Protecting the Public Health of All New Yorkers

Long-Term Care Facilities

Individuals are encouraged to visit loved ones in nursing homes or adult care facilities. Visits may take place in the resident’s room, dedicated visitation spaces, and outdoors, depending on the facility’s structure and the resident’s needs. Nursing homes and adult care facilities adhere to infection control and prevention standards that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Nursing Home Visitation Guidance

Nursing homes and adult care facilities must facilitate vaccinations for all residents. All new nursing home residents and residents readmitted to the facility must have an opportunity to receive the first or any required next dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within 14 days of having been admitted or readmitted to such facility, as applicable. For all adult care facility residents, within seven days of admission or readmission, the facility shall make diligent efforts to schedule all consenting and eligible new or readmitted residents for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Letter to nursing home administrators regarding vaccine requirements for residents and staff.

As of September 27, 2021, all nursing home staff must be vaccinated with at least one dose of vaccine. As of October 7, 2021, all adult care facility staff must have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Long-term care facilities are expected to adhere to the infection prevention and control standards, quarantine requirements, and testing standards set forth by CMS and CDC.



    Health Advisory: Revised Skilled Nursing Facility Visitation

    The information contained in this directive supersedes and replaces previously issued guidance and recommendations regarding general nursing home (“NH”) visitation and is consistent with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) memorandum QSO-20-39-NH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidelines on such topics. Nothing in this directive should be construed as limiting or eliminating a NH’s responsibility to ensure that resident and family communication is ongoing and supported by virtual visits, whenever possible.




    Notification: Hospital Executive Officer and Nursing Home Administrators

    July 2, 2021 - Executive Order 202.30, as modified, which required Article 28 general hospitals to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to discharge to a nursing home, as well as Dear Administrator Letters ACF #20-14 and NH #20-07, dated May 11, 2020, which extended this requirement to test patients prior to discharge to an adult care facility, have now expired.




    Salon Services in Adult Care Facilities

    Adult Care Facilities (ACFs) and Nursing Homes (NH) may resume in-house salon services, provided that the facility is able to adhere to all local, state, and federal requirements as applicable, relative to hair salons and barbershops.



Schools & Youth Pre-K - 12

New York State recognizes that opening pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools for in-person instruction is critical to student health, well-being, academic success, and social functioning. The State is committed to prioritizing in-person learning while adhering to layered mitigation strategies such as vaccination, the appropriate use of face masks for unvaccinated persons, and implementing screening testing to monitor transmission and inform local public health actions.

The DOH school guidance for the 2021-2022 school year provides more information on these strategies.

Thank you for all of your efforts and partnership as you work to reopen schools safely during this unprecedented time. 


All teachers, administrators, and other school employees must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they show proof of vaccination.

New York Goes #VaxtoSchool

On September 8, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of New York State’s #VaxtoSchool campaign to support increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers. The new efforts include 120 #VaxtoSchool pop-up sites, which will be established in regions statewide, a dedicated microsite, and new social channels and educational assets to help reach school-aged New Yorkers, their families, and school communities.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

MIS-C is a condition that sometimes occurs in children who had COVID-19.  It can cause inflammation of different parts of the body, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal system.  The cause is not known.  MIS-C can be serious or deadly, but most children recover with medical care.

Symptoms of MIS-C might include fever and one or more symptoms like: abdominal pain, bloodshot eyes, chest pain or tightness, diarrhea, vomiting, tiredness, headache, low blood pressure, neck pain, or rash.

Additionally, New Yorkers should seek immediate care if a child has:

  • Prolonged fever (more than five days)
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Change in skin color - becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
  • Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Decreased amount or frequency of urine
  • Confusion, not acting right, or won’t wake up or stay awake

Guidance, Letters and Update Presentations for Schools

Pregnancy & COVID-19

Pregnancy is an exciting and sometimes stressful experience. Being pregnant during a disease outbreak may add extra anxiety and concern for you and those you care about who are pregnant.

