DOH to Conduct SNF Specific COVID-19 Survey

Nancy Leveille and Lisa Volk in Clinical & Quality

Dr. Howard Zucker, NYS Commissioner of Health, held a special conference call today with all nursing home administrators and directors of nursing. Dr Zucker explained the purpose of the call was to collect critical data on COVID-19 status in nursing homes to identify trends in New York. Dr. Zucker announced that a new HERDS survey was being created for distribution to all nursing homes. The expectation is for the data to be collected and submitted on the HERDS survey by Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 2:00 pm. However, due to several timing concerns, Dr. Zucker may extend this timeline. He stressed the need to begin data analysis before the weekend in order to provide needed assistance as quickly as possible.

The tentative SNF data collection time period was stated starting March 1, 2020 - April 16, 2020 (please note specifics on the survey). Topics will include:

  • Current SNF daily census
  • # of residents who have tested COVID-19 positive
  • # suspected residents with COVID-19
  • # of those residents who have recovered
  • Average # of deaths/day normally in the SNF over a year’s time
  • # of Deaths from Positive and Suspected COVID-19
  • # of COVID Positive or Suspected Positive residents transferred to the hospital

In addition, Dr. Zucker answered a variety of questions from SNFs including:

  • Testing is now a priority for SNF for residents and staff. The tests are becoming more available with easier methods of collection and quicker turnaround times.
  • Updated testing guidance will be forth coming on testing soon.
  • Quarantine Procedures: The 14-day quarantine and isolation protocols were reviewed.
  • Privacy of data: Providers discussed the ability to have their data be used in aggregate vs specific SNF. This issue will be deferred to Division of Legal Affairs.
  • Hospital transfers: many COVID-19 positive patients were admitted from the hospital should be counted; and the
  • Media: the need for assistance with the negative media focusing on SNF and their staff.

NYSHFA is encouraging all skilled nursing facilities to start compiling this data now to complete the survey in a timely manner. If we can assist you in any way, please contact us at NYSHFA.


Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15