COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

General | Continuing Education | Licensing & Registration | Professional Education | Corporations |Corporate Practice Waivers | Social Work & Mental Health Pofessions | Medicine | Nursing | Pharmacy | Dentistry | Psychology & Applied Behavior Analysis Professions | Clinical Laboratory Technology | Massage Therapy | Occupational Therapy | Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology | Public Accountancy | Veterinary Medicine

General

  1. What is considered an “essential” position or entity under Executive Order 202.6?

Answer: A list of areas deemed “essential” at this time is available here. Professionals should follow appropriate precautions and ensure social distancing to the greatest extent possible when providing essential services. Additional guidance for health care professionals is available here. There is also guidance available to determine if a business enterprise is subject to workforce reductions here.

  1. When will New York State professional licensees and professional practice entities, who have been deemed non-essential, during the COVID-19 health crisis, be able to resume providing services?

    Answer: On May 11, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced plans for the phased reopening of the various New York State regions and businesses. For up-to-date guidance and information, please visit the NY Forward Business Reopening Lookup tool to help determine whether and where your business or practice is able to reopen and to review the public health and safety standards with which your business or practice must comply.

  1. Governor Cuomo has asked for volunteers to provide healthcare services. What forms do I need to complete to sign up to volunteer?

Answer: The New York State Department of Health has a form to complete. Please review Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders and the information on this website to determine if you are exempted from NYS licensure and/or registration requirements.

Guidance on COVID-19 related exposure and prevention best practices for health care providers

  1. Where can I find guidance on COVID-19 related exposure and prevention best practices for health care professionals?

For the most up to date guidance on all COVID-19 information relating to health care providers, please continue to check the New York Department of Health “Information for Providers” website and the Centers for Disease Control website.

Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

  1. Are CE requirements being waived? 

Answer: Not at this time.  The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance. 

  1. Can a licensee complete 100% of the required continuing education through self-study activities offered by approved providers for their profession?

Answer: Some regulations restrict licensees to a certain percentage of self-study for continuing education requirements. In response to the evolving situation with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and for those licensees whose registrations are due to renew March 1, 2020 – January 1, 2021, the Department will grant an adjustment to all licensees to complete up to 100% of the continuing education as self-study, so long as it is taken from a Department-approved provider for the specific profession and is in an acceptable subject area for the specific profession. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

Professional Licensing and/or Registration Fees

  1. Are Professional Licensing and/or Registration fees being waived? 

Answer: Not at this time.  The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance. 

  1. If I am a NYS licensee returning to practice to assist in the COVID-19 response efforts, do I need to re-register to practice?

Answer: Currently, pursuant to Executive Orders, NYS licensed physicians, physician’s assistants, specialist assistants, registered professional nurses, licensed practical nursesnurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, respiratory therapists, respiratory therapist technicians, pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, midwives, perfusionists, clinical laboratory technologists, cytotechnologists, certified clinical laboratory technicians, certified histological technicians, licensed clinical social workers, licensed master social workers, podiatrists, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists, psychoanalysts and psychologists  who have an unencumbered licensed and are currently in good standing in New York State may practice without being registered. All other NYS licensed professionals are required to be currenting registered in order to practice.

  1. If I hold an out-of-state license, and I am not licensed in NYS, can I practice in the State of New York to assist in the COVID-19 response efforts?

Answer: Currently, pursuant to Executive Orders, physicians, physician’s assistants,  specialist assistants, registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, mental health counselorsmarriage and family therapistscreative arts therapists, psychoanalystslicensed clinical social workers, licensed master social workers, respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians who are licensed and in current good standing in any state in the United States do not need to hold a NYS license or registration to practice in the State of New York. All other licensed professionals are required to be licensed in the State of New York in order to practice.

  1. If I am licensed/certified in Canada, can I practice in the State of New York to assist in the COVID-19 response efforts?

Answer: Currently, pursuant to Executive Orders,  physicians, physician’s assistants,  specialist assistants, registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialistslicensed clinical social workers, licensed master social workers or any substantially similar titles licensed and in current good standing in any province or territory of Canada do not need to hold a NYS license or registration to practice in the State of New York. All other licensed professionals are required to be licensed in the State of New York in order to practice.

  1. Can my educational documents and/or transcripts be submitted electronically?

Answer: The Office of the Professions will accept official electronic transcripts and/or Form 2 Applications from educational institutions (i.e. colleges/universities) or designated third-party transcript entities located in the United States. Instructions and information on the criteria required for these submissions are available on each professions’ Application Forms page, under the Electronic Education Documentation section.

  1. I hold a New York State license, but the registration is currently inactive. How do I reactivate my registration?

Answer: An individual who is licensed in New York State can request a delayed registration application online to reactivate a registration. See our website for more information

Professional Education Program Review

  1. I am a student enrolled in a licensure-qualifying program. I have a question regarding meeting the clinical hour requirements.