According to the CDC, pregnant people do not appear to be at greater risk of getting COVID-19 but may get sicker when infected with COVID-19. Due to changes that occur during pregnancy, pregnant people may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections. The most important thing you can do is to protect yourself from getting sick. This includes getting the COVID-19 vaccine even if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or currently breastfeeding. For more information, please see COVID-19 Vaccination for People who are Pregnant, Lactating, or Planning to Become Pregnant

Pregnancy and Testing for COVID-19

NYS DOH recommends that pregnant persons who are not fully vaccinated or have other risk factors for COVID-19  get a COVID-19 test the week before their estimated due date or scheduled delivery or upon admission to the birthing facility when it was not possible to get a test earlier.

Testing in the week before delivery or upon admission to a birthing facility for all asymptomatic pregnant people is also strongly encouraged irrespective of vaccination or recovery status in regions with a positivity rate of 2% or greater in the region according to the NY Forward seven-day average.

Labor and Delivery and COVID-19

Hospital must have visitation policies that allow and encourage visitors and patient support persons to spend appropriate amounts of time with patients. During labor and delivery,  hospitals must ensure, that  two support persons, including a doula if requested, may accompany the patient throughout labor, delivery, and the postpartum period, including recovery, until discharge to home. The support persons can be the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling, parent, or other persons of their choice.

Pregnancy and COVID-19 Vaccines

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for pregnant people?

Our State and federal medical experts agree that all eligible New Yorkers, including pregnant people or those looking to become pregnant, should get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they’re able. Pregnant people have been eligible for vaccination in New York State since February 15, 2021.

According to the CDC, pregnant people are at greater risk of having severe infection from COVID-19.  Changes in the immune system that occur during pregnancy can put pregnant people at greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, and may increase the risk for adverse outcomes, such as preterm delivery. All COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States have proven extremely effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, and are recommended for those who are pregnant.

As of June 14, over 124,000 pregnant people in the U.S. have received the vaccine, and the CDC is closely following over 5,100 volunteers who got vaccinated during pregnancy. No adverse pregnancy-related outcomes have been associated with any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States. Current data has not identified any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies. Based on how these vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant.

The CDC and FDA have safety monitoring systems in place, and this information will continue to be closely monitored and reported out to the public.

Are COVID-19 vaccines recommended for people who are currently breastfeeding?

Recent studies, along with existing research, show that all of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the U.S. are effective in pregnant and breastfeeding people. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) strongly recommends that all eligible persons receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series, depending on the product. 

Based on how these vaccines work in the body, COVID-19 vaccines are not considered to be a risk to lactating people or their breastfeeding babies, and lactating people can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the CDC, recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. The CDC and FDA have safety monitoring systems in place to continue to closely monitor and report out this information, and current data has not identified any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies. 

Do COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility issues?

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility or leads to pregnancy loss. The NYS Department of Health agrees with the CDC that those who are trying to get pregnant now or in the future should receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Medical experts continue to carefully study COVID-19 vaccines for side effects and will report additional findings as they become available.


Managing Stress & Anxiety

New York State is partnering with Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis. New Yorkers can access a collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep and kids content to help address rising stress and anxiety at

Call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.


Get Help Immediately

If you experience significant changes in your energy level, eating patterns, or sleeping patterns, difficulty concentrating on normal tasks, prolonged and overwhelming worry and hopelessness, or thoughts of self-injury or suicide, seek immediate help at
the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1- 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Got5 to 741741.


The outbreak of COVID-19 has led many individuals to feeling afraid, anxious and stressed. Here are some tips to help manage your stress and anxiety levels during this uncertain time.

  • Reduce anxiety by reducing risk including practicing good hygiene, and creating a plan in case your regular routine is disrupted.
  • Monitor your anxiety levels.
  • Practice good self-care by exercising, eating healthy foods, practicing mindfulness, sleeping enough at night and going outside when permittable.
  • Virtually reach out to different types of support networks, such as family, friends, colleagues and faith-based communities.
  • Find meaningful tasks and roles within your support network to channel your anxiety.
  • Find or create spaces that are not focused on COVID-19.
  • Savor small positive moments, amplify positive stories, and stay optimistic. 
  • Take an opportunity to practice mindfulness when managing anxiety. Mindfulness tools like grounding exercises, sensory modulation, and deep breathing may be helpful.

Tips for Mental Wellness (Español | বাংলা | 中文 | Р УС С К И Й | Kreyòl Ayisyen | 한국어를)
How to manage COVID related stress and anxiety
Mental Health Resources During an Emergency