NYSDOH Announces Resumption of Limited Visitation to Long Term Care Facilities

Jackie Pappalardi and Lisa Volk in Clinical & Quality

Dr. Zucker, NYS Department of Health Commissioner, announced on July 10, 2020 that effective July 15, 2020, nursing homes and long term care facilities in New York will be allowed to resume limited visitations for facilities that have been without COVID-19 (staff and/or residents) for at least 28 days, a threshold set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Residents in facilities meeting the criteria will be allowed two visitors at a time with at least one of the two visitors must be at least 18 years of age or older. For each facility, only 10 percent of the residents can be allowed visitors at any time; for example, in a 100-bed facility no more than 10 residents can have visitors per day in order to maintain proper social distancing and ensure safe compliance. Visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings, maintain socially distance during the visit and adhere to the facility’s NY Forward Safety Plan (including scheduled visits).

The Department will now permit outside visitation, and limited indoor visitation and activities, if the facility meets specific benchmarks and develops a reopening plan via the NY Forward Safety Plan and affirmatively attest that they are following the guidance.

The Health Commissioner also announced the resumption of on-site visitation for the state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, which provides additional support to residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, effective July 15, 2020. Ombudsman staff must utilize appropriate PPE for the duration of the visit, and must be screened as if they were a staff person of such nursing home, including having to present a verified negative test result to the nursing home within the past week.

The Department of Health will make adjustments to the visitation policy as appropriate based on facts and data following this initial phase to ensure the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors.

Included in this document are links to the NYSDOH March 13, 2020 Guidance, Revised June 10, 2020 for the resumption of limited visitation at nursing homes, adult care facilities, and pediatric skilled nursing facilities.  Please note the attached link to the Frequently Asked Questions on Nursing Homes Visitation.

NYSDOH Guidance: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/revised-march-13-guidance-07.10.2020-final.pdf

Nursing Home Guidance: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/health-advisory_nursing-home-visitation_final-7.pdf

Assisted Living Guidance:https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/health-advisory_adult-care-facilities-visitation_final-v8.pdf

Pediatric Nursing Home: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/health-advisory_pediatric-skilled-nursing-facility-visitation_final-v6.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions on Nursing Homes Visitation:  https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-visitation-nursing-home-residents.pdf 

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15