NY Hospitals Can Now Allow Visitors At Their Discretion

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -

New York hospitals can now allow visitors at their discretion, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Hospitals must follow state guidelines, which include time-limits on visits and requiring visitors to wear protective gear, Cuomo said. Visitors also will be subject to symptom and temperature checks.

“Obviously we need to be careful,” the governor said.

Cuomo pointed to signs that the coronavirus is no longer spreading at an overwhelming pace in New York, which saw a peak of over 700 deaths a day in mid-April of people who tested positive for COVID-19.

Cuomo said 25 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 died Monday in hospitals and nursing homes.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients continued to decline to roughly 1,500 Monday, and fewer than 2% of people who are getting tested for COVID-19 each day are testing positive.

“You want to talk about congratulations and something to celebrate, that is something to celebrate,” Cuomo said.

The governor announced the Capitol Region is entering the third phase of re-opening Wednesday.

Still, the governor cautioned that a slightly higher percentage of New Yorkers are testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies in Long Island, New York City and some parts of upstate New York.

Cuomo was comparing a sample of antibody tests completed by May 1 to the latest survey of 12,000 individuals as of June 13. Overall, about 13.4% of New Yorkers have now tested positive for antibodies, compared to 12.3% as of May 1.

“These are numbers that local communities should pay heed to,” Cuomo said. “In New York City, it’s not good to see the number going up but it’s manageable.”