ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Health announces revised guidelines to nursing home visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NYSDOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced Tuesday that nursing homes in New York state will be allowed to resume limited visits to facilities that have been without COVID-19 for at least 14 days. Previously, families had to wait 28-days.
"We understand how trying it has been for New Yorkers to not see their loved ones and the challenges they’ve had to endure during this unprecedented pandemic. The number of nursing homes that have taken the necessary steps to protect residents from the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 while working to reopen to outside visitors, shows that adhering to the DOH visitation guideline is the smart and cautious approach to allowing visitations. We continue to be guided by science and concern for residents’ welfare and will monitor nursing homes that host visitors, to make sure this action does not lead to an increase in cases,” said Dr. Zucker.
The revised guidelines go into effect on September 17. Visitors will need to present a verified negative test within the last seven days. Visitation may be refused by the facility if the individual fails to present a negative test result or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.
The number of visitors to the nursing home must not exceed 10% of the resident census at anytime and only two visitors will be allowed per resident.
Visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings and socially distance during the visit. Children under the age of 18 are prohibited.