Nursing homes can resume visitation Wednesday, but how many will be eligible?

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York State will allow nursing homes to resume visitation Wednesday, so long as there have been no COVID-19 cases in the facility in the past 28 days. That provision comes at the recommendation of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

But Stephen Hanse, the President and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association and New York State Center for Assisted Living, noted that’s a pretty restrictive requirement that will keep the number of facilities reopening for visitation down.

“What we’re starting to see is that there is some concern that in some facilities, let’s say they’re very large and they have an employee for example who may not be at the facility, but then tested positive and is out on quarantine, that one positive that would preclude the entire facility from being able to offer visitation,” Hanse said.

Of the more than 600 nursing facilities across the state, Hanse preliminarily offered a rough estimate that about only 100 of them may be prepared to resume visitation right now.

When visitation does resume, only two visitors will be allowed per resident. Just 10 percent of residents at the facility can have visitors at one time. Each facility will be required to come up with a plan, and submit it to the New York State Department of Health.

“Each (facility) is different,” Hanse said. “We applaud the state for not implementing a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and that each facility can submit a plan that is unique to the nature of their building.”

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.

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