ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Health Department has relaxed its guidelines for COVID-19 testing in nursing homes. Fully vaccinated staff will no longer be subjected to twice-weekly testing.
This relaxation of the rules is consistent with guidance from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) that came out in April. Staff who are not fully vaccinated will still have to adhere to routine testing.
New York State will continue distributing tests to nursing home facilities for those staff members, and facilities will still have to screen all staff daily for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Staff and residents of nursing homes who show symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, will have to be tested for COVID-19.
This comes after lawmakers and healthcare worker advocacy groups had been calling on the DOH to scale back the twice-weekly testing for vaccinated staff. Some nursing home staff have reported adverse side effects they believe to be a result of frequent nasal swabbing.
Assemblymember John McDonald told NEWS10 that he, along with Assemblymember Carrie Woerner and Assemblymember Pat Fahy wrote to the DOH over the last month to relax the testing.
You can read the full, updated guidance here.