On July 10, 2020, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced that nursing home residents would once again be allowed to receive visits.
According to WRGZ.com, New York nursing homes had been forbidden from allowing visitors since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new DOH rules, nursing homes that have been coronavirus-free for 28 days are allowed to welcome visitors, provided that such nursing homes are located in Phase III or Phase IV regions. However, residents are permitted only two visitors at one time. Furthermore, visitors will be required to undergo temperature checks, practice social distancing, and wear face masks. Finally, only 10% of residents at a given facility may have visitors at any one time. Nursing homes that allow visitors will be required to submit a plan to the state and to certify their adherence to state guidelines.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased that the DOH has taken this important step and has done so in a safe and prudent manner. We continue to be saddened and appalled at the loss of 6,400 New York nursing home residents to COVID-19. However, we also understand that nursing home residents need interpersonal contact to remain mentally sharp and emotionally healthy. We believe that the new DOH policy is effective in balancing the very real dangers of COVID-19 and the mental, emotional, and social needs of patients. We encourage nursing homes to scrupulously comply with state guidelines for the health of their residents.