NYMC Faculty Publications

Public Health Response to Sars-Cov-2 in Assisted Living Facilities in New York State: March 2020-December 2022

Author Type(s)

Student, Faculty

Journal Title

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice

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Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date



Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

Second Department



CONTEXT: Assisted living facility (ALF) residents are especially vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection due to the age and comorbidities of the resident population and the social nature of these facilities. OBJECTIVE: To collate all New York State Department of Health guidance and regulations to control transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection within ALFs from March 2020 through December 2022 and to include US Food and Drug Administration COVID-19 testing and vaccine authorizations. DESIGN: A narrative chronological review of all New York State Department of Health guidance. RESULTS: Documents and associated guidance and regulations are divided into 4 sections: (1) lockdown until COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization; (2) COVID-19 vaccine authorization until phased reopening; (3) phased reopening, vaccination requirements, and booster vaccination; (4) the period of the bivalent booster. CONCLUSION: Controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within ALFs required a multifactorial approach that included stringent infection control measures, testing, and vaccination and careful attention to the social structure and support systems within ALFs. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic highlighted the complexity of controlling spread of an easily transmissible respiratory pathogen in assisted living communities and the need to structure infection control programs within the diverse ALFs that provide care for our aging population.