Answer: Please first contact your program director regarding this. If there are any challenges, please ask your director to contact us at opprogs@nysed.gov

Corporations

  1. How are triennial registration renewal requirements for Certificates of Authorization for professional practice entities providing professional engineering, land surveying or professional geology services being handled during the COVID-19 disaster emergency?

Answer: Currently, pursuant to  Executive Order 202.18, to the extent necessary and during the State of Emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health emergency, Education Law § 7210 which requires the triennial renewal of certificates of authorizations for domestic or foreign professional service corporations, design professional service corporations, professional service limited liability companies, foreign professional service limited liability companies, registered professional limited liability partnerships, New York registered professional foreign limited liability partnerships, partnerships and joint enterprises specified in Education Law §7209 (4) authorized to provide professional engineering, land surveying or professional geology services,  whose certificates of authorizations are set to expire on or after March 31, 2020,  has been suspended. The application for the renewal of such certificates of authorization are required to be submitted no later than 30 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202. However, to the extent practical, professional practice entities are encouraged to file their renewal documents on time in order to avoid any potential volume-based processing delays after the expiration of the Executive Order.  Staff will continue to process these renewals as they are submitted for the duration of the Executive Order. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1. Are professional service corporations required to submit triennial statements to the Department during the COVID-19 disaster emergency?

Answer: No. Currently, pursuant to Executive Order 202.18, to the extent necessary and during the State of Emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health emergency, the requirements to file triennial statements for domestic professional service corporations pursuant to Business Corporation Law § 1514 have been suspended for those entities whose statements are set to expire on or after March 31, 2020. Such statements shall be filed no later than 30 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202. However, to the extent practical, professional practice entities are encouraged to file their triennial statements on time in order to avoid any potential volume-based processing delays after the expiration of the Executive Order.  Staff will continue to process triennial statements as they are submitted for the duration of the Executive Order. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1. Are foreign professional service corporations required to submit annual statements to the Department during the COVID-19 disaster emergency?

Answer: No. Currently, pursuant to Executive Order 202.18, to the extent necessary and during the State of Emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health emergency, the requirements to file annual statements for foreign professional service corporations pursuant to Business Corporation Law § 1531 have been suspended for those entities whose statements are set to expire on or after March 31, 2020. Such statements shall be filed no later than 30 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202. However, to the extent practical, professional practice entities are encouraged to file their annual statements on time in order to avoid any potential volume-based processing delays after the expiration of the Executive Order.  Staff will continue to process annual statements as they are submitted for the duration of the Executive Order. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

Corporate Practice Waivers

  1. Under Executive Order 202.18, can a Special Education School or Early Intervention Provider agency with a waiver from the Education Department under Education Law 6503-b provide services with an expired registration?   

Answer: Yes. Currently, pursuant to  Executive Order 202.18, to the extent necessary and during the State of Emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health emergency, an entity holding a 6503-b waiver to provide certain professional services whose waiver is set to expire on or after March 31, 2020, may continue to provide authorized services during the disaster emergency provided that the application for the renewal of such waivers are submitted no later than 30 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202. However, to the extent practical, entities are encouraged to file their renewal documents on time in order to avoid any potential volume-based processing delays after the expiration of the Executive Order.  Staff will continue to process these renewals as they are submitted for the duration of the Executive Order. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1. Under Executive Order 202.18, can a not-for-profit, religious or education corporation with a waiver from the Education Department under Education Law 6503-a provide services with an expired registration?   

Answer: No. At this time, there are no procedures or processes to extend 6503-a waiver renewal requirements. Therefore, the entity must renew the waiver registration by the due date to continue to provide services. The Department is receiving, and processing renewal applications and questions should be sent to SWMHPEntity@nysed.gov. Please note that Part Y of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2018 exempts from the waiver requirement a program or service operated, regulated, funded, or approved by the Department of Mental Hygiene (OMH, OPWDD & OASAS), Office of Children and Family Services, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, State Office for the Aging, Department of Health, local governmental unit or social services districts, as defined in Article 41 of the Mental Hygiene Law and section 61 of the Social Services Law, respectively. The Department is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to address issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

Social Work and Mental Health Professions

  1. Can a licensee practice the profession by using distance technology?

Answer:  Yes. There are practice alerts and guidelines that address this type of intervention by an individual licensed and registered in New York. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for confidentiality and record-keeping, to the same extent as when providing direct, in-person services.

If you are not licensed in New York, you may not practice a restricted profession by either technology or in-person unless otherwise authorized pursuant to an Executive Order issued by the New York State Governor during a disaster emergency. Currently, pursuant to Executive Orders 202.15, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapistscreative arts therapists and psychoanalysts who are licensed and in current good standing in any state in the United States do not need to hold a NYS license or registration to practice in the State of New York. Currently, pursuant to Executive Orders 202.18, licensed clinical social workers and licensed master social workers, who are licensed and in current good standing in any state in the United States  or in any province or territory of Canada, do not need to hold a NYS license or registration to practice in the State of New York.

  1. Can a permit holder, intern or other person only authorized to practice under supervision (supervisees) provide client services by distance technology rather than in-person? Is remote supervision allowed?

