DOH Guidance on Essential COVID-19 Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

April 8, 2020

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued the attached guidance yesterday that clarifies the essential sexual and reproductive health services all health care facilities, including hospitals and diagnostic and treatment centers, should be providing. DOH notes that the “ultimate decision on when such services must occur is between a patient and clinical provider.” These services include but are not limited to:

  • Birth control, including Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives such as IUDs
  • Fertility services, including infertility treatment and procedures
  • Gynecological surgeries to address acute complications related to conditions, such as fibroids or endometriosis
  • Abortion services
  • Obstetrical care such as vaginal and cesarean deliveries
  • Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Evaluation for cervical and breast cancer when medically indicated based on patient history and/or physical exam

Additionally, the guidance urges hospitals to work with patients and providers to move surgeries and procedures to outpatient settings if appropriate and notes that procedures that cannot be moved to these settings should not be postponed if a delay risks the patient’s sexual and reproductive health, morbidity or mortality.

News Attachments