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Nursing Home Pandemic Emergency Plan PPE Storage Requirements

On Sept. 15, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) NH 20-12 clarifying the personal protective equipment (PPE) storage requirements under the nursing home Pandemic Emergency Plan (PEP) statute. Questions had been raised as to whether the PPE could be stored offsite.

Per the DAL:

Effective July 22, 2020, the New York State Department of Health (Department) promulgated emergency regulations at 10 NYCRR 415.19(f), which required residential health care facilities to “possess and maintain a supply of all necessary items of personal protective equipment (PPE) sufficient to protect facility personnel, consistent with federal Centers for Disease Control guidance”. Facilities were required to possess and maintain a 30-day supply of PPE by August 31, 2020...

During a pandemic, the PEP statute generally permits facilities to contract for necessary PPE; such contract arrangements may allow the PPE to be stored at an easily accessible storage unit contracted by the residential health care facility. However, given the ongoing State of Disaster Emergency relating to COVID-19, the PEP statute must be read in conjunction with COVID-19 specific regulations and guidance issued by the Department, including 10 NYCRR 415.19(f). Therefore, for the duration that these emergency regulations are in effect, facilities must have actual possession of the required PPE. Facilities are considered to possess PPE in accordance with section 415.19(f) if they store the PPE within the facility OR PPE is stored in a separate storage unit that the facility (or its corporate network) has the right to access as needed and the facility has a sufficient supply of PPE on hand to cover resident needs until such time that the off-site PPE can be accessed. All offsite PPE must be located within New York State.

If the residential health care facility opts to maintain their PPE at an off-site storage unit, the PEP should include an onsite, supply level trigger that once reached, indicates that supplies either must be retrieved from the facility storage site or requested from the facility’s central network storage to ensure that minimum supply is maintained onsite.

  • For facilities using their own offsite storage unit, the PPE trigger point should factor in the time it would take for retrieval of supplies from the storage site, taking into account factors including, but not limited to, round trip travel time and time needed to load and unload the supplies.
  • For facilities using a network/corporate central supply location, the trigger point should factor in sufficient time to cover request processing and approval as well as delivery and loading/unloading of supplies.

Contact: Elliott Frost, efrost@leadingageny.org, 518-441-8761