirus such as shortness of breath, or coughing, or have been exposed to someone who shows signs of COVID-19, your appointment will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later time. 

·        You will enter the office unaccompanied, if possible. For those patients who need a guardian/staff to accompany them, we ask that this be limited to necessary persons only.

·        You will adhere to the safe distancing precautions we have set up in the waiting room.

OUR COMMITMENT TO MINIMIZE EXPOSURE

·        Infection control has always been a top priority in our practice. We follow recommendations and guidelines made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This allows us to make sure that our infection control procedures are up-to-date and enables us to provide the safest environment for our patients and their family members.

·        Our doctor and staff will be wearing all of the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and will be subjected to temperature checks and health screening questions prior to the start of their day. 

Although things are different and there are new expectations, we are confident that the planning that has taken place to re-open our clinic in conjunction with the above guidelines will ensure a safe and healthy environment.  Thank you for being part of our community clinic. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

 

6/16/20 Residential Services Update

Governor Cuomo has indicated that visitation to group homes may be able to begin after Friday 6/19/20.  While this news is very exciting for the people we support and their families, the specific rules and required filings with the State to allow for this happen have not yet been provided to us.  We await word from OPWDD related to those details.  For now, our residential sites remain under No Visitation rules.  We will keep this website updated, and will reach out to families as quickly as possible when final rules are provided.   

Article 28 Clinic

In our continued efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, and after consultation with medical personnel, we determined the need to suspend non-emergency operations at the Able2 Article 28 Clinic with the exception of TeleHealth Psychology Services.  The suspension of services is effective March 18, 2020.

TeleHealth Psychology Services will continue to be offered by appointment only (607) 734-7107 ext. 9394.

The following services will be suspended until further notice:

*Dental

*Occupational Therapy (OT)

*Speech Therapy

*TeleHealth Urgent Care (Walk-in Clinic)

 

Able2 Residential Programs

On 3/20/2020, Governor Cuomo announced that anyone who has been identified as a member of a vulnerable population is to remain indoors.  People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are considered members of a vulnerable population.  This latest directive, paired with the recent guidance distributed by OPWDD to suspend all visitation to certified residential homes leads us to announce the suspension of home visits and community outings by persons living in our residences that are not “medically necessary”, effective immediately. 

We continue to encourage families and friends to arrange to visit remotely through the use of FaceTime, Skype, Google Hang Outs, or phone call. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to and connect with the site where your family or friend resides.

 

 

Visiting Able2 Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs):

Able2's Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) are homes to many people who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Given this reality, we’ve worked in close connection with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and in alignment with all DOH and state guidance to take significant precautionary measures.

OPWDD issued very specific guidance regarding prevention measures for all ICFs in NYS. There are 3 components to the guidance.

  1. The first is that all visitation to ICFs by non-employees has been suspended. We have also suspended all community based recreation/ activities for those living in ICFs.
  2. All agency employees entering an ICF, MUST participate in a “Health Check” before crossing the thresholds of the ICFs.
  3. All agency employees crossing the thresholds of the ICFs must comply with required guidance of wearing protective equipment when providing care to a person they are supporting.

We encourage families and other service providers to arrange to visit remotely through the use of FaceTime, Skype, Google Hang Outs, or phone call. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to and connect with the site where your family or friend resides.

https://opwdd.ny.gov/icf-guidance-0

 

Visiting Able2 Individual Residential Alternatives (IRAs): 

As we all know, COVID-19 is present in many communities around New York State.  In efforts to continue to promote the health and wellbeing of the people we support, our employees, and to slow the spread of COVID-19, OPWDD has issued visitation guidance specific to our IRAs.  Effective immediately all visitation to our IRAs is suspended. 

People we support who leave for a visit with family or friends, will be required to be screened prior to re-entry to the residence. If during the screening, there is any identified risk to the other people in the residence, the person’s family or friends must be prepared for the person to NOT return to the residence.

We encourage families and other service providers to arrange to visit remotely through the use of FaceTime, Skype, Google Hang Outs, or phone call. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to and connect with the site where your family or friend resides.

https://opwdd.ny.gov/visitation-guidance-iras-community-residences-and-private-schools

 

 

COVID-19 Resources to provide you with updates and information on the local, state, and national levels.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

https://www.cdc.gov/

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

OPWDD

https://opwdd.ny.gov

Chemung County Health Department

http://www.chemungcountyhealth.org/

 

2-1-1 HELPLINE provides a comprehensive information service that is designed to assist people with connecting to community resources.  These resources consist of health and human service providers, nonprofits, educational programs, support & civic groups, and local, city, and county services.  The 2-1-1 website recently updated resources to reflect changes to services that have resulted from the COVID-19 virus. 

Visit their website for more information: https://www.ihsnet.org/ihs-services/2-1-1-helpline/

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