The NYS Department of Health announced on December 13, 2017 that influenza is now prevalent in New York State. This means that the Prevention of Influenza Transmission by Healthcare and Residential Facility and Agency Personnel regulation of the NYS Public Health Law is now in effect.
The regulation requires that all healthcare workers who could potentially expose patients or residents to the flu must either receive a flu vaccination, or wear a surgical or procedure mask while in areas where patients or residents are typically present. Please note that some healthcare facilities have more stringent requirements for masking than those required by the NYS regulation.
Frequently asked questions about the mask regulation and other resources can be found on the Department of Health website.
The following steps can help protect both healthcare workers and patients from flu transmission:
- Respiratory and hand hygiene
- Cough etiquette
- Proper ventilation
- Restricting ill visitors
- Staying home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms
Public health officials are expecting a severe flu season this year, with a tough strain of the flu virus already speading widely, and the possibility of a second strain of the virus gaining traction later in the season.
If you have any questions about the NYS Prevention of Influenza Transmission regulation, please contact your union representative.