NYS Department of Health Revises Nursing Homes Visitation Guidelines

NEW YORK -
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State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced on Tuesday that nursing homes in New York will be allowed to resume limited visitations for facilities that have been without COVID-19 for at least 14 days, a revision to the 28 day guidelines previously set by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This updated guidance will allow eligible visitation in approximately 500 of the state’s 613 nursing homes.

“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 commissioner said. “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.”

The guidelines will go into effect Thursday, September 17, and will require visitors to present a verified negative test result within the last seven days, and facilities will refuse entry to individuals who fail to present a negative test result. Anyone who exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms or does not pass screening questions will be barred from entering the nursing home. In addition, visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings and socially distance during the visit.

The number of visitors to the nursing home must not exceed ten percent of the resident census at any time, and only two visitors will be allowed per resident at any one time.

Visitors under the age 18 are not allowed to visit the nursing homes at this time.