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Nursing Home Visitors Required to Undergo COVID-19 Testing in New York

COVID-19 continues to be a challenge for nursing homes around the country as staff shortages and resident vulnerabilities prove to be no match for the virus’ spread. On January 7, New York announced new testing requirements aimed at keeping nursing home residents and staff safe amid the spread of the highly-contagious Omicron variant. The move has worried family members who are again concerned about being unable to verify that their loved ones are adequately cared for in nursing home environments. 

New Nursing Home Visitation Rules Put in Place to Curb Omicron’s Spread

New York state announced a requirement stipulating that nursing home visitors would have to show proof of a negative rapid COVID-19 test no more than one day before their visit. The purpose of these new COVID-19 testing requirements is to protect nursing home residents, who have widely been considered the most vulnerable factions of the population where the virus is concerned. Given the highly contagious nature of Omicron, the requirements are being implemented to stymy any new spread. However, anxious family members have reported challenges in securing tests and thus have been unable to check on their loved ones. 

Nursing homes are also reporting staffing shortages which can compromise quality care for residents. This has family members more on edge as they worry about how their loved ones are faring under such circumstances. For instance, family members of residents with memory care conditions have said their loved ones forgot who they were because of the long expanses of isolation during the early part of the pandemic, a situation they are not eager to repeat with the spread of the new variant. 

Challenges of Implementing New Visitor Testing Requirements 

Some visitors note that there are still not enough tests in circulation to support the testing requirement, especially those who visit their loved ones once a week or more. Moreover, as nursing homes have become more efficient in handling the nuances of the pandemic, they question the need for such vigorous testing protocols. 

With more than 87% of nursing home residents being fully vaccinated and 63% have received their booster shots, family members wonder why it is not acceptable to initiate common sense protocols instead. This includes wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and remaining in their loved one’s personal spaces so they can avoid further isolating their family members. 

Family Members Express Concerns about Ongoing Care Quality in New York Nursing Homes

At the heart of the issue is the concern that some have about the quality of care their loved ones are receiving in nursing home environments. Given how rampant nursing home abuse can be and the isolation that many residents experienced in the early days of the pandemic, family members say they just want to avoid a repeat of that time. 

By limiting access to residents, this increased testing requirement creates a situation in which nursing home abuse may become more prevalent. This is due to the lack of accountability to family members outside of the nursing home environment. 

Reach Out to an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer with Concerns

If you have concerns about the care your loved one is receiving, reach out to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to learn more about your options. Dalli & Marino has worked with countless families to ensure the safety of their loved ones, and we may be able to do the same for you. Your family member deserves to receive proper care from trained professionals when residing in a nursing home facility. The COVID-19 pandemic should not negate quality care, and we may be able to give you an idea of what your legal options are in this situation. 

Start with a free consultation by calling (888) 465-8790 or reach out online to learn more. Se habla Español. 

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