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Updated Announcement with Important Information Regarding COVID-19

Independent Support Services would like you to know that we are as concerned as you during this unprecedented time of uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 virus. At this time, we want to notify our stakeholders about some critical information.

We encourage Participants and their Circle of Support to reach out to their Care Managers, Brokers and then their Self-Direction Coordinators with any concerns or questions about their safety and health.

We also want to encourage all Participants/COS and Support Staff to follow The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to help contain the spread of the COVID-19.

The recommendations are:

  • actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • take care when you cough or sneeze to cover your mouth with tissue or cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • avoid touching your face if possible
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds, multiple times during the day or use hand sanitizer
  • avoid crowds if possible

Participants, their Circle of Support and Support Staff should refer to their local County Department of Health for any up-to-date information on the CORVID-19 virus and follow any recommendations they suggest.

Additionally, today the Office For People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) sent out an email requiring all agencies including Self-Direction Fiscal Intermediaries to report information on any participant that meet the following quarantine and/or isolation orders per their medical doctor:

  1. Precautionary Quarantine – meaning the person might have traveled to specific areas and is not displaying symptoms or is known to have had a proximate exposure to a positive person but had not had direct contact with that positive person and is not displaying symptom
  2. Required Mandatory Quarantine – meaning the person has had close contact with someone who is positive but not displaying symptoms or has traveled to specific areas and are displaying symptoms of COVID-19
  3. Required Mandatory Isolation – meaning the person has tested positive for COVID-19, whether or not displaying symptoms and the Local Health department has issued a mandatory quarantine or isolation.

If a participant does fall into any of the above categories please report it to ISS at the following email: health@issny.org.  Please give us the participants name, where they live, and what type of quarantine they are in. We will then follow up and ask for the necessary medical documentation to allow the participant to resume their normal activities, including allowing staff to work with them.

As this will also impact staff, it is important we know the participant information so we may notify their staff and also notify any other person within ISS that staff may have had contact with. Once a participant’s exposure is reported to us we will have to notify their staff. At that time, the staff will be told they cannot work until staff are cleared by a medical professional. When staff are cleared we will notify the participants/COS they work with so they can make a decision to have them return to work.

Please do not have staff work if they are reporting to work sick. If sick, please send them home and ask them not to return without medical clearance stating they are cleared to work. Although OPWDD does not require us to report whether a staff has been exposed, or is positive for the COVID-19 virus, it must be reported to us. If a staff reports they have been exposed or are positive for the virus and cannot work please email health@issny.org or ask them to report it to health@issny.org. We will then do all the necessary follow-up to ensure they do not return to work until they are cleared by a doctor to do so. Once cleared we will notify the participants/COS they work with so they can make a decision to return their staff to work.

In any of these instances above, if staff are unable to work they can use their own accrued PTO or use FAPTO at the discretion of the participant/COS. At this time there is no discussion of increasing FAPTO hours or staff’s PTO hours.

To help make submitting timesheets, reimbursements and invoices easier, we would like to remind everyone that timesheets and all reimbursements can be uploaded electronically through the portal.

All of us at Independent Support Services, Inc. are committed to continuing to provide our Fiscal Intermediary responsibilities. If anything should change and we need to modify how we do business we will let everyone know.

 

Thank you,

 

Alan Kulchinsky
Executive Director


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