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Lawmakers are urging Cuomo to lift restrictions for nursing home visitation

Two dozen NYS lawmakers penned a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to lift the remaining restrictions on nursing home visits.

The pandemic has deeply impacted nursing homes across the state, with at least 15,800 people residing in nursing homes dying. November through February alone saw 3,400 deaths.

Nursing homes are being urged to hold indoor visitation, despite them possibly being halted if a resident or staff tests positive for the virus.

Residents are able to receive “compassionate care” visits that don’t have restrictions for certain scenarios like end of life care and for emotional distress.

The state lifted the requirement that visitors test negative prior to visiting, but some experts and family members question the move.

Currently, some homes allow for 1-2 visitors per visit for as little as thirty minutes once or twice a week.

People who are vaccinated and want to visit their loved ones who are also vaccinated are growing frustrated and fearful that despite the precautions and following of suggestions, their family members may die alone. The state of emergency has been expired.

The state’s Department of Health released an update warning nursing homes that they could face citations and enforcement actions should they restrict visits without a reasonable clinical or safety cause. This is under federal law.

Spokesperson Jeffrey Hammond with the DOH said compassionate care visits should be allowed at all times as well as allowing indoor visits unless there’s an absolute risk of Covid-19 spreading.

New Yorkers concerned about a nursing home’s visitation rules can call the state’s hotline at 1-888-201-4563.