Title: Section 2.59 - Prevention of influenza transmission by healthcare and residential facility and agency personnel

Effective Date

11/19/2014

2.59 – Prevention of influenza transmission by healthcare and residential facility and agency personnel

(a) Definitions.

(1) "Personnel," for the purposes of this section, shall mean all persons employed or affiliated with a healthcare or residential facility or agency, whether paid or unpaid, including but not limited to employees, members of the medical and nursing staff, contract staff, students, and volunteers, who engage in activities such that if they were infected with influenza, they could potentially expose patients or residents to the disease.

(2) "Healthcare and residential facilities and agencies," for the purposes of this section, shall include:

(i) any facility or institution included in the definition of "hospital" in section 2801 of the Public Health Law, including but not limited to general hospitals, nursing homes, and diagnostic and treatment centers;

(ii) any agency established pursuant to Article 36 of the Public Health Law, including but not limited to certified home health agencies, long term home health care programs, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) home care programs, licensed home care service agencies, and limited licensed home care service agencies; and

(iii) hospices as defined in section 4002 of the Public Health Law.

(3) "Influenza season," for the purposes of this section, shall mean the period of time during which influenza is prevalent as determined by the Commissioner.

(4) “Patient or resident,” for the purposes of this section, shall mean any person receiving services from a healthcare or residential facility or agency, including but not limited to inpatients and outpatients, overnight residents, adult day health care participants, and home care and hospice patients, as well as any person presenting for registration or admission at a healthcare or residential facility or agency.

(5) “Influenza vaccine” or “vaccine,” for the purposes of this section, means a vaccine currently licensed for immunization and distribution in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for active immunization for the prevention of influenza disease caused by influenza virus(es), or authorized for such use by the FDA pursuant to an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or as an Emergency Investigational New Drug (EIND).

(b) All healthcare and residential facilities and agencies shall determine and document which persons qualify as "personnel" under this section.

(c) All healthcare and residential facilities and agencies shall document the influenza vaccination status of all personnel for the current influenza season in each individual's personnel record or other appropriate record. Documentation of vaccination must include:

(1) a document, prepared by the licensed healthcare practitioner who administered the vaccine, indicating that one dose of influenza vaccine was administered, and specifying the vaccine formulation and the date of administration; or

(2) for personnel employed by a healthcare employer other than the healthcare or residential facility or agency in which he or she is providing service, an attestation by the employer that the employee(s) named in the attestation have been vaccinated against influenza for the current influenza season, and that the healthcare employer maintains documentation of vaccination of those employees, as described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision; or

(3) for student personnel, an attestation by the professional school that the student(s) named in the attestation have been vaccinated against influenza for the current influenza season, and that the school maintains documentation of vaccination of those students, as described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision.

(d) During the influenza season, all healthcare and residential facilities and agencies shall ensure that all personnel not vaccinated against influenza for the current influenza season wear a surgical or procedure mask while in areas where patients or residents are typically present, except that:

(1) when personnel provide services outside the home of a patient or resident, and not inside a healthcare or residential facility, mask wear shall not be required by this section, provided that this paragraph shall not be interpreted as eliminating any requirement that personnel wear a mask pursuant to standard and transmission-based precautions not addressed by this section;

(2) personnel required to wear a mask by this subdivision, but who provide speech therapy services, may remove the mask when necessary to deliver care, such as when modeling speech; and

(3) for any person who lip reads, personnel required to wear a mask by this subdivision may remove the mask when necessary for communication.

(e) Upon the request of the Department, a healthcare or residential facility or agency must report the number and percentage of personnel that have been vaccinated against influenza for the current influenza season.

(f) All healthcare and residential facilities and agencies shall develop and implement a policy and procedure to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section. The policy and procedure shall include, but is not limited to, identification of those areas where unvaccinated personnel must wear a mask pursuant to subdivision (d) of this Section.

(g) Healthcare and residential facilities and agencies shall supply surgical or procedure masks required by this section at no cost to personnel.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting any healthcare or residential facility or agency from adopting policies that are more stringent than the requirements of this section.

Volume

VOLUME A (Title 10)

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