A call for Governor Cuomo to ease nursing home visitor restrictions: Your Stories

Your Stories

When New York State finally opened nursing homes to visitors again, it seemed like time to celebrate for the families who hadn’t seen their loved ones in months. However, the fine print says nursing homes have to be coronavirus-free for almost a month. 

Jill Harris hasn’t seen her father, who’s in a nursing home, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After doing all she could to have someone hear her plea, but getting no response, Jill wrote in to the NewsChannel 9 Your Stories team.

Jill Harris, the daughter of a nursing home resident, said, “I don’t want to go to a tanning salon. I don’t want to go to a public pool. I don’t want to get my nails done… well, maybe, but I just want to see my dad.”

Her 93-year-old dad lives at Masonic Care Community in Utica, but Governor Cuomo is not making it easy for visitors looking to see their loved ones.

The governor’s latest nursing home visitation guidelines say she can’t see her dad for another 28 days, after someone tested positive for covid-19 on July 6.

Harris said, “So, they sent us an email saying there was one case. Of course, they test proactively there, and if there’s one case you have to wait 28 days, again for them to be COVID free… which is, let’s face it, a month.”

Like many who are going through a similar situation, she’s worried about her dad’s health and well-being. 

“He’s depressed,” Harris said. “We’re starting to get very depressed because you know, he’s 93. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have him. I don’t want to be the next time I see him be the call from the nursing home saying ‘this is an end of life call, you gotta get here.’ That’s not the next visit I want to make.”

So in the meantime, Jill is willing to do everything she can to see her dad before it’s too late.

“I mean, I’m at this point ready and willing to do anything that they ask of me,” Harris said. “I’ll have a COVID test, I’ll wear a mask, I’ll pay for a plexiglass wall, whatever it takes just so I can see my dad and my dad can see me.”

And she’s hoping someone listening… understands.

The positive COVID-19 case at the Masonic nursing home was confirmed on July 6. That means Jill and other families there, can’t visit until August 3.


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