Coronavirus Information (COVID-19)

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You are on this page: Coronavirus Information (COVID-19)

A new coronavirus - 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus – that was first detected in China is now spreading worldwide. This virus causes a disease called COVID-19 and can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in a growing number of countries internationally and the virus is now spreading in the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more about this virus.

For the latest information, please check the New York State Department of Health web site.

News and Updates

July 21, 2021 — Child Care Stabilization Grants to help providers with pandemic recovery coming soon
June 24, 2021 — Governor's Executive Orders End
May 27, 2021 — OCFS Publishes Corrections to Imprint Article on Juvenile Facilities

OCFS responds to a May article in The Imprint regarding COVID testing in juvenile detention facilities.

January 12, 2021 — Updated - New COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Facilities and for OASAS / OCFS / OMH / OTDA

New vaccine guidance has been issued for Facilities and for OASAS / OCFS / OMH / OTDA.

See the COVID-19 Guidance page for more information.

December 16, 2020 — The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Here!

The first COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, is here. NYS is receiving our first delivery of 170,000 doses this week and the first New Yorkers have already begun to be vaccinated. Additional doses of the vaccine will follow later this month.

The first New Yorkers to receive the vaccine will be high-risk hospital workers (emergency room workers, ICU staff and Pulmonary Department staff), nursing home residents, nursing home staff, followed by all long-term and congregate care residents and staff, EMS workers, other health care workers, coroners and medical examiners. Staff at every hospital will have access to the first vaccine allocation.

While the vaccination process is underway, all New Yorkers should wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid small and large gatherings.

Get more information and sign up for email notifications at ny.gov/vaccine.

April 23, 2020 — Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million in Child Care Scholarships for Essential Workers and Supplies for Child Care Providers

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will provide child care scholarships to all essential workers starting Monday, April 20. Child care costs will be covered with $30 million in federal CARES Act funding to essential staff whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level – or $78,600 for a family of four – and will be paid up to market rate for each region statewide.

The CARES funding will also be used to purchase supplies for child care providers statewide who remain open, including masks, gloves, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and food. CCRRs will receive grants totaling approximately $600 per provider. Providers looking for supplies should contact their CCRR.

Read the full announcement.

March 20, 2020 — Waiver request letter to Detention Directors

As the state addresses the COVID-19 crisis, we must work together to provide a safe and secure continuity of service for youth in custody. Current regulatory requirements prohibit cohousing for JD and JO male youth with AO male youth; however, OCFS has determined that during this declared disaster emergency, this prohibition may lead to beds that could safely be utilized to house detained youth being left empty.

Based on the possibility that there will be a need to quarantine or isolate youth who have been exposed to or contracted COVID-19 and the staffing shortages that are often attendant to pandemic situations, the need for available secure and specialized secure detention beds may increase during this crisis. Thus, collocated secure detention and specialized secure detention facilities may wish to apply for a waiver on the prohibition of cohousing AO male youth with JD and JO male youth.

Download the March 20 waiver request letter.

March 20, 2020 — COVID-19 Fiscal Tracking Memorandum

We recognize that there are likely to be new, unanticipated costs associated with your county’s/agency’s operations in caring for the runaway and homeless youth in our communities. Both the Federal Government and the Governor have declared states of emergency. We believe that additional federal resources may become available and we want to be fully prepared to provide costs associated with the pandemic. If you haven’t begun to do so already, I strongly urge you to maintain an accurate and separate accounting of all expenses related to this COVID-19 emergency.

We will share additional guidance and instruction as it becomes available.

Download the COVID-19 Fiscal Tracking memorandum.

March 19, 2020 — Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts

"Pursuant to a delegation of authority to me by the Chief Judge of the State of New York in response to the 2020 coronavirus public health emergency in this State, I hereby direct that, effective immediately and until further notice, any temporary orders of protection issued in any criminal or civil matter in any court of the Unified Court System that is due to expire on or after the date of this order shall be extended under the same terms and conditions until the date the matter is re-calendared, unless the order is sooner terminated or modified by a judge or justice of the court that issued the order."

Download the March 19 Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts.

March 17, 2020 — Notice to Child Care Providers Regarding Directives

Attention: Child Care Providers

There is no State directive to close child care programs at this time. OCFS is working on creative ways to help expand child care capacity in a safe way across the state. As a reminder, licensed programs are responsible for reporting to OCFS if they are voluntarily closing.

