With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New York remaining stable, the state Department of Health has begun the process of again allowing visitors to see loved ones at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The Department has announced that facilities located in a Phase 3 or Phase 4 region of the state that have been COVID-free for a period of at least 28 days will be allowed once again to welcome visitors on a limited basis. There must be an absence of any new onset of COVID-19 among staff or residents in order to start the 28-day clock.
Each home must prepare a visitation plan and submit it to DOH for approval. Restrictions on visitations as expressed in the department’s guidance:
- Residents are restricted to two visitors at a time.
- Visitors must submit to temperature checks, wear facemasks, and maintain appropriate social distancing during their visits.
- Only 10 percent of residents are allowed visitors at any one time.
- The DOH is asking homes to lean toward outdoor visits.
- Indoor visits will be OK as long as visits take place in a space that is well-ventilated. The space is limited to 10 people, who must stay socially distanced.
- Homes will be required to attest to the fact that they are following the guidance.
- Homes must post their visitation plan on their external website.
The homes must meet a number of other requirements as laid out in the Department of Health’s visitation guidance.