A DISCLAIMER FROM THE NEW YORK STATE ADULT DAY SERVICES ASSOCIATION: The guidance provided below has not been approved by any New York State agency and programs will open at their own risk.  

We understand that as more communities across the country begin to re-open in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 Health Crisis, many Social Adult Day Care (SADC) programs and other respite providers are also planning to resume services. The guidelines provided below are designed to assist providers, as well as family caregivers, with careful and thoughtful planning and implementation strategies to provide and receive social adult day care as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New York State Adult Day Services Association wants to emphasize that the information from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Local Public Health Departments should be your primary source for guidance on COVID-19 and other health-related issues. It is important to closely monitor local guidance and consult with your healthcare professionals to ensure your health and safety.

ATTENTION NYC PROGRAMS: The New York City Department for the Aging Social Adult Day Care (SADC) Ombuds Office and the New York State Adult Day Services Association are continuing to monitor the rapidly changing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Currently, the NYC Emergency Executive Order 100 remains in effect regarding all older adult congregate centers operating in NYC.

What does this mean? At this time, ALL SADC centers in New York City remain closed until further notice.


COVID-19 | Reopening Information and Resources

Adult Day Services Reopening Guidance (PDF)
NYSADSA Recommended Policy & Procedure Manual
During COVID-19 Emergency
NY Forward Safety Plan Template
Sample of Wellness Checks/Daily Health Screen
New York Forward: Reopening New York


Percentage Positive Results By Region Dashboard
Daily Hospitalization Summary by Region
Percentage Positive Results by County Dashboard
COVID-19 Tracker
Get county by county data on testing,
positive cases and fatalities
COVID-19 Regional Metrics Dashboard
Regional Breakdown Map









Additional Important Resources for Reopening


Service Delivery
Participant Assessments
Vulnerable Populations
Considerations for Participants
Considerations for Administration
Environmental and Personal Infection Control
Sample of Wellness Checks/Daily Health Screen
Prior to Reopening
Important Links to Check Frequently


Recommended Guidance for In-Person Social Adult Day Care

 Service Delivery

As part of ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are sharing guidelines and recommendations for ADS programs to reopen centers and modify the service delivery model to meet the needs and preferences for functionally impaired older adults who have been isolated and homebound through the pandemic. Providing home and community-based day services through a person-centered individualized plan of care may be operationalized through a variety of services at the ADS center and in alternate settings. Day services must be modified to include all recommended environmental and personal infection control measures, including social distancing and wearing masks to meet the federal Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) appropriate safety precautions and requirements, including:

  • On-site at an ADS center, with a limited number of participants and staff to maintain social distancing of at least six feet. Occupancy must not exceed 50% of the total in the facility's certificate of occupancy. This includes staff and participants.
  • At-home ADS for socialization activities and supportive services. Delivery of personal care hands-on services is not allowed as this is in violation of state licensure requirements under Article 36.
  • 1:1 (one ADS staff with one participant) outings/community integration services
  • Socialization and activities through electronic/virtual day programming
  • Telephonic day services
  • Home Delivered Meals, and
  • A combination of the above services that will meet the needs and preferences of participants and caregivers

 Participant Assessments

The ADS program must complete an assessment and service plan of a participant's functional levels and psycho-social needs prior to resuming ADS services. This will establish current levels of care, needs, and preferences for how day services will be delivered, resulting in a person-centered individualized plan of care. ADS assessment is necessary since some participants may have experienced long periods of social isolation, lack of exercise, limited cognitive stimulation, and exacerbation of chronic health conditions which affects cognitive, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Participants and caregivers may be scared and reluctant to leave their homes. Many informal caregivers have been isolated and overwhelmed with caring for their loved ones and may have an urgent need for support services, particularly respite.

Prioritization criteria for participating at on-site ADS center:

  • Participants whose caregivers are essential workers
  • Participants whose caregivers are returning to work
  • Participants whose caregivers are in need of respite
  • Participants who cannot be left home alone
  • Participants who live alone and those that are experiencing loneliness, and
  • Participants who are cognitively impaired and physically healthy.

