Covid-19 Updates & Information

After Hours Call Number

If you need to get in touch with an STC Supervisor between the hours of 4 pm – 8 am on any day of the week, call (607) 376-7526 x101. For issues that arise Monday through Friday, 8 am – 4 pm, please contact your Care Manager. For health-related emergencies, please dial 911.

Quick Links

When Visiting Your Doctor

Man rubbing eyes due to eye fatigue

Digital Eye Strain

One underlooked result from COVID-19 and the work-from-home era is prolonged screen use. Using devices with screens for longer than even just two hours can cause discomfort or pain known as digital eye strain. NVISION Eye Centers, a community of surgeons, optometrist partners, and employees dedicated to helping people live better by seeing better, recently published two helpful guides. The first discusses digital eye strain, which includes symptoms, prevention, and treatment options. The other shares information about the effects of prolonged screen time on your eyes.


Man rubbing eyes due to eye fatigue

Adjusting to COVID & Autism

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed almost every part of modern life. Those with ASD also thrive on routine and consistency, and those things are hard to find amid the COVID-19 crisis. Families can help. The discussions you hold about the coronavirus and the choices you make as you plot out each day can help everyone manage the situation a bit better.

Read the full article from Elemy here.



Health officials, including Southern Tier Connect’s partner organizations, are monitoring the status and spread of COVID-19 on a daily basis. This is a difficult time for many who are uncertain about what this global pandemic means for both themselves and the world as a whole. We want to assure all members that we are available as a resource to the fullest of our abilities.

Below you can find the most recent updates as we assess this rapidly evolving situation. This page was last updated on January 6, 2022.

2022 Updates

Vaccine Eligibility

According to the CDC, everyone 5 years of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination, and everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot. 

Booster Shots

The COVID-19 Omicron variant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has rapidly become the common strain of the virus. Early data indicates that Omicron is more contagious and spreads more quickly than the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Recent data shows that a booster shot, an additional vaccine dose for those that have been vaccinated, increases the immune response to COVID-19. With an increased immune response, people have improved protection against getting infected with COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. We know that unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19*. The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines are safe, effective at reducing the chances of getting severely ill, hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19, and are widely available.

To be eligible for a booster shot, you must have completed both doses of your initial Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine over six months ago, or your single Johnson & Johnson vaccine over two months ago. You can receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States as your booster (Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J).

  • Springbrook is offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics by appointment in Oneonta. Please contact your care manager for more information about how to register.
  • You may also get your vaccine at any local pharmacy or your PCP office. To find sites that are offering the COVID-19 booster, please visit
2021 Updates

December 21, 2021
Studies show that after getting vaccinated against Covid-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant. Although Covid-19 vaccination for adults aged 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggests vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms. At this time, anyone aged 18 years and older can receive a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot.

August 23, 2021
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first Covid-19 vaccine. First known as the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine, it will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee) for the prevention of Covid-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine is still available for emergency use authorization, including for individuals 12-15 years of age, and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

August 16, 2021
Governor Cuomo announced that all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by Monday, September 27. It is yet to be determined if OPWDD facilities are included in this mandate.

The State Department of Health has also authorized a third Covid-19 vaccine dose for New yorkers with compromised immune systems. Following the CDC’s recommendation, eligible New Yorkers can receive their third vaccine dose 28 days after the completion of their two-dose vaccine series, effective immediately.

As always, if you are interested in receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, whether it be your first dose or a booster shot, please contact your care manager for more information. If you cannot reach your care manager, please contact:
our main info line at 607-376-7526 ext. 100
or email

Frequently Asked Questions

To help consolidate information, have assembled some FAQs, along with both internal and external resources below to share our response to this developing situation.

What is COVID-19?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis. The World Health Organization declared the disease a pandemic on March 11, 2020.


What are some steps to address COVID-19?
  • Continue practicing proactive steps to keep you and your loved ones safe from this virus. This includes regular and prolonged hand washing practices.


  • If you, the individual you care for or anyone in your household is experiencing respiratory illness or flu like symptoms please notify your Primary Care Physician or Health Care Provider immediately.



I have a meeting scheduled with Southern Tier Connect; what should I do?
If you, the individual you care for or anyone in your household is experiencing respiratory illness or flu like symptoms and you have a Face to Face meeting scheduled with your Care Manager or Intake Coordinator please call and reschedule your appointment immediately.

You have options to communicate with your Care Manager in a variety of ways- phone, video conference, email etc. Please contact our main number (607)376-7526 or contact your Care Manager/ Intake Coordinator directly to schedule an alternative meeting method.

What is Southern Tier Connect doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
We have posted signs at the entrances of our offices instructing visitors not to visit if they have symptoms of respiratory infection

Care Coordination Managers are pre-screening all face-to-face meetings with a courtesy call to assess the health and wellbeing of all household/site residents before arriving.

We are obligated to call the local Public Health Department if we are notified of any of our staff testing positive per OSHA Regulations.

Where can I find more information about COVID-19?
There are nearly infinite resources about COVID-19 appearing by the hour, but the best resources are listed below these FAQs. This page from the Centers for Disease Control is representative of our position on proactive protection.

The Covid-19 Vaccine - What We Know

Visit STC’s Covid-19 vaccine information page for up-to-date information and resources. 

CDC Covid-19 Toolkit For People with I/DD

With this online guide, you will find information and tools to help people with disabilities and those who serve or care for them. These resources can help you make decisions, protect your health, and communicate with your community.

Webinar: The COVID-19 Vaccine – Be Informed

An informative webinar about the COVID-19 vaccine presented by Bassett Healthcare Network This webinar occurred on Thursday, December 17 at 12:00 p.m.   Did you miss the webinar? You can now watch it here:  

Day Services – Fall 2020

We were pleased to bring together our members, leading service providers, and Southern Tier Connect staff to present a webinar about day services for the fall of 2020. Thank you to so many who were in attendance live; for those that missed out the first time, we are...

Mask Distribution – Thursday 6/4/2020

We will be distributing face coverings on Thursday 6/4 at our Binghamton, Cortland, Ithaca, Norwich, and Oneonta locations from 11 am until 1 pm and then from 4 pm until 6 pm.  These are cotton masks, though they contain silver and copper. These masks are available to...

Don't Forget Your Flu Shot!

While our primary public health concern at this time is COVID-19, we also want to stress the importance of preventing the spread of influenza. Here are some useful resources to cover the essentials of the flu shot during the pandemic, as well as some seasonal health information.

2020-2021 Flu Season: A Complete Guide to the Flu Vaccine

Medicare – Seasonal Health Guide

Local and Regional Services

211-NY has collected information about services in different communities across NY. Select your county below to connect with these resources, or if you are interested in resources outside of your county, click the icon for all of New York State. We have also included a link to, which includes a zip code search for services near you.

Fulton-Montgomery-Schoharie Counties
Tompkins and Cortland Counties
Madison Herkimer Oneida
Chemung County
Tioga Broome, Chenango, Otsego, Delaware Counties
NYS-All counties

Additional Regional Resources

Trusted State and National Resources

Southern Tier Connect has been in contact with or follows advice from the following state and federal resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

New York State Department of Education


New York State Department of Health