ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Health has released more guidelines for nursing home visitations.
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker spoke during a conference call Monday afternoon with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo first announced nursing home visitations could resume last Friday during a briefing with the press.
Dr. Zucker says they will focus on the county rate of COVID submissions. In counties with less than a 5% positive rate, visitors will not need to test prior to visitation. However, the state is still encouraging testing.
If a county has a positive rate of 5% to 10%, there should be testing within 72 hours for the PCR test. The state says they will help nursing homes to provide financing for rapid testing.
If a county has a positive rate of 10%, then no visitation is allowed, except for other reasons. If there are cases within 14 days, the state will follow the CMS guidelines.
If a visitor has had two vaccines, and it's been 14 days since their second vaccine and they're still within 90 days of that second dose, there is no need for a test, but they are still encouraging testing, as you can carry the COVID-19 virus in your nasal passages.
Currently, nursing homes can only have visitors if they haven't had a new COVID-19 case in the past 14 days. Cuomo said on Friday all visitors must be over 18-years-old and residents can only have two visitors at a time.
The new guidelines go into effect on Friday, February 26.