Title: Section 415.19 - Infection control
415.19 Infection control. The facility shall establish and maintain an infection control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary, and comfortable environment in which residents reside and to help prevent the development and transmission of disease and infection.
(a) Infection control program. The facility shall establish an infection control program with written policies and procedures under which it:
(1) Investigates, controls and takes action to prevent infections in the facility;
(2) Determines what procedures such as isolation and universal precautions should be utilized for an individual resident and implements the appropriate procedures; and
(3) Maintains a record of incidence and corrective actions related to infections.
(4) Collects documentation of vaccination against influenza, or requires wearing of a surgical or procedure mask during the influenza season, for personnel who have not received the influenza vaccine for the current influenza season, pursuant to section 2.59 of this Title.
(5) collects documentation of COVID-19 or documentation of a valid medical exemption to such vaccination, for all personnel pursuant to section 2.61 of this title, in accordance with applicable privacy laws, and making such documentation immediately available upon request by the Department, as well as any reasonable accommodation addressing such exemption.
(b) Preventing spread of infection. (1) When the infection control program determines that isolation is needed to prevent the spread of infection, the facility shall isolate the resident.
(2) The facility shall assure that all equipment and supplies are cleaned and properly sterilized where necessary and are stored in a manner that will not violate the integrity of the sterilization.
(3) The facility shall prohibit persons, including but not limited to, staff, volunteers, and visitors known to have a communicable disease or infected skin lesions from direct contact with residents or their food, if direct contact will transmit the disease.
(4) The facility shall require physicians and staff to wash their hands after each direct resident contact for which handwashing is indicated by accepted professional practice.
(c) Linens. Personnel shall handle, store, process, and transport linens so as to prevent the spread of infection.
(d) Reporting. The facility shall report increased incidence of infections, including nosocomial infections as defined in Section 2.2 of this Title, to the appropriate area office of the Office of Health Systems Management and shall report, immediately, the presence of any communicable disease as defined in section 2.1 of Part 2 of this Title to the city, county or district health officer.
(e) Notice to Funeral Director. If, at the time of death, a resident was diagnosed as having a specific communicable disease designated in Part 2 of this Title or an infectious disease, a written report of such disease shall accompany the body when it is released to the funeral director or his or her agent, except that no HIV-related information shall be disclosed to the funeral director unless the funeral director has access in the ordinary course of business to HIV-related information on the death certificate of the deceased individual.
(f) (1) The nursing home shall possess and maintain a supply of all necessary items of personal protective equipment (PPE) sufficient to protect health care personnel, consistent with federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, for at least 60 days, by August 31, 2021.
(2) The 60-day stockpile requirement set forth in paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be determined by the Department as follows for each type of required PPE:
(i) for single gloves, the applicable positivity rate, multiplied by the nursing home’s average census as determined annually by the Department, multiplied by 24;
(ii) for gowns, the applicable positivity rate, multiplied by the nursing home’s average census as determined annually by the Department, multiplied by 3;
(iii) for surgical masks, the applicable positivity rate, multiplied by the nursing home’s average census as determined annually by the Department, multiplied by 1.5; and
(iv) for N95 respirator masks, the applicable positivity rate, multiplied by the nursing home’s average census as determined annually by the Department, multiplied by 1.4.
(v) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “applicable positivity rate” shall mean the greater of the following positivity rates:
(a) The nursing home’s average COVID-19 positivity rate, based on reports made to the Department, during the period April 26, 2020 through May 20, 2020; or
(b) The nursing home’s average COVID-19 positivity rate, based on reports made to the Department, during the period January 3, 2021 through January 31, 2021; or
(c) 20.15 percent, representing the highest Regional Economic Development Council average COVID-19 positivity rate, as reported to the Department, during the periods April 26, 2020 through May 20, 2020 and January 3, 2021 through January 31, 2021.
(d) In the case of nursing homes previously designated by the Department as a COVID-positive only facility, the term “applicable positivity rate” shall be as defined in clause (c) of this subparagraph.
(3) A nursing home shall be considered to possess and maintain the required PPE if:
(i) it maintains all PPE on-site; or
(ii) it maintains PPE off-site, provided that the off-site storage location is within New York State, can be accessed by the nursing home within at least 24 hours, and the nursing home maintains at least a 10-day supply of all required PPE on-site, as determined by the calculations set forth in paragraph (2) of this subdivision. A nursing home may enter into an agreement with a vendor to store off-site PPE, provided that such agreement requires the vendor to maintain unduplicated, facility-specific stockpiles, the vendor agrees to maintain at least a 60-day supply of all required PPE (less the amount that is stored on-site at the facility), and the PPE is accessible by the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round. In the event the Department finds a nursing home has not maintained the required PPE stockpile, it shall not be a defense that the vendor failed to maintain the supply.
(iii) Any PPE stored outside of New York State shall not count toward the facility’s required 60-day stockpile.
(4) The Department shall determine the nursing home’s average census annually, by January 1st of each year, and shall communicate such determination to each facility. Nursing homes shall have 90 days to come into compliance with the new PPE stockpile requirements, as set forth in paragraph (2) of this subdivision, following such determination by the Department.
(5) In order to maximize the shelf life of stockpiled inventory, providers should follow the appropriate storage conditions as outlined by manufacturers, and providers are strongly encouraged to rotate inventory through regular usage and replace what has been used in order to ensure a consistent readiness level and reduce waste. Expired products should be disposed of when their expiration date has passed. Expired products shall not be used to comply with the stockpile requirement set forth in paragraph (1) of this subdivision.
(6) Failure to possess and maintain the required supply of PPE may result in the revocation, limitation, or suspension of the nursing home’s license; provided, however, that no such revocation, limitation, or suspension shall be ordered unless the Department has provided the nursing home with a fourteen day grace period, solely for a nursing home’s first violation of this section, to achieve compliance with the requirement set forth herein.
(7) In the event a new methodology relating to PPE in Residential Health Care Facilities is developed, including but not limited to a methodology by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the Commissioner determines that such alternative methodology is appropriate for New York nursing homes and will adequately protect facility staff and patients, the Commissioner shall amend this subdivision to reflect such new methodology.
VOLUME C (Title 10)