DOH: NY Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care Facilities Without COVID Cases To Resume Limited Visits

Erica Brosnan
July 10, 2020 - 2:44 pm

    Sign up for WCBS 880's daily newsletter for the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

    ALBANY (WCBS 880) — The New York State Department of Health on Friday announced nursing homes and long-term care facilities will be allowed to resume limited visitations. 

    Only facilities that have been without COVID-19 cases for at least 28 days will be allowed to resume visitations.

    The Health Department says residents in these facilities will be allowed two visitors at a time, and 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 or older, state officials said.

    For each facility, only 10% of the residents can be allowed visitors at any time. For example, in a 100-bed facility, no more than 10 residents can have visitors per day.

    Nursing homes accepting visitors will be required to send their visitation plan to Department of Health and affirmatively attest that they are following state safety guidelines.

    "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,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. 

    He notes that the agency will “closely monitor the situation in each facility, and make adjustments based on the facts and data moving forward.”

    Zucker says he understands people have been desperate to see their loved ones.

    “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,” he said.

    WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall had been covering calls to allow visitations again at nursing homes on Long Island. One 99-year-old woman told her she felt “like a prisoner” being unable to see her family. 

    Stay informed, stay connected — follow WCBS 880 on Facebook and TwitterDownload the RADIO.COM app + favorite WCBS 880 for breaking news, traffic and weather alerts.