Effective January 12, 2022

Health Advisory: Nursing Home Visitation Requirements

Due to the current Omicron COVID-19 outbreak throughout the State of New York, the New York State Department of Health is issuing this Health Advisory under 10 NYCRR §415.19 to implement the following requirements and testing protocols for all visitors entering a nursing home in New York State during the duration of the Omicron outbreak:

Mask, Personal Protective Equipment, and Physical Distancing Requirements for Visitors:

All Visitors must:

• Wear a well-fitting non-surgical paper mask or a mask of higher quality (i.e., surgical mask, KN95 or N95) at all times during any visitation at the facility. The masks must cover both the nose and the mouth; and

• Physically distance from facility personnel and other patients/residents/visitors that are not directly associated with the specific resident(s) being visited by that individual.

Testing for Visitors:

In addition, all nursing homes licensed and regulated by the New York State Department of Health must verify that visitors have received a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result one day prior to visitation for antigen tests and two days prior to visitation for NAAT (e.g. PCR) tests. All visitors may use either NAAT testing or antigen testing. This means, for example, that a test for a Sunday visit should be conducted no earlier than Saturday if it’s an antigen test or Friday if it’s a PCR test. Any PCR or antigen test used must either have Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or be operating per the Laboratory Developed Test requirements by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. With limited supply, a nursing home can provide a visitor with an iHealth OTC COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test if he/she does not have other valid proof of a negative test conducted in the required timeframe, and the visitor should test him/herself at the facility.

The following are exempt from the testing requirements of this advisory:

Compassionate caregiving visitors, within the meaning of Public Health Law §2801-h, who are visiting in anticipation of the end of a resident’s life or in the instance of a significant mental, physical, or social decline or crisis of a resident. In any case where such an exception is made, the visitor must wear any additional personal protective equipment (PPE) that facility personnel deem appropriate to the situation.

Upon visiting The Silvercrest Center, all visitors will be required to undergo screening: temperature check, remove and change surgical mask, hand sanitize, and show evidence of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. In addition, all visitors will receive COVID-19 and infection prevention education and must sign in at Visitor Reception.