NYS DOH Updates Guidance for Health Care Personnel and Pre-Procedure COVID-19 Testing

May 19, 2022

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued updated guidance for Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic (attached). The updated advisory aligns DOH requirements with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on transmission-based precautions for both patients and health care providers.

Specifically, the advisory supersedes the following guidance:

The guidance requires providers to adhere to recommendations from the CDC and includes additional requirements for pre-procedure testing and visitor testing that are summarized below:

Pre-Elective Procedure Testing: 

  • Pre-elective procedure SARS-CoV-2 testing is required for all elective procedures regardless of the patient’s vaccination status (unless the patient is recovered from laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 90 days)
  • Samples for pre-elective SARS-CoV-2 testing should be collected one calendar day prior to the procedure and test results must be received and reviewed before conducting the elective surgery or procedure
  • Testing can be done using any nucleic acid amplification test or antigen test authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration. Acceptable test sites include the surgical facility, laboratory, local health department, pharmacy, home, local health care provider, or other testing site.
  • Patients may provide the results of at-home COVID-19 tests if the facility has implemented policies and procedures to ensure the patient’s at-home test(s) were performed correctly on the correct person in accordance with the package insert instructions and within the one calendar day timeframe (e.g., photograph of the completed test(s), attestation from the patient).
  • Pre-procedure testing is not required before non-scheduled emergent surgery


  • Visitors must undergo symptom checks upon entering the facility and shall be denied entry if they report symptoms of COVID-19, a positive viral test for SARS-CoV-2 in the prior 10 days, or close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 10 days. Facilities should have an established process to identify and manage individuals with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection regardless of vaccination status (e.g., individual screening on arrival at the facility or system in which individuals can self-report any of the above before entering the facility).

Please see the guidance for specific requirements on pre-procedure testing, visitor distancing, and visitation restrictions.

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