ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York nursing homes will be required to notify families when an infection is detected on site, according to a state law signed Wednesday by Governor Kathy Hochul.

The legislation requires residential health care facilities to update families and guardians within 12 hours of the detection of an infection, and at least once per day of a change in a resident’s condition.

Facilities will also be required to notify all residents and families at least once a week about infections and deaths. They also need to establish a cohort area to separate infected residents, as well as creating a designated infection disease care unit.

Local Assemblymember Jennifer Lunsford was a sponsor of the bill. “When COVID hit, residents of nursing homes and their loved ones were left flat-footed. Nursing homes found themselves unprepared for the public health emergency, and residents and loved ones were left in the dark. The bill aims to prevent similar devastation in the future by requiring infection updates and planning measures in residential healthcare facilities,” Lunsford said.

The law must take effect within 60 days of Wednesday’s signing.