NYS Department of Health nursing home policy update improves access for visitation


Nursing home visitation guidelines have been adjusted from 28 days being COVID free to 14.

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The New York State Department of Health sent out updated guidance on nursing home visitation on Tuesday. Beginning Thursday, nursing homes can open to visitors as long as the facility has been COVID-19 free for 14 days, down from 28 under previous guidelines.

A previous directive stated that a nursing home must be COVID free for 28 days before visitors are allowed. The previous guideline was set by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The new rules will go into effect on Thursday, Sept. 17. It requires a visitor to submit a negative COVID test performed in the last seven days. Visitation will be refused by the facility if the individual fails to present a negative test result, exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms, or does not pass screening questions.

Visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings and socially distance during the visit, visitors under the age of 18 are prohibited. The number of visitors to the nursing home must not exceed 10% of the resident census at any time and only two visitors will be allowed per resident at any one time.

Nursing Homes accepting visitors will be required to send their visitation plan to NYSDOH and affirmatively attest that they are following the guidance.

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