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Lawmaker calls for return to nursing home visitation where safe for family members, residents

Senator Pam Helming is calling on New York State and Governor Andrew Cuomo to change the rules around nursing home visitation, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While lawmakers around Upstate have been making similar calls, Sen. Helming says the time for change of policy is now. Many residents have gone months without seeing loved ones.

Helming is asking for nursing homes, group homes, and other long-term care facilities to be empowered to work with residents and family members to facilitate in-person visits where appropriate and safe.

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“Since the start of COVID-19, the State has issued countless orders and mandates, with many related to nursing homes and other long term facilities. These mandates have not protected our vulnerable populations and instead, nursing homes became Ground Zero for COVID-19 related deaths,” she said. “What’s even worse, for months, nursing home residents have not been allowed to receive visits from their family members and other loved ones. Many have been forced into isolation. As we continue to safely reopen our State, it is time that nursing homes and long term care facilities take their operations back into their own hands and offer safe plans for visits to resume.”

Earlier this week it was reported that nearly all COVID-related deaths in Ontario County have come from nursing home facilities. Helming represents a large portion of the Finger Lakes region in the 54th District.

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