New Executive Order Modifies Testing Requirements at Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities

June 10, 2020

By: Raul A. Tabora, Jr.

Today the New York State Department of Health (DOH) presented a webinar to discuss modifications to the current testing requirements for staff at nursing homes and adult care facilities. Some of the key items discussed include the following:

Once-a-week testing in Phase 2 Reopening Counties. DOH confirmed that, pursuant to the now-published New York State Executive Order, EO 202.40, facilities in regions that are in Phase 2 of the reopening will be required to test staff only once per week, as opposed to the requirement that full-time staff be tested twice each week. As of June 10, 2020, all counties in New York State are in Phase 2 of reopening except the five boroughs in New York City, which are in Phase 1.

Changes to facility testing reporting form. In anticipation of the modified testing requirements, and in response to other concerns raised by facilities, DOH has made changes to its online testing reporting form. Changes include modifications to allow facilities to explain that the required testing is being done both on and off site, as well as the addition of drop-down boxes and expanded fields for facilities to explain any problems they are having with receiving test kits and/or conducting testing. These and other changes are intended to provide DOH with better insight into the problems faced by facilities and their staff in complying with New York’s testing requirements. 
Visitation. Finally, DOH representatives briefly commented on the many concerns and questions they have received concerning visitation of residents by friends and family members. Representatives acknowledged they are aware of these concerns, but DOH has not announced any specific plans to modify current restrictions on visitation at this time.

It is expected that New York State and DOH will issue additional information and guidance on these issues in the near future. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding these or other reporting requirements, please contact Craig W. Anderson, Raul A. Tabora, any of the attorneys in our Health Care practice, or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact