With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New York remaining stable, the state Department of Health has begun the process of again allowing visitors to see loved ones at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

The Department has announced that facilities located in a Phase 3 or Phase 4 region of the state that have been COVID-free for a period of at least 28 days will be allowed once again to welcome visitors on a limited basis.  There must be an absence of any new onset of COVID-19 among staff or residents in order to start the 28-day clock.

Each home must prepare a visitation plan and submit it to DOH for approval. Restrictions on visitations as expressed in the department’s guidance:

  • Residents are restricted to two visitors at a time.
  • Visitors must submit to temperature checks, wear facemasks, and maintain appropriate social distancing during their visits.
  • Only 10 percent of residents are allowed visitors at any one time.
  • The DOH is asking homes to lean toward outdoor visits.
  • Indoor visits will be OK as long as visits take place in a space that is well-ventilated. The space is limited to 10 people, who must stay socially distanced.
  • Homes will be required to attest to the fact that they are following the guidance.
  • Homes must post their visitation plan on their external website.

The homes must meet a number of other requirements as laid out in the Department of Health’s visitation guidance.

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are under increased scrutiny in connection with the pandemic. Listen to this episode of the Harris Beach podcast to learn more.

This post does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York State, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey