(WSYR-TV) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker announced guidance to visit loved ones in nursing homes and senior care facilities in a call Monday afternoon.
Zucker emphasized four points about indoor visitation for nursing homes:
- Each county’s COVID-19 positivity rate is broken down into three categories. If positivity is less than 5%, testing is not required, but encouraged. If positivity rates are between 5% and 10%, testing is required within 72 hours of the visit. There will be no visits allowed if positivity rates are over 10%.
- In a county with 5% to 10% positivity, visitors who have received both doses of the COVID vaccine do not need a test if they visit 14 days after receiving their second dose, and within 90 days of it being administered.
- Each nursing home’s visitation capacity is 20% of residents and there cannot be any positive cases in the facility within a 14-day period.
- Nursing homes will have to have a separate room for visitation or the visitor must be alone in the resident’s room.
NewsChannel 9 met Jill Harris last July when she reached out to us looking for answers about seeing her 94-year-old father at Masonic Care Community in Utica.
As visitation restrictions ease up, Jill and her family are struggling with the timing.
“I’m on another feeling of guilt because my father died alone in his room and I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life that he died alone and I never saw him for a year,” said Jill.
Jill had this to say to those who can now see their loved ones:
“I’m so excited for them. I can’t do anything more. My dad spent the last year of his life in isolation and the regret is enormous, but that’s my own personal battle I’m going to have to deal with, but for my friends, I’m very excited. And for those loved ones that have been sitting there waiting, I’m so excited for them to be able to see their family.”