Answer:  Yes. The supervisor remains responsible for the assessment, evaluation and treatment of each client seen by the supervisee.  Supervised client contact hours completed through distance technology may be submitted on Form 4B, as part of the supervised experience requirement for licensure and do not have to be designated as such.

The Board of Regents approved an emergency regulation that allows supervision by telephone or video technology during the period covered by the Executive Orders relating to the COVID-19 health crisis. The supervisor remains responsible for the assessment, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of each client seen under supervision. The emergency regulation provides flexibility to the supervisor in regard to the weekly duration and frequency of supervision sessions, during the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202.

All treatment and supervision provided through distance technology must be completed through secure means, whether on the telephone or through the use of video conferencing. Texting and email are not acceptable forms of supervision at any time, other than to notify the supervisor of an urgent situation that requires intervention.

  1. Can a Department-approved provider of continuing education convert an in-person course or program to a distance or self-study format without prior approval or review?

Answer: Yes. The Department-approved provider may convert all or part of a course or program to live online or self-study format. The provider is responsible for ensuring attendance and participation by the learners, whether through tests or other measures.

  1. If an employment site is closed for an extended period of time, will a limited permit holder be granted extra time to complete the supervised experience?

Answer:   At this time, there are no procedures or processes to cancel limited permits or extend them beyond the timeframes established in law. The Department is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1. If a student placed in an internship by a license-qualifying program is not able to complete the required hours, how will this be handled?

Answer: The Department will review applications from license-qualifying programs that seek to reduce the duration of the supervised internship to no less than 85% of the 900 hours required in the calendar year 2020 MSW program. This is consistent with the standards from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in other jurisdictions. The MSW program remains responsible for ensuring that students are under the in-person or distance supervision of a LMSW or LCSW, consistent with the services rendered by the student intern. Schools may propose alternative activities in the event the current COVID-19 emergency makes traditional interventions and activities impossible.

Medicine

  1. Can a physician who will graduate in 2020 practice in New York State without licensure or limited permit to assist with the COVID-19 response effort?

Answer: Pursuant to Executive Order 202.14, any physician who will graduate in 2020 can practice at any institution under the supervision of a licensed physician as long as they have:

  • graduated from an academic medical program accredited by a medical education accrediting agency for medical education by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association; and
  • been accepted by an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited residency program within or outside of New York State.
  1. Can a physician who is licensed in another state practice in New York State without licensure or limited permit to assist with the COVID-19 response effort?

Answer: Answer: Yes. Pursuant to Executive Order 202.5, any physician currently licensed and in current good standing in another state may immediately practice medicine in New York State without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of licensure. You can find more information here.

  1. Can a physician who is licensed in New York State but with an inactive registration practice in New York State without licensure to assist with the COVID-19 response effort?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to Executive Order 202.5, physicians who are licensed and in current good standing in New York State but not currently registered in New York State may immediately practice medicine without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of registration. You can find more information here.

  1. Can a Foreign Medical Graduate with one year of post-graduate training practice without a license?

Answer: Yes, as long as certain requirements are met. Pursuant to Executive Order 202.10, subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of 10 NYCRR section 405.4 was modified to the extent necessary to allow graduates of foreign medical schools having at least one year of graduate medical education to provide patient care in hospitals, so as to allow such graduates without licenses to provide patient care in hospitals if they have completed at least one year of graduate medical education. Such graduates are required to have limited permits.

  1. Can a Medical Graduate who graduated from registered or accredited medical programs located in New York State in 2020 practice medicine in New York State?

Answer: Yes, as long as certain requirements are met. Pursuant to Executive Order 202.15, Sections 6512 through 6516, and 6524 of the Education Law and Part 60 of Title 8 of the NYCRR have been temporarily suspended or modified to the extent necessary to allow individuals, who graduated from registered or accredited medical programs located in New York State in 2020, to practice medicine in New York State, without the need to obtain a license and without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of licensure, provided that the practice of medicine by such graduates must in all cases be supervised by a physician licensed and registered to practice medicine in the State of New York.

  1. Can a physician practicing under the authority of a limited permit in medicine have that permit renewed due to the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202?

Answer: Yes. For the renewal of a limited permit in medicine for physicians seeking to renew their limited permits for the first time, pursuant to Section 60.6 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Department may accept satisfactory evidence of personal or family illness or extenuating circumstances preventing the candidate from taking the licensing examination, or satisfactory performance on a significant part of the New York State licensing examination in medicine, provided that such permit must not be renewed for more than 24 months. For the renewal of a limited permit in medicine for physicians seeking to renew their limited permits in medicine for one additional 24-period due to the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202, pursuant to the recent amendment of Section 60.6 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Department, in its discretion, may renew limited permits in medicine for one additional 24-month period. The need for this one additional 24-period limited permit renewal must be related to the COVID-19 related State of Emergency. In both of the above-referenced instances, applicants must apply for renewal of the limited permit. See http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/med/medforms.htm for the appropriate forms and instructions.

