New York Bans Visitation at Nursing Homes, Hospitals, and Other Facilities in COVID-19 Hot Spots

On October 23, 2020, New York State issued a health advisory banning visits at nursing homes, hospitals, adult-care facilities, residential treatment centers, facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities, and other facilities seeing clusters of COVID-19 positive results.

In July, NYS Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced that nursing homes and long-term-care facilities in New York would be allowed to resume limited visitations subject to guidelines issued by the NYS Department of Health effective July 15, 2020. The new advisory reinstates the ban on visitation at these facilities that was imposed during the height of the pandemic.

The new advisory now bans visits in areas that are subject to “red zone” COVID-19 rules. A map showing the hot spot zones is available here. Visits at facilities in “orange zone” designated areas of the state will be suspended if a staff member or resident has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

The advisory still allows visitors in “red zones” in certain circumstances, including compassionate care, end of life, and hospice situations; if a visitor is essential to the patient’s care; if a visitor is associated with labor, delivery, and post-partum care; if a visitor is a necessary legal representative; or if a visitor is an essential companion to an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability or cognitive disorder, including dementia.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is hopeful the new restrictions will help reverse the recent increase in positive COVID-19 test results in the state.

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