As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, I want to reassure you that our priorities remain the same, the safety and health of the people we support, as well as all our employees.

It takes each and every one of us to limit and contain the spread of COVID19, which can have serious effects on your loved one, others they share programs with, our staff and your family.

We have decided to temporarily pause family visits to your home as well as visits at the IRA.  Each family has their own unique situation; therefore, mangers will be reaching out to you to discuss your loved ones situation.

We made this decision due to the rapid community spread of COVID19.  Many of our locations are in the 5%-11% positive rate of COVID19.   It’s important to protect your loved one, you and our employees.

Please know that we have made this decision with the best interest of all involved.

Guidance continues to change almost daily between NYS, County and OPWDD.

Community Services for Every1 continues to monitor COVID-19 exposure and our region’s numbers of positive cases and hospitalizations. We have been operating in a proactive manner with a range or precautionary measures since early spring. As there have been recent spikes in positive cases in our Western New York region, please remain advised that progression, pause or reversal of our phases of program opening/operations and protocols will be determined by our team, based on continual monitoring and regulatory guidance.

Please visit our website at and click on the RED COVID19 Information button for latest guidance.  Please also utilize our COVID19 designated mailbox for questions at or call 716-883-8888, EXT 707.


As you may be aware, yesterday 11/9/2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a large portion of Erie County as a “Yellow Zone” according to his Micro Cluster Initiative to reduce the spread of COVID19.

What does this mean for your loved one who receives support from Community Services for Every1: 

The safety of your loved one is our priority. We are continuing our diligence by wearing masks or face coverings, utilizing proper hand hygiene and ensuring our homes and buildings are clean and disinfected regularly.

OPWDD is recommending weekly testing of our employees and those we support while in the designated Yellow Zone.  While this is not a requirement, we have communicated that proactive testing is available to our staffing and your loved one.

There is no cost associated with testing if people go through the Department of Health testing sites.  If they choose to go elsewhere, they may be charged a fee, this fee will not be reimbursed by the agency. Therefore, we have suggested people go to the following link or call the Dept. of Health directly to request testing based on the cluster initiative 716-858-2929.

Our staff will assist your loved one as necessary with obtaining proactive testing.

Informational Session for Families, Advocates and Outside Providers

Join us for our upcoming Informational Session for Families, Advocates and Outside Providers at 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 21. Mindy Cervoni, President & CEO, will inform families, advocates and outside providers of the status of program operations and agency safety measures as a result of the pandemic.

We are seeking questions IN ADVANCE of the meeting. They can be provided to or  716-883-8888 ext. 707. Please send by Friday, November 20. Mindy will address questions during the update.

**Additional questions can be submitted via chat. We will do our best to respond during the update or off-line.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Call In Number: +1 646 558 8656 US

Meeting ID: 962 8793 0668

Passcode: 532737

For more information, download the flyer here.

Family Notification: A Message from Mindy Cervoni, CEO & President

Finally, the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has begun. We received information from OPWDD that our employees and people served will soon be eligible to get the vaccine. As we know more information, we will send updates through the COVID-19 email and Therap s-comm. Please share this information with individuals you support and their families. You can also direct families to our agency website at for pertinent information. Here is what we know:

  • New York State has further clarified that people living in any type of OPWDD residence (IRAs), as well as the staff that support them, will be included in “Phase 1A” of the distribution plan. Vaccine distribution is expected to begin the week of 12/21. Discussion about the potential for broadening the population included in Phase 1A continues.
  • Individuals and staff working in these settings must receive their vaccine at a designated administration site. Over 1,000 sites statewide are being vetted now by the Department of Health, who is working with OPWDD and the local Departments of Health.
  • OPWDD has identified 414 residences statewide wherein 50% of the individuals who live there are 65 years of age or older. Individuals living in these residences will be enrolled in the long-term care pharmacy distribution initiative being developed. We have not yet been notified which of our sites will be included in this, but more information should be forthcoming.
  • The distribution through pharmacies is for the Pfizer vaccine, which necessitates ultra-deep freezer conditions, the capacity for which participating pharmacies have. All other individuals who live in certified residential settings are expected to receive the Moderna vaccine, which does not require such ultra-deep freeze storage. We are being told that is expected to be shipped to NYS on 12/22, if approved.
  • Each person served will need to give Informed Consent in order to give the vaccine (or follow the process normally used by a person who cannot individually consent).
  • The vaccine is Strongly Encouraged for staff and people served, but not Mandatory.
  • We do not have guidance yet on the timing of vaccines for staff who work outside our Residential program. Our assumption is that they would be included in the Essential Worker vaccine roll out, but do not have a date for that yet.
  • We do not have guidance yet on the timing of the vaccine for those served in other programs (outside Residential). Our assumption is that they would be included in the vulnerable population roll out, but are awaiting further information.

In order to prepare, we need to get an idea of how many employees are planning to take the vaccine. We may need to place orders by site and therefore are asking employees to take two minutes to complete a survey. Employees will not be held to the decision on this on survey. If an employee identifies they want the vaccine and in three weeks change their mind, that’s ok. Employees were provided the link via s-comm and email – please reach out to if you are an employee and did not receive the survey link.

If you have any questions related to this or anything covid related, please email the

Informational Call for Families, Advocates and Outside Providers

Join us for our upcoming Informational Call for Families, Advocates and Outside Providers from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11th. Community Services for Every1 wants to ensure our families, advocates and outside providers are informed regarding program operations as a result of COVID-19. Focus will include information on keeping those we support healthy and safe, communication, re-opening of day services and continuation of community based services. President and CEO Mindy Cervoni and COO Sharon Chmielnicki will be hosting the call.

In order to address the variety of inquiries from families, advocates and outside providers we are encouraging and welcoming questions in advance. They can be sent to Please send questions by Friday, August 7.

Call In Number:  +1 716-371-1017

Conference ID: 335 769 195#

For more information, download the flyer here.