Nursing

  1.  Are pregnant nurses at increased risk if they care for patients with COVID-19?

Answer: Pregnant healthcare personnel (HCP) should follow risk assessment and infection control guidelines for HCP exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, which are available on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.   The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings.  Information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited; facilities may want to consider limiting exposure of pregnant HCP to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, especially during higher risk procedures (e.g., aerosol-generating procedures) if feasible based on staffing availability.   Additional information is available on the New York State Department of Health (DOH) website and through DOH’s Coronavirus Hotline 1-888-364-3065.   Please continue to monitor these websites and hotlines for updated guidance.

  1.  Are nurses over the age of 65 at increased risk if they care for patients with COVID-19?

Answer:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has risk assessment and infection control guidelines for health care personnel (HCP) who are exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.  The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcaresettings.  Additional information is available on the New York State Department of Health (DOH) website and through DOH’s Coronavirus Hotline 1-888-364-3065. Please continue to monitor these websites and hotlines for updated guidance.

  1.  Are nurses who are immunocompromised or who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, at increased risk if they care for patients with COVID-19?

Answer:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has risk assessment and infection control guidelines for health care personnel (HCP) who are exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.  The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices 4 is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings.  Additional information is available on the New York State Department of Health website. 

  1.  I am a travel nurse.  Where can I learn about New York’s infection control and prevention standards relating to the care of patients with contagious respiratory infections?

Answer: The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings. The most current and reliable infection control and prevention strategies related to COVID-19 may be accessed on the CDC website.
The OSHA has developed interim guidance to help prevent worker exposure to COVID-19 which may be accessed on the United States Department of Labor’s website. Please continue to monitor these websites for updated guidance.

  1.  Is New York State waiving the license or registration fees for nurses as part of the state of emergency?   Is New York State expediting its nurse licensure process to help address the COVID 19 pandemic?

Answer: New York State is not currently waving licensure or registration fees for nurses. Currently there is no backlog in processing nurse license applications. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance. 

  1.  Can I get an extension of my nurse exam ATT? 

Answer: For guidance relative to the NYCLEX exam, please contact Pearson Vue. In addition, you should also monitor the Department’s website for additional guidance.  

Pharmacy

  1. Due to the current circumstances regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS’ state of emergency, will the board office make this one of the special circumstances in which we allow an exam ATT extension? AND will we allow an extension greater than 90 days?

Answer: For updated information regarding deadlines and extensions relative to the MPJE and NAPLEX exams in light of COVID 19, please continue to monitor the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). In addition, The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is currently working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1. Where can I find guidelines pertaining to personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Answer: For the most up to date guidance on PPE usage, please continue to reference the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) website and USP’s most recent guidance.

  1. Will the live cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic life support (BLS) course requirement for pharmacist immunization certification be temporarily suspended to permit pharmacists to take CPR or BLS courses online or virtually to satisfy their required CPR or BLS certification for their immunization privilege?

    Answer: Yes, the live CPR or BLS course requirement for pharmacist immunization certification is temporarily suspended to permit pharmacists to take CPR or BLS courses online or virtually to satisfy their required CPR or BLS certification for their immunization privilege.  The temporary suspension of this live course requirement will be in effect until 30 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202. All other pharmacist immunization certification requirements remain in effect. For more information regarding the pharmacist immunization certification requirements, see: 
    http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pharm/pharmimmunizations.htm

  2. Where can I find information pertaining to the dispensing of Clozapine during COVID-19?

    Answer: For the most up to date information on Clozapine dispensing during COVID-19, please visit the New York State Office of Mental Health's Guidance website.

  3. During the COVID-19 outbreak are pharmacists still required to document when a patient declines medication counseling?

    Answer: Pursuant to Executive Order 202.28, effective May 8, 2020, Executive Order 202.10’s waiver of the recordkeeping requirements to the extent necessary for health care providers to perform tasks as may be necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak are no longer in effect.  Thus, effective May 8, 2020, pharmacists are once again required to be in compliance with all statutory and regulatory recordkeeping requirements, including the requirement of documenting when a patient declines medication counseling.

  4. Where can hospitals find guidance regarding access to Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19?

Answer: The New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) Division of Epidemiology recently released a health advisory to hospitals containing such information.

  1. What protective measures should be taken within the pharmacy department to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    Answer: Healthcare professionals understand the importance of infection control; it is essential for safe practice. In addition, 8 NYCRR §29.2(a)(13) requires that pharmacists use scientifically accepted infection prevention techniques appropriate to the practice of pharmacy and provides specific examples of such techniques.

    As links in the healthcare delivery chain, pharmacies and pharmacy departments that provide direct services to the public should take reasonable, common-sense steps to minimize the spread of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Such steps will protect the public and employees alike.

    Please consult the guidelines available through the Centers for Disease Control and New York Department of Health. Retail establishments around the world have taken simple steps to uphold their responsibilities to their customers and employees. Consider how to adapt these guidelines to your practice to help keep everyone safe. Here are just some examples of potential accommodations; please reference the links above for additional scenarios:

    • Utilizing the pharmacy drive thru window as much as possible in applicable areas
    • Encouraging prescription delivery services to patients
    • Maximizing phone consultation services
    • Encouraging social distancing in your establishment
  1. What do we do if we need to temporarily close our pharmacy due to a potential COVID-19 exposure?

