NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced Friday nursing homes and long term care facilities in the state will be allowed to resume limited visitations at facilities that have had no COVID-19 cases for at least 28 days.
The 28 day threshold was set by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Residents in the nursing homes and long term care facilities will be allowed two visitors at a time. The visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings and practice social distancing throughout the visit.
At least one of the visitors must be over the age of 18. At each facility, only 10 percent of the residents will be allowed visitors at any time.
The state says for a 100-bed facility no more than 10 residents can have visitors per day to ensure safe compliance.
Nursing homes accepting visitors will be required to follow state guidance which can be found here, each facility will be required to send their visitation plan to the state.
On-site visitation will also resume at the state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program effective July 15 as well.
NYSDOH says its will make adjustments to the visitation policy as needed based on facts and data.
“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.”