OMH on Mask Mandates

September 12, 2022

OMH Updated Mask Guidance

Please be advised that, effective September 7, 2022, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) will no longer enforce 14 NYCRR Part 556 which requires that masks be worn in certain Facilities. However, the provisions of the Department of Health Commissioner’s Determination on Masking in Certain Indoor Settings, also effective September 7, 2022, (the Determination) are in effect. This guidance supersedes any prior guidance issued by OMH with regard to masking.

Pursuant to the Determination, all personnel, regardless of vaccination status, in the following Facilities shall wear an appropriate face covering/mask in accordance with applicable CDC exceptions. All visitors to such Facilities, who are two years of age and older and able to medically tolerate a face covering/mask shall also be required to wear the same, regardless of vaccination status and subject to applicable CDC exceptions.

The affected Facilities are Clinical and In-Patient facilities established pursuant to Public Health Law Article 28 or Mental Hygiene Law Article 31, or operated by New York State, Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Programs established pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law Section 31.27, Residential Treatment Facilities established pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law 31.26, and Partial Hospitalization Facilities established pursuant to 14 NYCRR 587.12.

All staff in such Facilities (meaning all persons employed or affiliated with a Facility, whether paid or unpaid, including but not limited to employees, members of the medical, nursing, and other treatment staff, contract staff, students, and volunteers, who engage in activities such that if they were infected with COVID-19 they could potentially expose patients to the disease) must wear masks or face coverings (including, but not limited to, cloth masks, surgical masks, and N-95 respirators) that are worn to completely cover a person’s nose and mouth at all times regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an office or room, or actively eating or drinking.

The foregoing shall remain in effect until such time as the Determination is modified or rescinded.