New York State Department of Health Announces Revisions to Nursing Homes Visitation Guidelines

Limited Visitation Permitted for Facilities Without COVID-19 for at Least 14 Days

Read Nursing Home Guidance Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 15, 2020) - State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker today announced nursing homes in New York will be allowed to resume limited visitations for facilities that have been without COVID-19 for at least 14 days, a revision to the 28 day guidelines previously set by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This updated guidance will allow eligible visitation in approximately 500 of the state's 613 nursing homes.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "We understand how trying it has been for New Yorkers to not see their loved ones and the challenges they've had to endure during this unprecedented pandemic. The number of nursing homes that have taken the necessary steps to protect residents from the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 while working to reopen to outside visitors, shows that adhering to the DOH visitation guidelineis the smart and cautious approach to allowing visitations. We continue to be guided by science and concern for residents' welfare and will monitor nursing homes that host visitors, to make sure this action does not lead to an increase in cases."

These guidelines, which go into effect Thursday, September 17 require visitors to present a verified negative test result within the last seven days. Visitation must be refused by the facility if the individual fails to present a negative test result, exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms, or does not pass screening questions. The number of visitors to the nursing home must not exceed ten percent of the resident census at any time and only two visitors will be allowed per resident at any one time. Visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings and socially distance during the visit and visitors under the age 18 are prohibited. Nursing Homes accepting visitors will be required to send their visitation plan to NYSDOH and affirmatively attest that they are following the guidance outlined here.

The Department of Health previously adjusted the visitation policy for adult care facilities and pediatric skilled nursing facilities.