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DOH Commissioner Declares Influenza No Longer Prevalent

The Department of Health (DOH) issued a notification last week that influenza is no longer prevalent. Thus, all health care and residential facilities and agencies regulated pursuant to Article 28, 36, or 40 of the Public Health Law are no longer required to ensure that all personnel (as defined in the regulation) not vaccinated against influenza for the current influenza season wear a surgical or procedure mask while in areas where patients or residents may be present. This regulation applies to nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and home care agencies, including home care agencies in assisted living programs (ALPs).

Essentially, the “flu mask requirement” is no longer in effect, until the Commissioner declares influenza to be prevalent again. Click here for the Commissioner’s notice and here for background on the flu mask regulation.

Contact: Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828