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New York State Permits Limited Visitation in Nursing Homes

NYC permits limited visitation to nursing homesSenior citizens have spent months living in nursing homes without seeing loved ones since the coronavirus pandemic swept across the country early this year. But recently, Howard Zucker, Commissioner of the New York Department of Health, offered isolated seniors some good news. Long-term care and nursing facilities will once again be permitted to allow visitation, provided that they meet specific standards. While visitation hours and capacity will be limited to ensure safe social distancing, this policy change undoubtedly comes as a relief to nursing home residents missing their loved ones.

What are the Rules on Limited Visitation in New York Nursing Facilities?

Before nursing homes and long-term care facilities open their doors once more to visitors, strict requirements and guidelines must be met and upheld, including:

  • The nursing facility has not had a COVID-19 case for at least 28 days
  • Only two visitors per resident are permitted at a time; one must be at least 18 years old
  • Only ten percent of the facility’s residents may have visitors at the same time
  • Visitors must pass a temperature check before entering the facility
  • Visitors must wear a mask and maintain social distancing practices


Nursing home facilities that are looking forward to accepting visitors once again must first contact the New York State Department of Health to confirm that the outlined guidelines are met.

Other Changes to Visitation in New York Nursing Homes

With the announcement to open visitation in New York nursing homes came a subsequent statement permitting outside support to visit nursing facilities as well. New York’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is a federal advocacy program committed to protecting individuals living long-term in nursing facilities.

Ombudsman staff is now permitted in nursing homes under the following guidelines:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn for the extent of the visit
  • They must submit to the same screenings as other nursing home staff members
  • Each individual must provide a confirmed negative COVID-19 test result taken within the past week


The Ombudsman Program helps nursing home residents by ensuring their rights are protected and advocating for them when nursing facilities fail to provide an environment that upholds their dignity and quality of life.


According to Zucker, the State of New York will closely monitor each facility’s situation on an ongoing basis and adjust when needed. He explained,


“With the knowledge we now have about how COVID-19 came into nursing homes — mainly through asymptomatic staff and visitors through no fault of their own — it is critical that as we resume visitations to these facilities, we do it in a smart and cautious way to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff.”


The DOH Commissioner continued by expressing his sympathy for nursing home residents isolated in strict quarantine for so long. People hope this change to visitation guidelines in nursing facilities will bring some joy and comfort into the lives of nursing home residents and their loved ones.

Call Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for Help with Your Case in New York

As more and more families are forced to count on nursing homes to provide quality care and medical assistance to aging loved ones, it’s a sad reality that not all facilities care for our seniors as they should. If your loved one is abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Dalli & Marino, LLP. Our accomplished legal team is here to help your family handle all the details of your claim against the facility in which your loved one was mistreated.


Dalli & Marino, LLP, is one of New York’s most accomplished and successful nursing home abuse law firms. Since 1996, our verdicts and settlements have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. To speak to an accomplished nursing home abuse attorney about your situation, call 888-465-8790 or complete a contact form to schedule a free consultation.


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