Answer: As per 8 NYCRR §63.6(a)(5), you must notify the Board of Pharmacy within 48 hours of the closure by completing the following form. Please send this form to PHARMBD@nysed.gov. COVID-19 related closures must follow the guidance for health care facilities recommended by the CDC and the New York State Department of Health

  1. Due to COVID-19, do registered resident pharmacies and registered resident outsourcing facilities have the temporary authority to compound certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products?

Answer: Yes. Executive Order 202.11 suspended Section 6808(1) of the Education Law and any associated regulations, to the extent necessary to temporarily permit registered resident pharmacies and registered resident outsourcing facilities to compound certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products, consistent with the Food and Drug Administration’s Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (March 2020).

  1. Are there specific requirements for prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine during the COVID-19 health emergency?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to Executive Order 202.11, a prescription or medication order for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should not be dispensed or distributed unless the prescription or medication order is written for one of the following reasons:

  1. an FDA-approved indication; or
  2. for an indication supported by one or more citations included or approved for inclusion in the compendia specified in 42 U.S.C. §1396-r-8(g)(1)(B)(i); or
  3. patients in inpatient setting and acute settings; or
  4. residents in a subacute part of a skilled nursing home; or
  5. as part of a study approved by an Institutional Review Board.

Any person authorized to prescribe such medications must note on the prescription the condition for which such prescription has been issued. Days supply dispensed of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine must match the quantity required by the prescription or medication order, as long as the prescription or medication order is compliant with these guidelines and the amount requested to be dispensed falls within normal treatment guidelines for the FDA-approved indication.

  1. Is there any guidance regarding the remote processing of prescriptions and medication orders from an unregistered site, during the COVID-19 health emergency?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant Executive Order 202.11 and, in response to COVID-19, and its potential impact on communities’ and hospitals’ access to pharmacy services due to potential pharmacists and/or other pharmacy staff positive exposures, pharmacists and pharmacy staff are permitted to engage in the processing of prescriptions and medication orders from an unregistered site, until the expiration of Executive Order 202. 

It should be noted that SED approval of a pharmacy’s technology solutions for remote processing is not required. However, any pharmacy engaged in remote processing must, upon SED’s request, be able to justify and document how its technology meets the requirements of this guidance, as well as any applicable laws and regulations. 

Pharmacy staff is permitted to perform remote order entry and remote order entry verification under the following conditions, consistent with current pharmacy requirements.  For pharmacists, remote processing does not include the dispensing of a drug. 

  • If performing remote processing in New York, the pharmacist must be a New York-licensed and registered pharmacist, either employed or a contract employee of a registered New York registered pharmacy.
  • A pharmacist providing personal supervision for remote order entry and remote order entry verification processing via technology must be: (1) readily available to answer questions of a pharmacy intern or unlicensed staff, under his/her supervision; and (2) fully responsible for the practice and/or accuracy of the pharmacy intern’s and/or unlicensed staff’s work.
  • Each pharmacist and pharmacy intern practicing and engaged in remote order entry and remote order verification must have current and appropriate credentials with the State of New York as defined, but, not limited to sections 6801, 6802, 6805 and 6806 of Education Law.
  • At the present time, existing staffing ratio requirements (relative to the ratio of a pharmacist to pharmacy interns and unlicensed staff) must be maintained in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations, except as stated in E.O. 202.10, which suspended 10 NYCRR §405.2(3) to the extent necessary to permit general hospitals affected by the disaster emergency to maintain adequate staffing.

Protected Heath Information (PHI)

  • Patient and medication information must be processed and maintained in a manner that protects each patient’s PHI.
  • Physical PHI must not leave the registered pharmacy premises.
  • PHI accessed during remote order entry and remote order verification must be protected from all routes of accidental disclosure.
  • Failure to appropriately protect PHI is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and may result in disciplinary action.

Prescription Images

  • Prescriptions must be able to be accessed, at all times, during the data entry process, whether it be from within the registered pharmacy premises or from a remote location.
  • An audit trail that identifies each appropriately credentialed pharmacist, pharmacy intern, and unlicensed staff involved in the receipt, entry, verification and dispensing of a prescription must be maintained daily and made available upon SED’s request. Such audit trail must include the identity of each pharmacist conducting final verification of each prescription during the dispensing process.

Drug Utilization Reviews (DURs)

  • DURs can be done from a remote location or from within the registered pharmacy premises, but only by an appropriately credentialed pharmacist or pharmacy intern personally supervised by the appropriately credentialed pharmacist.
  • A record of each DUR must be maintained that details the identity of each appropriately credentialed pharmacist or pharmacy intern personally supervised by the appropriately credentialed pharmacist conducting each DUR.

