NY to release nursing home visitation guidelines

Lynette Adams
Updated: February 22, 2021 03:44 PM
Created: February 22, 2021 05:28 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE: The New York State Department of Health released new nursing home visitation guidelines Monday afternoon. Click here to read the updated story.  

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The New York State Department of Health is expected Monday to release new guidelines surrounding nursing home visitation.

The DOH recommends visitors take a rapid COVID test before entering, but we're still waiting on how testing will be rolled out, and how often a visitor will have to be tested. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday nursing homes would have the green light, adding that testing would be free of charge to nursing homes. He said the guidelines will be in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Ahead of Monday's release, News10NBC spoke to advocates who say they hope the guidelines don't bring a "one size fits all" approach and are unique to the circumstances of each nursing home. Additionally, lawmakers including New York Democratic Assemblyman Harry Bronson, are pushing for legislation to ensure families are not split again. 

"People all across the state have waited for this, and (an end to) the devastating impact of isolation of their loved ones," Bronson said. "This is a positive step forward. Again, I wish it had happened months and months ago, but we will welcome it today."

Previously, visitation was shut down, prompting pushback from families. For months, many residents have been limited to window visits and many have suffered from loneliness and isolation. 

The development comes as the discussion over how Cuomo and his administration handled the release of nursing home death data rages on.  

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