New York Department of Health issues new COVID-19 data guidelines

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Health has issued new guidelines on coronavirus testing “to ensure data integrity”. Confirmatory COVID-19 and Influenza testing will now be required whenever a hospital patient or nursing home resident has a known exposure or symptoms consistent with either disease.

Additionally, testing must also be performed on any hospital patient or nursing home resident where the person is suspected of having died of such disease, within 48 hours after death. However, if an individual received an influenza or coronavirus test in the two weeks prior to their death, they do not have to be tested again.

“While the human toll this virus has taken on New Yorker is immeasurable, these regulations will ensure we have the most accurate death data possible as we continue to manage COVID-19 while preparing for flu season. Good quality health data helps inform good quality public health decisions, and this information will strengthen our contact tracing efforts and slow the spread of this virus.”

Dr. Howard Zucker
Department of Health Commissioner

The new regulations also apply to funeral directors and medical examiners, if someone is suspected of having died from either disease, but were not in the care of a hospital or nursing home at the time.

If facility or local health department can’t perform testing within the required timeframe can request that the New York State Health Department perform the test.

The new emergency regulations can be found in full on the New York State website.

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