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New DOH Advisory Recommends Masking in Healthcare and Residential Facilities

On Jan. 8, 2024, the NYS Department of Health (DOH) issued an advisory alerting health care providers, hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities (ACFs), pharmacists, and local health departments to "substantial increases in cases of influenza and COVID-19, at least partially driven by an emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant, and [recommending] that healthcare and residential facilities advocate strongly for the use of masks within their facility to prevent transmission and ensure a healthy workforce."

From the advisory: 

[T]he Department recommends that all healthcare and residential facilities in NYS institute a facility-wide masking policy. The policy should apply to all personnel while working in areas where patients/residents/clients may be present. “Personnel” in the context of this recommendation means all persons employed or affiliated with a healthcare or residential facility or agency, whether paid or unpaid, including but not limited to employees, members of the medical and nursing staff, contract staff, students, and volunteers. Visitors should also be encouraged to wear a mask while in the facility.

Facilities should periodically review the need for the policy based on trends in disease transmission.

LeadingAge NY encourages members to read the advisory in its entirety and share with members of your team.

Contact: Amy Nelson, anelson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 146