Gearing up for nursing home visitation

Long-awaited, tear-filled, joyful reunions will soon be happening at local nursing homes.

Posted: Mar 26, 2021 6:00 PM

Long-awaited, tear-filled, joyful reunions will soon be happening at local nursing homes. New York State has relaxed nursing home visitation guidelines. But for most facilities, that doesn't mean the doors will immediately swing open.

"We have reached out to Department of Health officials today for further clarification on their expectations for a re-opening timeframe. They understand that it will take facilities some time to prepare for visitation as each facility must update policies and procedures as well as update their NY Forward Plan which needs to be submitted to them prior to opening. In addition, there is a vast amount of instructional signage that must be present on campus for visitors to review when they come to visit. This signage needs to be made and printed," says Brenda Cobane, VP of Long Term Care Services for Sitrin Healthcare Center, in New Hartford. "Therefore, our goal is to open sometime late next week (date to be announced no later than next Tuesday).

Similarly, the Masonic Care Community, in Utica, plans to resume visitation next week.

"We anticipate that we will be opening up for in-person visitation the week of March 29th and we will notify families when they can schedule visits with their loved ones," says a message on the facility's website.

"The big change with the guidelines is, it's allowing us to visit even under the definition of an outbreak," says Jim Enos, Director of Social Work for Utica Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, in Utica "If there's a positive staff person, we just have to stop visits for a few days until the next cycle of our weekly...all of our residents get tested weekly. Once they're all negative, then we can resume again.....rather than two weeks, four week time frames, we're talking days, possibly."

Enos is quick to point out, COVID hasn't gone away, and there are still rules and guidelines.

"Visitation here is in a designated area that is cleaned in between visits, sanitized," says Enos. "Our policy is, we're doing rapid testing on our families before the visit occurs."

Utica Rehabilitation and Nursing Center met the prior criteria, and has been conducting visits for about a week.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2362682

Reported Deaths: 54846
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31550210709
Queens30350010134
Suffolk2253653502
Nassau2050193243
Bronx2006696685
New York1599194598
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Saratoga18186185
Ulster16145270
Schenectady15071214
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Putnam1170595
Chautauqua10622154
Oswego9402100
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St. Lawrence8646115
Ontario840595
Steuben8179155
Cayuga7760100
Sullivan771780
Jefferson728571
Wayne680477
Cattaraugus662296
Genesee5959126
Herkimer5905115
Tompkins579559
Clinton546434
Madison530296
Fulton520497
Livingston510264
Montgomery4978133
Cortland472769
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Columbia4558107
Tioga434466
Chenango411285
Otsego411050
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Greene387682
Wyoming386854
Washington383761
Orleans356683
Franklin337615
Lewis312336
Delaware299040
Seneca242258
Schoharie204120
Essex191429
Yates137126
Schuyler125316
Hamilton4043
Unassigned13031
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