State releases new nursing home visitation guidelines

State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker unveils new state guidelines for visitors to nursing homes.

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 6:26 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2021 12:04 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker released the state's new guidance on visitation at nursing homes on Monday.

Zucker says visitation will always be based on the county's COVID transmission rate at the time of the visit.

If a county has a less than 5% positivity rate at the time, no testing is required by visitors.

If the county's positivity rate is between 5% and 10%, proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours is required to visit, but Zucker says there is one stipulation where that can be waived, "If a visitor, and I wanna make this point clear, we are talking about visitors because we have vaccinated all the nursing homes and the vast majority the residents but if a visitor has had two vaccines and it has been 14 days since their second vaccine and they're still within 90 days of that second dose for the vaccine then there is no need for a test, however we encourage to test anyway. And the reason I say that is because you can still have it in your nasal passages so it's beneficial to be tested to be sure that you don't have any in your nasal passage."

If the county's rate is more than 10%, no visitation is allowed at all, at any nursing home or long term care facility.

These were the local positivity rates as of Monday, Feb. 22:

  • Oneida County: 1.2%
  • Herkimer County: 1.9%
  • Otsego County: 1.3%

The facility must either have a separate room for the visit to take place for just the patient and visitor, or the visitor and the patient can be the only people in the patient's actual room.

The number of visitors in the facility must not be above 20% of the resident capacity at any one time.

The updated guidance also states there must not be any new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days, and the facility must not be conducting outbreak testing.

These new state guidelines go into effect this Friday, Feb. 26.

Read the updated guidelines below:

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2402248

Reported Deaths: 55131
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31959210747
Queens30648510159
Suffolk2292863524
Nassau2078153259
Bronx2024086699
New York1625484608
Westchester1412202329
Erie998891887
Richmond859791908
Monroe787671157
Orange54852887
Rockland51090769
Onondaga46538722
Dutchess33960487
Albany28708369
Oneida26148553
Niagara22357385
Broome22102386
Saratoga18595191
Ulster16449272
Schenectady15434217
Rensselaer13483155
Putnam1192896
Chautauqua11190158
Oswego9862102
Chemung9277146
St. Lawrence9072119
Ontario864299
Steuben8633160
Cayuga8013101
Sullivan787982
Jefferson760171
Wayne709978
Cattaraugus683399
Genesee6176131
Herkimer6078117
Tompkins602459
Clinton583034
Madison549098
Fulton543398
Livingston526467
Montgomery5189133
Cortland489471
Warren476977
Columbia4719109
Tioga448467
Chenango424586
Otsego421351
Allegany407793
Washington403165
Greene401283
Wyoming395654
Orleans373584
Franklin364716
Lewis325236
Delaware313341
Seneca250659
Schoharie210320
Essex197729
Yates141926
Schuyler131116
Hamilton4093
Unassigned13835
Out of NY0292
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