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RULE CHANGE: Healthcare workers who test positive cannot continue working at nursing homes for 14 days

The rule has been reversed.

New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker reversed a rule that allowed COVID positive nurses and other healthcare staff to continue working with COVID positive patients.

The old policy matched up with Centers for Disease Control guidelines, but made many feel uncomfortable.

“New York State Department of Health’s guidance mirrored the CDC’s position, however, going forward we will no longer adhere to CDC’s standard on this issue, and will instead require nursing home employees who test positive for COVID-19 but remained asymptomatic are not eligible to return to work for 14 days from first positive test date in any situation and will no longer adhere to the shorter CDC timeframe,” Zucker said in a letter to nursing home administrators.

“Symptomatic nursing home employees may not return to work until 14 days after the onset of symptoms, provided at least three days (72 hours) have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and respiratory symptoms are improving,” he added.

Officials in Steuben County had raised concerns about the matter as it was elevated due to the COVID outbreak at the Hornell Gardens nursing home.