Quality Assurance Reports

  • Any and all Quality Assurance reports must be maintained within the registered pharmacy premises where the respective prescription was accepted for dispensing and from which such prescription was ultimately dispensed for delivery to the patient or patient’s representative.
  • The registered pharmacy at which remote order entry and remote order entry verification is conducted by appropriately credentialed individuals (pharmacists, interns, and unlicensed personnel) must be documented in any and all quality assurance reports, when the prescription is dispensed with the involvement of appropriately credentialed individuals from multiple registered, New York Licensed pharmacies.

The appropriately credentialed pharmacist conducting the final verification of a prescription, during the dispensing process, is responsible for the dispensing of such prescription in its totality, as referenced, but, not limited to the guidance provided above.

  1. Are manufactures, repackers, or wholesalers of prescription drugs or devices that are physically located outside of New York State and not registered in New York State able to deliver prescription medications and devices into this State?

    Answer: Yes, as long as certain requirements are met.  Under Executive Order 202.15, a manufacturer, repacker or wholesaler not registered or located in New York State is permitted to deliver prescription drugs and devices into this State as long as they are licensed and/or registered in another state.

  2. Can a pharmacy located and registered in New York State receive drugs and medical supplies or devices from an unlicensed pharmacy, wholesaler, or third-party logistics provider located in another state to alleviate a temporary shortage of a drug or device that could result in the denial of health care?

    Answer: Yes, under Executive Order 202.15, a pharmacy located and registered in New York State can receive drugs and medical supplies or devices from an unlicensed pharmacy, wholesaler, or third-party logistics provider located in another state to alleviate a temporary shortage of a drug or device that could result in the denial of health care, as long as the following requirements are met:

    1. The unlicensed location sending the drugs and/or medical devices is licensed in its home state and documentation of the license verification is maintained by the New York State pharmacy;
    2. The New York State pharmacy maintains documentation of the temporary drug shortage of any drug and/or medical device which it has received from any pharmacy, wholesaler, or third-party logistics provider not licensed/registered in this State.;
    3. The New York State pharmacy complies with all record-keeping requirements for each drug and device received from any pharmacy, wholesaler, or third-party logistics provider not licensed/registered in this State;
    4. All documentation and records required above must be maintained and readily retrievable for three years following the end of the declared emergency; and
    5. The drug or device was produced by an authorized FDA registered drug manufacturer.
  1. Are outsourcing facilities that are physically located outside of New York State and not registered in New York State able to deliver prescription medications into this State?

Answer: No. Outsourcing facilities are not covered by Executive Order 202.15, which permits  manufacturers, repackers or wholesalers not registered or located in New York State to deliver prescription drugs and devices into this State as long as they are licensed and/or registered in another state.  Thus, outsourcing facilities that are physically located outside of New York State and not registered in New York State cannot deliver prescription medications into this State.

  1. Can pharmacists order and administer COVID-19 tests?

Answer: Pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 202.24, licensed pharmacists can order COVID-19 tests, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to detect SARS-CoV-2 or its antibodies, and administer CLIA-waived COVID-19 tests, in patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection, or suspected of having recovered from COVID-19 infection, subject to completion of appropriate training developed by the Department of Health.  Pursuant to this EO, a licensed pharmacists may also be designated as a qualified healthcare professional for the purpose of directing a limited service laboratory (LSL), pursuant to subdivision 579(3) of the Public Health Law, to test patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection or its antibodies provided that such test is FDA-approved and waived for use in a limited service laboratory.  New York State Department of Health (DOH) regulates clinical laboratories and clinical laboratory testing under Article V, Title V of the Public Health Law. As a result, the Education Department works closely with DOH on matters impacting clinical laboratory testing.

  • More guidance on appropriate training for pharmacists pursuant to EO 202.24 is expected to be released soon by the Department of Health. 
  • As of this writing, there are three CLIA-waived COVID-19 tests, which can be performed by entities holding an LSL registration: Abbott ID NOW COVID-19; Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2; and the Mesa Biotech Accula SARS-CoV-2.  There are NO serology tests currently approved under the FDA to be performed in an LSL.
  • Entities that wish to conduct high and moderately complex testing must obtain a clinical laboratory permit from DOH. This is a complex process that most pharmacies are not positioned to undertake in the short term.

More information on Limited Service Laboratories and obtaining a LSL Registration Certificate can be found on the DOH website.

  1. If pharmacist and/or pharmacy is interested in participating in the COVID-19 Test Collection Site Program, where can they get more information about it?

Answer: In New York State, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) regulates clinical laboratories and clinical laboratory testing under Article V, Title V of the Public Health Law.  Thus, please contact DOH regarding this program. 

  1. Under Executive Order 202.18, can a New York State licensed pharmacist who is not registered practice in this State?   

Answer: Yes. As per Executive Order 202.18, a pharmacist who has an unencumbered license and is currently in good standing in New York State, but is not registered to practice in New York State, can practice in this State for the duration of the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202, without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of registration.  These requirements are applicable to any New York State licensed pharmacists who are not currently registered but are seeking to return to practice during this COVID-19 health crisis, such pharmacists include, but are not limited to, retired pharmacists.

