JAMESTOWN – Some nursing home facilities in New York State will soon be able to allow visitors once again.
Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says nursing homes and long-term care facilities without any new coronavirus cases among residents and staffers in the last 28 days can allow limited visits starting Wednesday.
Under new guidelines, residents can have visits from up to two people at a time, and visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face masks, keep 6 feet away from residents during the visit and at least one of the visitors must be 18 years of age.
Additionally, no more than 10% of residents can have visitors at any one time, and the state’s rules limit visitation to outdoor areas, weather permitting. Otherwise, visitation can be allowed inside a “well-ventilated space” with up to 10 socially distanced individuals wearing face coverings.
The department says the state’s policy follows federal guidance and is limited to nursing homes without staffing shortages that have tested all residents. Nursing homes that allow visitors are required to send visitation plans to the state.
About 150 of the more than 600 nursing homes in New York could qualify to open up to visitors. Roughly 500 nursing homes had reported COVID-19 cases among staffers in June, according to recently released data from the state, which doesn’t release data about the number of cases at individual nursing homes.
The nursing home visitation ban first started in March in an attempt to protect the state’s most vulnerable population.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.