DOHMH developed a Q&A in response to supportive housing provider questions, also included is up-to-date COVID-19 guidance and resources.
Q & A
What is the recommended isolation and quarantine guidance for supportive housing staff?
Staff of supportive housing settings may follow community guidance for a shortened 5-day isolation and quarantine period as described on the NYS website and on the NYC website. However, it is recommended to remain furloughed from work (e.g. not work inside the facility) for 10 days following exposure (quarantine) or infection (isolation), unless there is a staffing shortage. See below.
New York State released new isolation/quarantine guidance on 2/4. The portion specific to congregate setting clients/residents begins on page 6 and states as following:
CDC’s recommendations for shortened quarantine and isolation does not apply to correctional facilities, detention facilities, homeless shelters, and cruise ships. Those settings, as well as other congregate settings with high-risk individuals or at high risk for transmission, should continue to follow previous guidance for a 10-day quarantine or isolation for residents/clients. Other congregate settings that should continue to implement 10-day quarantine or isolation for residents/clients include adult care facilities, OPWDD facilities, and some OMH facilities, depending on ability of residents/clients in the OMH facilities to wear a mask, socially distance, and follow other mitigation measures.
While staff in these same facilities can isolate or quarantine for 5 days according to the guidance in this document, you should furlough (not work) for 10-days following infection or exposure due to the high risk population served in these facilities. If staffing shortages jeopardize the safe provision of services or resident health and safety, facilities may implement a 5-day duration of furlough to the extent necessary.
When should isolation begin for staff after they are exposed?
Quarantine for individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 begins from their last day of exposure to that individual (Day 0).
If you're exposed, vaccinated and asymptomatic, should you still quarantine?
Individuals who are up-to-date with vaccination (e.g. fully vaccinated and boosted if eligible) may not need to quarantine after exposure if they remain asymptomatic. However, staff of congregate settings should not return to work for 10 days following their last date of exposure (except in the context of staffing shortage).
Residents/clients of congregate residential settings should remain quarantined while inside the facility for 10 days (this may not apply to individuals who have a private apartment without shared bathrooms/kitchens), but may be able to return to school/work/essential appointments earlier per guidance issued by their school or employer. All individuals with exposure should be tested on or after Day 5 and should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days following exposure.
In order to come back to work is it recommended to require a negative test?
Return-to-work policies are specific to individual organizations and agencies.
All exposed individuals are advised to get tested on or after Day 5 following date of last exposure regardless of vaccination status. Repeat testing is not recommended for individuals who have tested positive on a COVID-19 diagnostic test for 90 days following the initial test except in certain circumstances. For more information: read this COVID-19 testing FAQ and at-home testing guidance.
Is the City still providing quarantine hotels for positive congregate residents?
Yes. For Health and Hospitals Take Care Hotels, call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) to refer individuals with COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms to stay in an NYC hotel for 10 to 14 days. See here for more information.
NYC DHS Isolation and Quarantine Hotels are available to residents of DHS shelters and of NYC HRA facilities. DHS shelters should contact DHS’s Serious Incident Unit and HRA facilities should contact their assigned HRA representative to procure hotel rooms for their residents.
What is current mask protocol?
All New Yorkers - regardless of vaccination status - still must wear masks on public transit, in healthcare and congregate settings, and in schools. Unvaccinated individuals still must wear masks in all public indoor settings and it is strongly recommended that all vaccinated individuals wear masks in all public indoor settings in New York City and outdoors in crowds. Further guidance below.
What is the City’s plan for contact tracing?
NYC has adjusted its contact tracing approach in schools, and will continue evolving its approach for the entire city. In the meantime, it remains extremely important for New Yorkers to quickly identify if they have COVID-19 and connect with Test & Trace and/or the NYC Health Department as needed for the resources they need to isolate safely. Individuals can contact their health care provider or call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) to be linked to care if needed.
The NYC Heath Department continues to conduct case-based outreach and provide guidance and support--including isolation/quarantine recommendations, infection prevention guidance and onsite PCR testing and vaccination--in congregate residential settings with one or more cases identified. For more information, email CSIRU@health.nyc.gov.
Guidance & Resources
NYC COVID Data
Up-to-date data on NYC cases, hospitalizations, deaths, vaccination, transmission, variants, maps, trends, and milestones.
Masks & PPE
Updated CDC updated mask guidance (1/14)
NYC Health Department face mask FAQs
Use of N95 Respirators in Health Care and Congregate Residential Settings: Fit Testing and Respiratory Protection Program Resources
Congregate residential settings may be eligible to procure N95 respirators and other PPE through the PPE Service Center. Email PPESupport@health.nyc.gov with any questions about eligibility or how to access PPE.
There are two types of treatment available to New Yorkers right now:
Oral antiviral pills, which if taken daily for five days, help stop the virus from replicating and reduces the amount of virus in your body. There are two antiviral pills currently authorized and available— paxlovid and molnupiravir. Both are currently free and are for people 12 and older who: test positive for COVID-19; and have mild to moderate symptoms for 5 days or less, and are at high risk for severe illness, as defined by the CDC. If prescribed antiviral pills, the City will deliver them same day in partnership with Alto pharmacy for free. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, you can talk to an H+H provider online or call 212-COVID19.
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment, which is a one-time IV or injection to help give you antibody protection while your body works to produce its own antibodies. This treatment is for people 12 and older who: Test positive for COVID-19, and have mild to moderate symptoms for 10 days or less, and are at high risk for severe illness, as defined by the CDC. Find treatment sites here.
NYC Health + Hospitals Testing Sites Free, walk-in testing
COVID-19: Express Testing sites Appointment required
COVID19 test finder Find a testing site in NYC based on address
NYC Health Department home-testing guidance
CDC Home testing guidance and related educational resources
The NYC Health Department provides onsite PCR testing, along with vaccination, in residential congregate settings. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Home test kits: The PPE Service Center will be sending home test kits to certain DOHMH/OMH-affiliated sites and eligible agencies/organizations that have not yet ordered them. Eligible organizations will receive at least 1 case (each contains 232 test kits), depending on the size of the organization. The delivery should arrive the week of February 7. No payment is required for these test kits. No further action is required to receive the test kits. For questions, contact the NYC Health Department PPE Support at PPEsupport@health.nyc.gov
NOTE: CareStart Test kits received with a February expiration date do NOT expire until May 2, 2022! The FDA issued a letter authorizing an extension to the expiration for these CareStart home tests.
Organizations may continue to order PPE supplies through Medline. Please note that ordering and distribution of supplies should be managed through the main organization, and that you should be coordinating with your facilities to distribute supplies. For questions about using Medline or placing an order call the Medline NYC Customer Service Desk at NYCCustomerSupport@medline.com.
NYC DOHMH Team
As part of its case-based facility outreach to residential congregate settings with one or more recently-identified COVID-19 cases, the NYC Health Department offers onsite PCR testing (along with vaccination as needed) and tailored infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance, isolation and quarantine recommendations, resource coordination, and other support. Contact CSIRU@health.nyc.gov and CC email@example.com if you have questions or need support with any of the above. For testing-specific inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.