Nursing Home Visits To Resume in New York, New Rules Enacted

New York nursing homes will resume indoor visitations on Friday under new rules that ease current COVID-19 testing requirements for visitors and increase the capacity for each facility.

New Rules:

  • No visitor testing would be required for nursing homes in counties with COVID test positivity rates below 5%, but health officials would still encourage visitors to get tested before entering the facility.
  • If a county has test positivity between 5% and 10%, nursing home visitors are required to obtain a negative COVID test result within 72 hours before entering the facility.
  • The number of visitors to the nursing home must not exceed 20% of the resident census at any time, up from the current 10%.
  • Visitation is prohibited entirely if test positivity rates exceed 10% in a county.

The new rules, however, sustain a current restriction that only allows visits at nursing homes that go 14 days without a COVID case among the facility staff and residents, which is based on federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines, Zucker said Monday.

Each facility will either have a designated room set up for the visits, or ensure the resident is alone in their room with the visitor, Zucker said, adding the guidelines also recommend adhering to other pandemic precautions, such as mask wearing and social distancing.

Any visitor who has received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine would also not need to be tested, provided it’s been 14 days since the second dose and still within 90 days, Zucker said, noting the pre-visit COVID test is still encouraged for those vaccinated.

Details were announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo; nursing home visitation would resume with the use of rapid COVID-19 tests.

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