Local nursing homes prepare to welcome visitors with some restrictions

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BATH, NY (WETM) – Residents of nursing homes have been unable to see their loved ones in person, some for almost a year. Now New York State has given the green light for visitation at nursing homes with restrictions. Charlie Lewis, Administrator of Fred & Harriett Taylor Health, said residents and staff are excited to welcome visitors.

“The residents and the staff are all very excited to have visitors back in to see them in person,” Lewis said. “We have rapid tests available just for our visitors, and they will be tested in addition to being screened before doing the visitation.”

Testing is only required if the county the nursing home is in is between 5 and 10 percent, but Lewis says that they are choosing to mandate testing.

Only 20 visitors will be allowed to come inside this nursing home at a time, following the New York restriction of a maximum visitation capacity is 20 percent of the resident population of the facility. Each resident is limited to two guests at a time, and they must schedule ahead of time. Visitors and residents must wear masks during the visit, and they must stay six feet apart, barring any hugging at this time.

The Corning Center nursing home is hoping to open its doors on Monday, March 8, according to their Director of Corporate Communications, Jeffrey Jacomowitz.

“They’ve been doing the necessary paperwork and will be reaching out to the families on Monday,” said Jacomowitz. “Now all this can change if a positive case some about next week.”

If there is a positive case inside of a nursing home, visitation will be blocked for two weeks according to the New York State restrictions.

Hornell Gardens is one of the Hurlbut Care Communities. They released a statement that said that they will begin scheduling in-person visits on Monday. But according to data released by Steuben County on Wednesday, one of the Hornell Gardens employees tested positive for COVID. This could push back when the facility can open its doors to guests.

We reported earlier in the week that New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced new guidance for nursing home visitation on Monday, which is designed by local levels of viral transmission.

  • If county has less than 5% positivity rate, testing isn’t required, but encouraged
  • If county has between 5% and 10% positivity rate, testing is required (within 72 hours of visit, testing resources made available through state department of health)
  • No visitation if a county’s infection rate is greater than 10%
  • No visitation if a facility has a new confirmed case within 14 days
  • If visitor has had both vaccine doses administered, and is 14 days removed from second dose and within 90 days of second dose, no test is required, but is encouraged
  • Maximum visitation capacity is 20% of resident population of the facility
  • Nursing homes must have separate room for the visit to take place, or the resident is alone in the room

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