Some nursing homes still closed to visitors as many try to meet requirements

Local News

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Many nursing home and assisted living facilitates are still closed, even though Wednesday is the first day the New York State Department of Health allowed visitation to resume.

Many families had their hopes up for visits at nursing homes with their loved ones, but some facilities were not ready to open. They’re pointing to a 28 day requirement of no cases of COVID-19 for the delay. 

Lysa Reed is waiting for the day she can sit in the same room as her 80-year-old mother.

“It will just be good to be able to see her without a wall between us,” said Reed.

Reed’s mom is in the Rochester Presbyterian Home, and she says she thinks the guidelines and regulations nursing facilities have to meet to open are causing the delay.

“I know that the governor says that this is going to happen and there are 14,000 or more steps that need to be taking place prior to actually have relative of visitation coming so I was really hopeful that by September maybe we could come and see her,” said Reed.

Rochester Presbyterian Home has a plan in place, but since a staff member recently tested positive, they are restarting at day zero of the 28 day COVID-free requirement.

Of the nearly 600 nursing homes around the state, only 10% are eligible to open.

“We’re actively putting the plan in place. However, we still need approval and can’t really act upon it until we’ve been 28 days without a staff or elder [test positive],” said Rebecca Pontera, Director of Elder and Family Services at Rochester Presbyterian Nursing Home.

“We’ve been hopeful that we’d be able to put a plan in place and  have our families visit. Recognizing that yeah we’re going to have to have some diligent efforts in place to be proactive during visits and all the things everybody already know about the social distancing the mask,” said Pontera.

Various other facilities in our area, including those under Rochester Regional Health and six other local homes, were not open for visitation Wednesday. Only one was taking visitors, although leaders were not available for interview. 

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