NY Dept. of Health: Nursing home visitations can resume, with limits

Aerial view of the Cold Spring Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation adult care facility in Woodbury, New York on May 4, 2020. (Photo by Chris Ware/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

New York Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced Friday that nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the state will be allowed to resume limited visitation at facilities that have been without COVID-19 for at least 28 days. 

Temperature checks, face masks, and social distancing will be required and residents will only be allowed two visitors at a time, one of which must be at least 18 years old.

Only 10 percent of the residents at each facility may have visitors at any time. For example, in a 100-bed facility, no more than 10 residents can have visitors per day in order to ensure proper social distancing. 


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Zucker also announced the resumption of on-site visitation for the state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, which provides additional support to residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities beginning July 15, 2020. 

The Department of Health will make further adjustments to the visitation policy as appropriate based on facts and data following the initial phase to ensure the health and safety of residents, staff, and visitors. 

"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. 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."


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