Syracuse, New York. – In nursing homes, visitors can take free on-site Covid-19 rapid tests under new state rules to make visiting relatives a little easier.
Visitor tests are required in countries with Covid 19 positivity rates between 5% and 10%. Visitor testing is not required in counties with a positivity rate less than 5%. However, the state health department strongly recommends that people visiting nursing homes in these counties be tested anyway.
The state health department will make rapid tests available to nursing homes so that they can make the tests available to visitors for free.
However, the state will continue to ban visits to nursing homes that have had Covid-19 cases in the past 14 days or are doing outbreak tests. Some nursing homes were unable to adhere to the 14-day rule.
Many New Yorkers have asked state officials to leave visitors to nursing homes that have largely been banned since the coronavirus pandemic began a year ago.
Under the new rules, which go into effect on February 26, visitors to counties with a positivity rate greater than 5% must either take a negative test within 72 hours of their visit or receive a quick test upon arrival at the nursing home.
Visits can take place in common rooms, special visiting rooms and outdoors. The number of visitors must not exceed 20% of the total number of residents in a care home.
In countries where the positivity rate is greater than 10%, nursing homes can only allow visits for “compassionate care situations”. These situations could include a resident mourning the recent loss of a friend or having an abnormal level of emotional distress.
The new rules are based on guidelines from the Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
James T. Mulder deals with health and higher education. Do you have a news tip? Contact him at (315) 470-2245 or email@example.com