Coronavirus Information (COVID-19)

Skip to Content


Use the following links to quickly jump to the desire location in the page.

You are on this page: Coronavirus Information (COVID-19)

A new coronavirus - 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus – that was first detected in China is now spreading worldwide. This virus causes a disease called COVID-19 and can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in a growing number of countries internationally and the virus is now spreading in the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more about this virus.

For the latest information, please check the New York State Department of Health web site.

News and Updates

May 27, 2021 — OCFS Publishes Corrections to Imprint Article on Juvenile Facilities

OCFS responds to a May article in The Imprint regarding COVID testing in juvenile detention facilities.

January 12, 2021 — Updated - New COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Facilities and for OASAS / OCFS / OMH / OTDA

New vaccine guidance has been issued for Facilities and for OASAS / OCFS / OMH / OTDA.

See the COVID-19 Guidance page for more information.

December 16, 2020 — The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Here!

The first COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, is here. NYS is receiving our first delivery of 170,000 doses this week and the first New Yorkers have already begun to be vaccinated. Additional doses of the vaccine will follow later this month.

The first New Yorkers to receive the vaccine will be high-risk hospital workers (emergency room workers, ICU staff and Pulmonary Department staff), nursing home residents, nursing home staff, followed by all long-term and congregate care residents and staff, EMS workers, other health care workers, coroners and medical examiners. Staff at every hospital will have access to the first vaccine allocation.

While the vaccination process is underway, all New Yorkers should wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid small and large gatherings.

Get more information and sign up for email notifications at

March 20, 2020 — Waiver request letter to Detention Directors

As the state addresses the COVID-19 crisis, we must work together to provide a safe and secure continuity of service for youth in custody. Current regulatory requirements prohibit cohousing for JD and JO male youth with AO male youth; however, OCFS has determined that during this declared disaster emergency, this prohibition may lead to beds that could safely be utilized to house detained youth being left empty.

Based on the possibility that there will be a need to quarantine or isolate youth who have been exposed to or contracted COVID-19 and the staffing shortages that are often attendant to pandemic situations, the need for available secure and specialized secure detention beds may increase during this crisis. Thus, collocated secure detention and specialized secure detention facilities may wish to apply for a waiver on the prohibition of cohousing AO male youth with JD and JO male youth.

Download the March 20 waiver request letter.

March 20, 2020 — COVID-19 Fiscal Tracking Memorandum

We recognize that there are likely to be new, unanticipated costs associated with your county’s/agency’s operations in caring for the runaway and homeless youth in our communities. Both the Federal Government and the Governor have declared states of emergency. We believe that additional federal resources may become available and we want to be fully prepared to provide costs associated with the pandemic. If you haven’t begun to do so already, I strongly urge you to maintain an accurate and separate accounting of all expenses related to this COVID-19 emergency.

We will share additional guidance and instruction as it becomes available.

Download the COVID-19 Fiscal Tracking memorandum.

March 19, 2020 — Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts

"Pursuant to a delegation of authority to me by the Chief Judge of the State of New York in response to the 2020 coronavirus public health emergency in this State, I hereby direct that, effective immediately and until further notice, any temporary orders of protection issued in any criminal or civil matter in any court of the Unified Court System that is due to expire on or after the date of this order shall be extended under the same terms and conditions until the date the matter is re-calendared, unless the order is sooner terminated or modified by a judge or justice of the court that issued the order."

Download the March 19 Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts.

March 17, 2020 — Temporary Visitor Restrictions Within Residential Treatment Centers and Congregate Care Settings

As part of New York States’ continued effort to curtail the transmission of the Novel Coronavirus of 2019 Disease (COVID-19) and maintain the health, safety, and well-being of the children and families served in residential treatment centers and congregate care settings (programs), the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) encourages the implementation of policies which limit visitor access. Programs must take immediate steps to temporarily restrict visitors to only:

  • specified family members,
  • medical personnel, and
  • behavioral health specialists.

Download the complete memorandum as Word memorandum of March 17, 2020 or PDF memorandum of March 17, 2020.

OCFS Tracking Data for COVID-19

The following are weekly reports tracking COVID-19 numbers for youth and staff in OCFS facilities. These numbers reflect weekly COVID-positive information dating from March 2020 for staff and from October 2020 for youth.

Other Resources

COVID Information

Federal Resources

Help for Parents

Resources for the Blind

How You Can Help