NEW YORK — New York State released new visitation rules Friday for nursing homes.
According to Gov. Kathy Hochul, all nursing home visitors will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their visit. In addition, visitors will be required to wear a surgical type mask.
The governor went on to say that New York is recommending visitors take their COVID-19 test at home in advance so they don't overtax the nursing home workers. However, the state will also be providing rapid tests at the nursing homes.
"We prefer that they do it at home bring the results - show us. Or do it in the parking lot before you go in - show us that it's true. But also, we will provide the tests," Hochul said.
Hochul says New York is going to make sure that every nursing home in the state will have a supply of testing kits to make sure that visitors are tested before visiting a loved one.
"We'll make sure that every nursing home has the supply they need to make sure that visitors are tested and not positive when they walk in the door to go possibly expose an entire facility. This will spread like wildfire," Hochul said.
According to Hochul, the state does not have the authority to demand that all visitors are vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, so these new visitation rules are being put in place as an additional safeguard.
"We do not need a reminder of how excruciatingly painful it was to have the isolation last year when everything was shut down," Hochul said. "And people literally sat in their rooms not understanding why their loved one could not visit them. We understand this - we truly do."