For months nursing home residents have not been allowed visitors, but soon that will all change.

New York State Department of Health Director Dr. Howard Zucker announced Tuesday that nursing homes will be allowed to resume visitation, but with conditions.

In a release on the State Department of Health website it states that facilities will only be able to allow visitors if the facility has been COVID-19 free for 14 days or more. In addition, the visitors will be screened with a temperature check, they will be required to wear a mask and that visitor will have to provide proof of a negative test within the 7 days of the visitation.

State Health Director Dr. Zucker stated in the release,

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 will go into effect on Thursday, September 17th, 2020. An additional guideline includes "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."

This is a huge step in the right direction to allowing residents to be with loved ones, something they have not been to do since mid-March. To read the full list of visitation guidelines you can visit the State Department of Health website.

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