  1. Under Executive Order 202.18, can out of state pharmacists, who are not licensed in New York State, practice in this State?   

Answer: No, because under Executive Order 202.18 and the Education Law, a pharmacist must have a New York State license in order to practice in this State. 

  1. Can a New York State licensed pharmacist who has an unencumbered license and is currently in good standing in New York State, but not registered to practice in New York State, continue to practice in this State, after the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202 expires, without having to register and complete all the required continuing education (CE) for such registration? 

Answer: No. Executive Order 202.18, permits a pharmacist who has an unencumbered license and is currently in good standing in New York State, but is not registered to practice in New York State, to practice in this State for the duration of the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202, without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of registration. Executive Order 202.18 does not waive the registration requirement or the CE requirements for such registration for non-registered New York State licensed pharmacists seeking to continuing practicing after the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202 expires.  Thus, if such pharmacists want to continue practicing after this current COVID-19 related State of Emergency expires, they will have to register and complete all the required CE for such registration in order to do so. 

Dentistry

  1. Will the Department permit alternative means to be used by dentists and dental hygienists to obtain and/or maintain the required cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification, in lieu of the in-person CPR course requirement, during the COVID-19 health crisis?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to a recent amendment to Section 61.19(b) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Department, in its discretion, may accept alternative means to be used by dentists and dental hygienists to obtain and/or maintain the required CPR certification, in lieu of the in-person course requirement, during the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202.  Such alternative means include online or virtual CPR courses provided by CPR certification providers approved by the Department, which are the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council and the American Safety and Health Institute.

Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Professions

  1. Can a licensee practice the profession by using distance technology?

Answer:  Yes. There are practice alerts and guidelines that address this type of intervention by an individual licensed and registered in New York.

Unless otherwise modified by an Executive Order,  psychologists licensed in other states who wish to engage in telepractice with patients/clients currently residing in New York State may do so utilizing a one-time-only ninety-day temporary exemption to practice psychology without a New York license pursuant to Education Law §7605 (8).  See the Questions and Answers About Licensure and Limited Permits for more information. 

Unless otherwise modified by an Executive Order,  ABA practitioners licensed or certified in other states may not practice within the ABA scope of practice by technology or in person without a New York license.

  1. Can a permit holder, intern or other person only authorized to practice under supervision provide client services by distance technology rather than in-person?

Answer:  Yes, but only during the State of Emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health emergency. The supervisor remains responsible for the assessment, evaluation and treatment of each client seen by the supervisee and must ensure that all aspects of a supervisee’s practice receive proper oversight.  Supervised experience hours completed through distance technology may be submitted on Form 4, as part of the supervised experience requirement for licensure and do not have to be designated as such.

  1. Can face-to-face supervision of a permit holder, intern or other person only authorized to practice under supervision be provided by distance technology rather than in-person?

Answer: During the State of Emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health emergency, face to face supervision may be provided using distance technology. The supervisor remains responsible for the professional services being provided by the supervisee and must ensure that all aspects of a supervisee’s practice receive proper oversight, not just what is reported in a supervisory session. If supervision takes place across state lines, the supervisor must be licensed in both the jurisdiction where he/she is physically located and the jurisdiction where the services are provided.

Please see the practice alerts that further address supervision requirements:

  1. If an employment site is closed for an extended period of time, will a limited permit holder be granted extra time to complete the supervised experience?

Answer: At this time, there are no procedures or processes to either cancel or extend limited permits. The Department is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to address issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1. If a student placed in an internship/practicum by a license-qualifying program is not able to complete the required hours, how will this be handled?

Answer: Students should first contact the licensure-qualifying program director at their institution. If there are any challenges to meeting the requirements even after considering alternative means using distance technology (as discussed in the previous questions, i.e., tele-practice and tele-supervision), program directors should contact opprogs@nysed.gov.

Clinical Laboratory Technology

  1. Can clinical laboratory personnel from outside of New York State perform testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, or its antibodies, in specimens collected from individuals suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection if they meet the federal requirements for testing personnel?

Answer: Pursuant to Executive Order 202.16, there is out-of-state reciprocity for clinical laboratory personnel (who may or may not be licensed) to the extent necessary to permit individuals to perform testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, or its antibodies, in specimens collected from individuals suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection, as long as the individuals performing this testing meet the federal requirements for testing personnel appropriate to the assay or device authorized by the FDA or the New York State Department of Health.

  1. Are individuals in New York State who are not licensed as clinical laboratory practitioners permitted to perform testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, or its antibodies, in specimens collected from individuals suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection if they meet the federal requirements for testing personnel?

    Answer: Yes, pursuant to Executive Order 202.16, individuals who meet the federal requirements for testing personnel to perform clinical laboratory services within the scope of practice of professionals licensed under Article 165 of the Education Law, are permitted to perform testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, or its antibodies, in specimens collected from individuals suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection, without the need for licensure. These individuals must meet the federal requirements for testing personnel appropriate to the assay or device authorized by the FDA or the New York State Department of Health.

