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NY allows visitors to nursing homes for first time since March 13

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2020 at 3:52 pm

ALBANY – The State Department of Health announced today that beginning on Wednesday visitors will be allowed in nursing homes and long-term care facilities – for the first time since March 13.

Residents can have up to two visitors, DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said.

This applies to nursing homes that haven’t had a Covid-19 case for at least 28 days, a threshold set by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“I know how painful it has been for residents of these facilities to endure such a long period of time without seeing family and loved ones, and my hope is that this adjustment to the visitation policy will provide some comfort to everyone,” Zucker said.

The visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings and socially distance during the visit. At least one of the two visitors must be at least 18 years of age or older. For each facility, only 10 percent of the residents can be allowed visitors at any time.

Nursing Homes accepting visitors will be required to send their visitation plan to the state Department of Health and affirmatively attest that they are following the guidance outlined here.

“With the knowledge we now have about how Covid-19 came into nursing homes – mainly through asymptomatic staff and visitors through no fault of their own – it is critical that as we resume visitations to these facilities we do it in a smart and cautious way to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff,” Zucker said. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation in each facility, and make adjustments based on the facts and data moving forward.”

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