OASAS: NYS DOH Health Advisory –
Masking in all healthcare & residential facilities

January 12, 2024

Dear OASAS providers:

This week, we received an email NYSDOH health advisory related to the recent surge in viral infections in NYS: COVID-19, Influenza and RSV.

Hospitalizations have significantly increased since the end of December. 

New York: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-data-new-york

In response to this surge in infections, NYS DOH has issued the following communication regarding the reinstatement of masking in all health care facilities:

Considering the above information, the Department recommends that all healthcare and residential facilities in NYS institute a facility-wide masking policy. The policy should apply to all personnel while working in areas where patients/residents/clients may be present. “Personnel” in the context of this recommendation means 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. Visitors should also be encouraged to wear a mask while in the facility.

Given the fragility of our patient population, it is clinically prudent to follow these recommendations in our facilities until further notice from the NYSDOH. 

  1. All healthcare and residential staff in OASAS facilities are asked to wear masks when outside their offices. Masking is highly recommended for patient-facing staff.
  1. All patients/residents will be asked to mask inside of OASAS facilities.  Masking is highly recommended for all patients/residents.
  1. All visitors are asked to mask.  Masking is highly recommended for all visitors.

Questions may be directed to AddictionMedicine@oasas.ny.gov or to the NYS DOH icp@health.ny.gov

Thank you.

Communications Department

NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)