 Vulnerable Populations

Participants who are most vulnerable should follow federal, state, and local guidelines regarding stay-at-home orders. Governor Cuomo announced "Matilda's Law" - a guideline - to protect New Yorkers age 70+ and those with compromised immune systems. Under these guidelines, vulnerable New Yorkers are advised to:

  • Remain indoors
  • Go outside for solitary exercise
  • Pre-screen all visitors by taking their temperature
  • Wear a mask in the company of others
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others, and 
  • Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary


Considerations for Participants

Participants must pass the health screen prior to each day's service. Participants must be able to wear face masks (cueing/supervision may be provided) for in-person services: at-home day services, 1:1 community integration/outings, and attending the ADS center. For at-home day services, other individuals in the home at the time of service must be screened and wear masks. An isolated area near the entrance to the facility must be maintained for participants, and staff, who are not successfully screened and must be isolated until they return home or go for medical care.

 Considerations for Administration

Policies and Procedures must be modified and put into effect prior to reopening.  These revised policies and procedures should reflect modified service delivery, assessment, and service plans, environmental and personal infection control measures, and staff training on all newly instituted policies and procedures. Documentation methods need to be revised to capture staff and participant daily health screening, cleaning and sanitation compliance, staff training, and service delivery to participants.

This list includes, but it not inclusive of all procedures to put in place:

  • Any meals served to participants need to be on individual disposable containers. Meals must be served; no buffet-style meals are to be provided.
  • All staff must always wear gloves and masks.
  • Participants are only allowed in restrooms one at a time. Restrooms needs to be disinfected after each client uses the facility.
  • Participants must wash their hands after eating, toileting, or touching hard surfaces.
  • Participants need to be screened to determine on an individualized basis based on their caregiver's input, that they can safely use these protocols. Staff must work with the families to understand the participants' ability to wear PPE and follow protocols.
  • No outside visitation or presentations are allowed, and
  • Transportation must include protective barriers or six feet of social distancing during travel. Masks must be required, and the vehicle must be fully disinfected before and after each trip.

 Environmental and Personal Infection Control

  • All facilities should be completely cleaned and disinfected. All surfaces should be cleaned with an approved CDC sanitizing solution, including all areas that could be touched. These include door handles, all bathroom fixtures, craft supplies that are shared, tabletops, chairs, exercise equipment, floors, kitchens, etc.
  • Facilities should open ADS centers according to the regional guidelines, at half capacity or lower if possible, to prevent exposure. If the location is limited in size, capacity should be determined based on 6-foot social distancing.
  • Staff must take their temperature prior to reporting to work daily.
  • Participant's temperature must be taken prior to entry to the ADC center, and
  • Participants and staff must be screened daily to ask if they are feeling ill, if their family members have been ill, and if they have been exposed to anyone that has been positive for COVID-19.

 Sample of Wellness Checks/Daily Health Screen

The following can be used as a script when conducting daily interviews for staff/participants/family members.

  1. How are you feeling?
  2. Have you had a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore through in the last 14 days? If yes, have you called your doctor?
  3. Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  4. Have you lost your sense of smell or taste in the last 14 days?
  5. Have you been in contact with anyone who has been sick?
  6. Were they diagnosed with COVID-19 or under investigation for COVID-19?


  1. Ascertain needs over the phone
  2. Ask if they can get access to FaceTime or other electronic means. Use that if possible.
  3. Explain that you can assist, but they cannot participate in the day program.
  4. If your participant is in danger, contact 911
  5. If staff or participant reports any illness, they must be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to the program.

 Prior to Reopening

The program must have in place the following Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to reopen:

  • YT-IC infrared thermometer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Gloves - including non-latex, and 
  • Masks

Use disinfectant wipes and spray and spray daily on high touch surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and cell phones).  This is to be done on an ongoing daily basis and periodically throughout the day.

  • Floors should be marked with brightly colored tape, at 6 feet intervals, showing the space necessary for social distancing.
  • Chairs and all seating arrangements should be at a minimum of 6 feet apart and be strictly enforced.
  • Participants should be redirected from any physical contact with other participants.
  • Staff coming into physical contact providing personal care must adhere to PPE guidelines and handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water, and utilize new PPE in-between each contact.
  • All common use items (ie: coffee pot/refrigerator/toaster) shall not be accessible to participants and staff. Staff should bring their own coffee, lunch, snacks, etc. If serving meals to participants, all surfaces must be immediately disinfected before and after service.

Important Links to Check Frequently