COVID-19 Briefs for March 22, 2021

Situation Report | March 22, 2021  

Below are some COVID-19 updates from the past week.

Quarantine Policy  

The state Department of Health (DOH) has provided updated guidance on quarantine for community persons exposed to COVID-19, and how to factor in a person’s vaccination status. This guidance does not apply to vaccinated inpatients and residents in health care settings.

The guidance applies only to asymptomatic individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and who have not tested positive as a result of a recent exposure. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate. Information on the criteria and duration for isolation can be found here.

HCA, Partner Associations Report Vaccination Issues at Monthly OHEP Meeting  

Last week, HCA met with the DOH Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (OHEP) and the Office of Primary Care and Health Systems Management.

These meetings — also joined by our partner associations, the New York State Association of Health Care Providers (HCP) and the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State (HPCANYS) — are held monthly as part of a grant HCA and these associations receive from OHEP to educate and support the involvement of home care and hospice in all emergency preparedness activities.

At this meeting, HCA reported on our efforts to support COVID-19 vaccinations in home care and hospice through the regional vaccination hubs, county health departments and Health Emergency Preparedness Coalitions. HCA also requested that DOH consolidate the Certified Home Health Agency and Hospice Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) surveys and decrease their frequency from the current three times per week to once or twice per week.

Lastly, HCA reported that some vaccination hubs and local health departments are requesting data on the number of “homebound” individuals in the community and the number of unvaccinated home care staff. HCA indicated that the state has some of this data and, therefore, needs to share it with these entities. As a follow up to the meeting, DOH indicated that it has set up a process whereby these groups can request such data.

For more information, contact Andrew Koski at  

Use of Respirators 

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has posted an updated “Guidance for Use of Respirators by Health Care Personnel Caring for Patients With and Without COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings.”

It describes updates to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic” regarding respiratory protection and source control for health care personnel caring for patients in a health care setting. It also includes information on choosing, obtaining and using an appropriate respirator or facemask, and how to obtain respirators and other personal protective equipment in New York City. 

OIG COVID-19 Website

The U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) has revamped its COVID-19 website. It includes reports and resources.