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Residential Questions, Answers & Resources

Q1:    Why are individuals who reside in certified group residences not allowed to have visitors?

A1:    OPWDD issued the directive based on Executive Order number 202.5 dated March 18, 2020.  This is for protection of the individuals living in these type settings.  The risk would increase exponentially if visitors were allowed.   

Q2:    How long will this continue?  What other arrangements should I expect providers to offer?

A2:    We don’t know how long it will continue;  Agencies are utilizing telehealth as much as they can for medical interaction.  Many providers are having their residents use facetime, zoom, and other technology to provide “face to face” interaction with friends and families.

We encourage families to call, send cards and also show appreciation to the staff who are working so diligently to care for and keep your loved one safe.

Q3:    What if I choose to bring my loved one home?  When can they return?

A3:    If you elect to bring your loved one “home” to your primary residence,  they will not be permitted back into their residence until the Providers indicate it is acceptable based on OPWDD policy driven by the Department of Health.  

Q4:    What precautions are being taken for residents in their group home setting to prevent exposure to the virus?

A4:    In addition to suspending visitation into group residences, private schools, day hab’s, other community settings and visits to family members homes are also on “pause” during this crisis.  
Preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus requires other actions including:


  • Education of staff and individuals on key aspects of prevention

  • Adherence cleaning and disinfecting properly

  • Proper use of personal protection equipment

  • Staff screening and identification of symptoms

For additional details refer to OPWDD guidance document:

Q5:    Where is the best place to be informed of updates in the ID/DD system?

A5:    Good question!  Guide & Connect, Parent Network of WNY and DDAWNY Family Committee Facebook pages.  OPWDD Covid-19 Site -

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