Nursing homes in New York will resume indoor visitation this week with certain testing restrictions in place depending on the county’s progress in combating COVID-19.
Testing will not be required in counties with a positivity rate below 5 percent, while rapid testing will be required for any visitors in counties with a positivity rate between 5 percent and 10 percent.
Regular visitation will not be allowed in counties with a positivity rate above 10 percent. Visits will also only be permitted at nursing homes that go 14 days without a COVID-19 case inside the facility within staff or residents.
Facilities will have a designated visiting room to ensure residents are alone with their visitors, New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, while previous precautions such as facial coverings and social distancing will still be enforced.
Anyone who receives the full COVID-19 vaccination will also not have to be tested.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that visits will be capped at 20 percent of a nursing home’s residents at any one time.
“One of the most devastating aspects of this virus has been how it separated families from their loved ones, making an already difficult situation even harder to bear,” Cuomo said. “Thanks to the dedication of New Yorkers, we're now at a point where we can begin to resume nursing home visitations under strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of residents.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer, but we are not out of the woods yet. New Yorkers have been through so much this past year and as long as we continue to follow the science and remain united, we will finally win this war."
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