In certain circumstances, local authorities have the authority to direct programs to close under quarantine or other emergency orders.

Your license capacity remains in effect unless you’ve been approved for a waiver by OCFS. We encourage you to consider the ability to care for children who are not attending school but whose parents must continue to work. There may be ways for you to serve a greater number of children while continuing to prioritize their health and safety and that of your employees. To the extent practicable, consider ways to manage your program to limit group sizes and interactions between groups in line with the Centers for Disease Control guidance.

March 17, 2020 — Temporary Visitor Restrictions Within Residential Treatment Centers and Congregate Care Settings

As part of New York States’ continued effort to curtail the transmission of the Novel Coronavirus of 2019 Disease (COVID-19) and maintain the health, safety, and well-being of the children and families served in residential treatment centers and congregate care settings (programs), the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) encourages the implementation of policies which limit visitor access. Programs must take immediate steps to temporarily restrict visitors to only:

  • specified family members,
  • medical personnel, and
  • behavioral health specialists.

Download the complete memorandum as Word memorandum of March 17, 2020 or PDF memorandum of March 17, 2020.

March 16, 2020 — Child Care Subsidy Information in Regard to COVID-19

Effective immediately, local social services districts can expand the child care services they provide to families affected by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Districts may select from the following options:

  • extend the eligibility period,
  • expand the definition of a child needing protective services,
  • expand the number of allowable absences,
  • expand the number of program closures,
  • extend eligibility up to 85% of the state median income level,
  • waive family shares, and
  • make other requests related to eligibility and/or administration of the child care subsidy program.

A letter to Commissioners and the waiver request form are provided below.

Download the waiver request letter as Word waiver request letter from March 16, 2020 and PDF waiver request letter from March 16, 2020.

Download the waiver request form as Word wainver request form from March 16, 2020 and PDF waiver request form from March 16, 2020.

Letters to Child Care Providers

September 16, 2021 — Letter to Providers: Emergency Face Covering Regulation

Dear Provider:
This letter contains important health and safety updates for your child care program. Please read this information carefully as it contains information on a new emergency regulation regarding mandatory masking in child care settings. Thank you.

Estimado(a) proveedor(a),
Esta carta contiene actualizaciones importantes de salud y seguridad para su programa de cuidado infantil. Lea esta información detenidamente, ya que contiene información sobre un nuevo reglamento de emergencia con respecto al uso obligatorio de mascarillas o barbijos en los entornos de cuidado infantil. Gracias.

June 28, 2021 — COVID 19 Guidance Updates

Dear Provider:
This letter is to inform you that effective immediately there are important changes to the COVID-19 related requirements for child care programs. Please read this information carefully. If you have any questions, please reach out to your regulator.
Thank you!

Estimado(a) proveedor(a),
Esta carta es para informarle que con vigencia inmediata hay cambios importantes en los requisitos relacionados con COVID-19 para los programas de cuidado infantil. Lea esta información detenidamente. Si tiene alguna pregunta, comuníquese con su regulador.
Gracias!

June 24, 2021 — Governor's Executive Orders End

When the state of emergency ends in New York State today, all child care related Executive Orders (EOs) issued by Governor Cuomo will no longer be in effect.

April 1, 2021 — Travel Advisory Update

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) updated its COVID-19 Travel Advisory. All New Yorkers must adhere to the travel guidelines, attached hereto, and available on the NYS DOH website. Please review the information contained in these important guidance documents.

March 24, 2021 — Dear Provider Letter - Vaccination

This letter provides information on additional COVID-19 vaccination sites, making the vaccine more accessible to providers.

February 24, 2021 — Letter to Legally-exempt Summer Camp Directors

This letter contains information regarding steps to enroll for summer 2021 as a legally exempt group summer camp program, to provide child care services to families who are receiving child care assistance.

January 11, 2021 — New Vaccine Guidance for Child Care Providers
March 17, 2020 — Corona Virus Update

OCFS Facility Tracking Data for COVID-19

The following are weekly reports tracking COVID-19 numbers for youth and staff in OCFS facilities. These files reflect weekly COVID-positive numbers dating from March 2020 for staff and from October 2020 for youth.

OCFS Weekly Youth and Staff COVID Tracking Information for the week ending OCtober 14, 2021

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