The New York State Department of Health has issued new emergency regulations mandating COVID-19 and influenza confirmatory testing requirements for hospitals and nursing homes, effective today, September 1.

Per the new regulations, enacted to reduce the spread of the virus, improve the state’s contact tracing program and ensure accurate death data/reporting:

  • Confirmatory COVID-19 and influenza testing is required whenever a patient or resident has a known exposure or symptoms associated with either disease;
  • Testing must be performed on any patient or resident thought to have died of either disease, within 48 hours after death, if that individual had not previously received a COVID-19 and influenza test in the 14 days prior to death;
    • Such tests should be performed using rapid testing methodologies to the extent available.
    • Hospitals and nursing homes should report the death to DOH immediately, upon receipt of both test results through the Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS).

Hospitals and nursing homes that lack the ability to perform testing expeditiously, should request assistance from the Department of Health.