Massage Therapy

  1. During the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202, will massage therapy licensure applicants be permitted to take CPR courses online or virtually to satisfy the requirement that they present satisfactory evidence of having a current CPR certificate?

Answer: Yes, massage therapy licensure applicants who have graduated from a registered program of massage or its equivalent more than three years before licensure, as well as applicants for licensure by endorsement, may take CPR courses online or virtually to satisfy the requirement that they present satisfactory evidence of having a current CPR certificate. The temporary suspension of the live course requirement will remain in effect until 30 days after the expiration of the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202.

  1. During the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202, can online or virtual CPR courses be used to satisfy the mandatory continuing education requirements in the profession of massage therapy?

Answer: Yes, massage therapy licensees can take online or virtual CPR courses to satisfy their mandatory continuing education requirements.  The temporary suspension of the live CPR course requirement will remain in effect until 30 days after the expiration of the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202.

Occupational Therapy

  1. Can Occupational Therapists (OTs) provide telehealth services?

Answer: Yes. Please continue to monitor Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders, the New York State Department of Health’s website and the information on this website regarding telepractice services. For additional guidance, please refer to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) resources.

  1. Can Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) provide telehealth services?

Yes, but only during the State of Emergency declared by Governor Cuomo in Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health crisis and under the usual supervision of an OT. Please continue to monitor Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders, the New York State Department of Health’s website and the information on this website regarding telepractice services. For additional guidance please refer to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) resources.

  1. What if I cannot complete my pre-license supervised experience?

Answer: The Board of Regents approved an emergency regulation that allows the Department to excuse the requirement for occupational therapy to be provided on a continuous basis if such continuous experience cannot be completed during the State of Emergency declared by Governor Cuomo in Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health crisis. For the duration of the current state of emergency, the requirement that supervised experience be obtained on a “continuous” basis has been suspended. You can resume your supervised experience where you left off before it was interrupted by COVID-19.

Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology

  1. What if I cannot complete my pre-license supervised experience?

Answer: The Board of Regents approved an emergency regulation that allows the Department to excuse the requirement for speech language pathology and audiology to be provided on a continuous basis if such continuous experience cannot be completed during the State of Emergency declared by Governor Cuomo in Executive Order 202 relating to the COVID-19 health crisis. For the duration of the current state of emergency, the requirement that supervised experience be obtained on a “continuous” basis has been suspended. You can resume your supervised experience where you left off before it was interrupted by COVID-19.

  1. Are clinical fellows allowed to use telehealth?

Answer: Yes, telehealth is permissible for the completion of supervised experience.  However, telehealth should not be used as the sole modality, while earning experience toward licensure.

  1. Can I supervise a clinical fellow remotely?

Answer: Yes, appropriate supervision can be provided through the use of distance technology. However, individuals earning their experience will still need direct, regular real-time interactions with their supervisor whether that is accomplished in person or through modern telecommunication technology.

  1. Can Clinical Simulations (CS) be used to fulfill experience requirements?

Answer: Yes, Clinical Simulations (CS) may be used, in part, to fulfill the experiential requirement for direct clinical contact for licensure as a Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist, provided that the supervisor is certified by the Council for Academic Accreditation (CAA), an affiliate of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). CS may be used for up to 75 hours of experience for Speech-Language Pathologist and 10% for Audiologist.

Public Accountancy

  1. Can I get an extension of my credit for the Certified Public Accountant Exam?

    Answer: As a result of the COVID-19 related State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 202, the Board of Regents has approved an emergency regulation that allows the Department to accept passing examination scores that are outside the 18-month requirement where such examinations cannot be completed in the required 18-month period. As a result of the recent closure of the Prometric test sites due to COVID-19, the New York State Board for Public Accountancy has recommended to the Department that those NY jurisdiction candidates whose exam credit expired from April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020 be granted an extension until December 31, 2020 for those applicable exam sections. Candidates do not need to contact the Department as the extension will be granted automatically.

    The State Board has also recommended that NY jurisdiction exam candidates who were impacted in Quarter 1 from January 2020 through March 31, 2020 due to COVID-19, will be assessed on a case by case basis. Candidates impacted during the January to March time period, need to contact the Board Office at: CPABD@nysed.gov with their full, legal name, jurisdiction and candidate ID, and provide an explanation of how they were impacted in Quarter 1 (i.e. could not travel from international location, test center closed, etc.). If approved, candidates will be granted an extension until December 31, 2020 for those applicable exam sections.

  2. Are Mandatory Peer Review Program requirements waived or cancelled for public accounting firms?

Answer: At this time, there are no procedures or processes to waive or cancel the mandatory peer review program for public accounting firms. Firms should notify the State Board for Public Accountancy at: CPABD@nysed.gov if their firm has received an extension for its peer review or corrective action(s) from the Administering Entity. The Department is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

Veterinary Medicine

  1. Is there guidance regarding essential veterinary or animal care services?

    Answer: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has a Veterinary Advisory with guidance and information related to the COVID-19 emergency. Additional guidance is also available on the American Veterinary Medicine Association website.

     

Last Updated: June 29, 2020