On March 29, 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Bill S.614-B-May/A.1052-B-Bronson into law.
Bill S.614-B-May/A.1052-B-Bronson requires nursing homes to allow residents to designate up to two personal caregiving visitors. The new law allows these designated personal caregiving visitors to visit nursing home residents, even during public health emergencies. These visitors are required to follow the same safety protocols that are followed by nursing home staff. The new law directs the Department of Health to create regulations governing the frequency, number, and duration of visits by personal caregiving visitors.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is thankful for the passage and signing of this measure. Because of COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, many nursing home residents have experienced depression and isolation. The pandemic has also made it difficult or impossible for some New Yorkers to monitor the health and well-being of loved ones who reside in nursing homes. Sadly, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of thousands of nursing home residents; however, the depression and isolation faced by nursing home residents during the pandemic has also caused some to lose their lives. The new law strikes an important balance between protecting vulnerable persons from the spread of contagious diseases and providing those persons with life-giving relationships and support.