On Friday, March 13, 2020, the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Healthcare Associated Infections issued a Health Advisory restricting visitors to nursing homes and adult care facilities and providing other protective measures requirements for patients and health care professionals, as well as guidance on providing notices after identification of infection.
As the understanding of how COVID-19 is transmitted unfolds, the New York State Department of Health instituted requirements applicable to all Nursing Home and Adult Care Facilities. These requirements include:
Suspend all visitors except when medically necessary or for family members of residents in imminent end-of-life situations and those providing hospice care.
Implementing health checks
Immediately implement health checks for all health care professionals and other facility staff at the beginning of each shift and for all permitted visitors prior to entering the facility.
Wearing face masks
Require all health care professionals and facility staff to wear a face mask while within six (6) feet of residents.
Provide notice to the local health department and the New York State Department of Health in the event that a case of COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed in a nursing home or adult care facility.
If there is a suspected case at a nursing home or adult care facility, follow requirements, such as:
- Provide a facemask to the impacted resident
- Isolate the impacted resident in a separate room with the door closed
- Use PPE
- Minimize the number of providers and other staff who enter the resident’s room
If there is a confirmed case at a nursing home or adult care facility, follow requirements, such as:
- Checks of individual symptoms
- Cancel activities and communal dining
- No staff floating and minimize the number of providers entering the impacted resident’s room
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Re-testing of residents who test negative
Importantly, this health advisory supersedes all previous New York State Department of Health guidance.