In an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order mandating that workers remain at home, excluding essential workers. Under the order, home care workers and personal aides are essential workers and are permitted to continue providing support for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.
To date, there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus—or COVID 19—in New York State, with more than 12,000 in New York City. As the number grows, people with physical, developmental, and other disabilities have expressed concern about whether their homecare workers or personal aides may have difficulty getting to work due to the emergency restrictions imposed by Governor Cuomo to protect the public during the coronavirus emergency.
Home care workers, personal aides essential amid coronavirus
With home care workers and personal aides being categorized as essential workers, people with disabilities and chronic conditions can reassure their aides that they can travel to work and handle essential errands. They can share the information below, which the aides can keep with them, just in case they need it. Home care workers should also be advised to carry their work IDs. Here’s the official information regarding home care workers and personal aides in New York:
Home care workers and personal aides providing assistance to chronically ill or physically disabled individuals under the New York State Social Services Law are considered “essential workers” pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.6, as defined by New York State definition:
Category 1. Essential Health Care Operations, including home health care workers or aides, and/or
Category 8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-funded voluntary programs; and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support.
Staying healthy and informed
People with disabilities and chronic conditions are advised to remain informed of the symptoms associated with the coronavirus, and take all necessary steps to remain healthy and protected. Symptoms are quite common and include:
- Shortness of breath
People who develop symptoms should seek immediate medical advice, especially if they have been in contact with a person known to have coronavirus. Call ahead before visiting a doctor or ER and tell them about symptoms.
Remain healthy during coronavirus outbreak
Here are some important guidelines:
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Do not visit other people or have them visit you.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Always cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
Questions of concerns should be directed to the New York State Department of Health’s coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065, or 311 for questions related to the virus.