COVID-19 Information & Policies

Information will be updated periodically

UPDATED 11/13/20

Attention LDA Community:

Per Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, parts of Erie County have been designated as a "Yellow Zone." Learning Disabilities Association of WNY, along with other non-profits in Erie County are awaiting further guidance and clarification from county officials on testing requirements for individuals and staff. As soon as details are made available, we will be sure to communicate with you.

For Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) funded by Day Habilitation and Employment Services, the "Yellow Zone" designation does not affect the delivery of services at this time. If this changes, we will be sure to communicate with you. While in the "Yellow Zone" designation, it is expected that we will continue to follow the reopening safety plans for each location, while remaining heightened and vigilant with corresponding procedures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

We know there are going to be many questions going forward so we ask that you be patient as we work to gain clarification and guidance. If a question does arise, please feel free to send it to: If there are any changes to our instructional model or services, it will be communicated to you. 



​The safety of the individuals and staff is our priority. We are continuing our diligence by wearing mask 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 the people we serve.

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 through the agency. Therefore we have suggested people go to Erie County COVID Testing Information Website or call the Department of Health directly to request testing based on the cluster initiative at 716-858-2929.

Please be advised of recent OPWDD Guidance on the Governor's Cluster Initiative. Certified IRA's visitation will be limited when an IRA falls into a Red or Orange Zone. Currently no sites fall within these zones as of this posting. 

Click here for easy and free COVID testing information.


UPDATED 8/31/20

Re-Opening Safety Plan for Starlight Studio & Art Gallery

For more information visit LDA of WNY Covid Resources Page 



UPDATED 6/24/20
Some links to important information regarding COVID-19

FDA Warns about toxic ingredients in these hand sanitizers

High Covid-19 rate in some Buffalo neighborhoods raises alarms


Pediatricians cite health impacts of racism and poverty



UPDATED 4/1/20

If you have COVID-19 related questions or concerns, please send your questions or concerns to 




UPDATE: 3/17/20
Starlight Studio & Art Gallery Day Program is closed starting Wednesday 3/18/20 until further notice. 

We are concerned about you and we will be checking in regularly over the phone.

Please call LDA of WNY should you have any concerns, 716-874-7200

1.    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2.    Cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue and discard in trash immediately.
3.    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
4.    Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
5.    Stay home if you are sick – unless it is to seek medical attention.
6.    Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
7.    Wash your hands before and after handling food, using the restroom and coming into contact with someone indicating signs of illness.


UPDATE: 3/16/20
Starlight Studio & Art Gallery is closed to the public. 

TO:                  Employees, Program Participants

FROM:             Marc Hennig C.E.O., LDA of WNY Management

DATE:             March 12, 2020

RE:                  Coronavirus (COVID-19)


LDA of WNY is committed to the protection of the health, safety and welfare of all of our employees and individuals that we serve. Given the recent developments around the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, we would like to reassure you that your well-being is of utmost importance to us and that we are actively working on business preparedness and response plans. At this time we have NO known confirmed cases within our Agency.


LDA of WNY is currently implementing procedures to ensure our standards of hygiene and cleanliness within all of our sites align with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) recommendations to reduce exposure to and transmission of illness in the workplace.


As COVID-19 is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation, LDA of WNY Management is monitoring information being released by WHO, CDC, NYS’s Department of Health (NYS DOH) OPWDD, and other governmental resources, to ensure that we are up to date and in compliance with the most current recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to make all other informed and fact-based decisions. In order to mitigate the risk of infection, we ask that all employees, program participants and visitors of LDA of WNY abide by the following practices:


  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  2. Cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue and discard in the trash immediately.

  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  5. Stay home if you are sick – unless it is to seek medical attention.

  6. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.

  7. Wash your hands before and after handling food, using the restroom, and coming into contact with someone indicating signs of illness.


Employees and program participants are asked to stay home if they experience any of the signs of illness associated with COVID-19, which are: fever, cough, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue/tiredness, sore throat, headache, and diarrhea/nausea. Employees should continue to abide by LDA of WNY’s PTO and Personnel Policies. Any exceptions to such policies must go through the employee’s immediate supervisor for direct approval by LDA of WNY’s CEO. Employees should feel free to contact their supervisor with any questions.


With regards to visitations to programs and certified sites including our residences, we are implementing visitation policies and procedures in order to minimize the risk of exposure to all of our employees and program participants. Specific information regarding the visitation policies and procedures will be released shortly.


Our top priorities are the health and safety of all of our employees and our program participants, as well as maintaining a high level of service to our program participants. As this situation evolves, we will continue to modify our plans as needed in order to deliver these priorities. 


We appreciate your continued dedication and support with assisting us in all of these efforts.


Attached are some general information documents issued by the CDC related to COVID-19. For questions, please contact your local department of health or the NYS DOH Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline at 1-888-364-3065. We also encourage you to keep up to date about COVID-19, its treatment and prevention by visiting the following websites:


  • CDC’s dedicated Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) website:


  • NYSDOH’s dedicated (COVID-19) website:     

Starlight Studio & Art Gallery

340 Delaware Ave
Buffalo NY 14202


Regular Gallery Hours:

Starlight Studio is a program of the
Learning Disabilities Association of WNY

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Vimeo Icon

Starlight Studio & Art Gallery Since 2005