Nursing Home Visits to Resume in NY, Positivity Rate Below 3%

CVS Pharmacist Gerard Diebner administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a nursing home resident at Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

With coronavirus cases consistently falling in New York, nursing homes will allowed to reopen for visitors.

Visitors would be expected to take a rapid coronavirus test before entering; nursing homes will be supplied with free rapid tests for this purpose from the Department of Health.

“One of the most devastating aspects of this virus has been how it separated families from their loved ones, making an already difficult situation even harder to bear,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement. “Thanks to the dedication of New Yorkers, we’re now at a point where we can begin to resume nursing home visitations under strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of residents.”

The state’s positivity rate was 2.99% on Sunday, in 43 days straight of decline. It is the lowest positivity rate since November 23rd, 2020, and hospitalizations are at their lowest since Dec. 17, 2020.

The current hospitalization rate is less than 5,800, a decline of nearly a thousand patients since last week.

New York has found its first patient with the South African variant, which may be more infectious.

With the encouraging low rates, New York and New Jersey have both announced restaurants can expand indoor seating to 35% by Friday.


Updated Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 1:38 pm .