July 10, 2020                                  A Message from Commissioner Kastner


Interim Guidance on Home Visits, Community Outings, Day Services and Return to Residences After Extended Home Visits Now Available

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

OPWDD is pleased to announce that guidance has been released, and posted on the OPWDD website, which provides guidelines to providers and family members allowing the resumption of home visits, community outings and day services, as well as returning to residential settings following extended home visits. The guidelines will be effective July 15, 2020 for regions of the State that have entered into Phase Four in accordance with the New York Forward Reopening Plan.

I want to thank the people we support and their family members who have reached out over the past few weeks for your advocacy and for your patience as we worked with health experts on a plan that ensures the continued safety of everyone we support. We heard your concerns and have been hard at work on making these shared goals a reality.

The new guidance can be found at the following links on the OPWDD website:

Day Services Guidance

Home Visit Guidance

Return to Residence Following an Extended Stay Guidance

Community Outings Guidance

We want to remind everyone to continue to practice social distancing, wear masks when appropriate, limit exposure in public places and continue frequent hand washing to ensure minimal transmission of COVID-19. 

Again, we thank you for your patience as we worked through some of the challenges associated with the safe return to these activities. As always, our number one priority is the health and safety of the people we support.



Theodore Kastner, MD, MS



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