The New York State Department of Health (DOH) released Interim Recommendations for Use of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, providing guidance on appropriate use of point-of-care antigen testing. The DOH notice also includes recommendations for interpreting antigen test results based on patient symptoms and exposure risk, and considerations for use of antigen tests in health care settings, including congregate settings, and nursing homes.

The interim recommendations advise on use of the antigen test in the following settings:

  • To test individuals when there is an outbreak in a public setting or environment
  • To test residents and employees in nursing homes and adult care facilities regardless of outbreak status
  • Congregate facilities include nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, long-term care facilities, and other health or social facilities such as day programs
  • Congregate settings include schools, colleges, universities, and other educational settings, workplaces, and other sites where people gather

Additionally, all antigen test results must be reported to the New York State Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS).

For more information on how to test individuals in an outbreak in a public setting and to review the DOH flowchart to assist with antigen result interpretation, please review the recommendations.