Loretto prepares for more in-person visits following new guidance


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After months of no in-person visits, the staff at Loretto are ready to welcome family members inside once again.

We’re at a state where everything is stable and we can welcome back visitors. So, the new regulations just really expand our ability to add more visitation appointments, and also add that testing component.

Julie Sheedy — Chief Marketing Officer at Loretto

Each facility is required to follow the state’s four new requirements. The first being each county’s COVID-19 positivity rate:

  • If the county’s transmission is less than 5%, testing isn’t required, but it is encouraged
  • If the rate is between 5% and 10 %, there needs to be testing within 72 hours of the visit
  • If the infection rate happens to be more than 10%, visits won’t be allowed

“I think our plan is that we’re going to test everyone regardless of what the positivity rate is in our county,” said Sheedy. “We see it as a really good preventative measure. Testing has also been a barrier to some visitors in the past because they had to be tested before they could come in for a visit, which is a cost and getting an appointment and a big of a hassle, so that’s been a barrier for some families.”

Loretto plans on testing at the facility and visitors won’t have to pay for a test. However, if you received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s no need to be tested.

There is also a 20% visitor capacity. There can’t be any positive cases within a 14-day period and visits must be conducted in a private space.

These are all things that Loretto has been preparing for.

“It’s been a rough several months for everybody, especially our residents and families and we empathize with that and we are so happy they can be back here with us,” said Sheedy.

Since Loretto hasn’t had any positive COVID-19 cases in 14 days and with the existing restrictions in place, some family members had the chance to have in-person visits as early as Tuesday.

However, that new guidance goes into effect on Friday, Feb. 26.

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