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New York State releases updated guidance on nursing home visitations

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 17:56:12-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York State released update guidance on nursing home visitations Monday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday the New York State Department of Health would allow for visitation of residents in nursing homes. The guidance is in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state says the new guidance, which can be found below, goes into place on Friday, February 26.

NYSDOH will focus on the county's COVID-19 rate of transmission to determine if nursing home visitation is allowed and if visitors will need to be tested for COVID-19 prior to the visit. If a visitor tests positive, they will not be allowed to visit.

  • County COVID-19 transmission rate less than 5% - no COVID-19 test required but encouraged by NYSDOH prior to visiting.
  • County COVID-19 transmission rate between 5% and 10% - must be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the visit. Can be a PCR or rapid test, NYSDOH will provide rapid tests to the nursing homes at no cost. If a visitor has gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and it has been at least 14 days since but still within 90 days of the second dose, there is no need for a COVID-19 test but still encouraged by NYSDOH.
  • County COVID-19 transmission rate greater than 10% - no visitation allowed except for compassionate care.
  • No visitation allowed if there has been a positive case of COVID-19 within 14 days.

The state says maximum number of visitors is 20% of residents at one time. It is also working with the nursing homes to have a separate room for visitors or ensure the resident is alone with the visitor.