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: 1656684

Reported Deaths: 47818
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2129278804
Kings2121249144
Suffolk1633163095
Nassau1492512926
Bronx1452265897
Westchester1081932105
New York1044443917
Erie655711607
Richmond574051580
Monroe52759992
Rockland38797891
Orange37232720
Onondaga32489634
Dutchess22457408
Albany20931333
Oneida19763478
Niagara15351312
Broome14913336
Saratoga12002145
Schenectady10870178
Ulster10096228
Rensselaer9059132
Putnam838986
Chautauqua7341123
Chemung6445130
Oswego600889
Ontario581388
St. Lawrence556386
Steuben5516137
Cayuga538688
Jefferson481663
Sullivan477159
Herkimer4568107
Wayne448264
Cattaraugus443376
Genesee4420118
Madison385485
Clinton364526
Livingston355856
Tompkins346142
Columbia340596
Fulton335184
Montgomery3199107
Cortland317260
Allegany290681
Warren285455
Wyoming283349
Tioga281356
Greene265071
Orleans245281
Chenango244369
Otsego236043
Washington235352
Franklin209812
Lewis207330
Seneca162653
Delaware152433
Essex134726
Schoharie121512
Yates101526
Schuyler86812
Hamilton2852
Unassigned197131
Out of NY0192
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