Thursday, March 25, 2021; by Anne McCloy

ALBANY (WRGB) – Relief for families across New York State who have been fighting to see loved ones in nursing homes.

The New York State Department of Health announced revised guidelines for nursing homes Thursday evening. The NYSDOH announced that it will replace existing guidance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The new guidance replaces a controversial 14-day ban on visitation that NYS nursing homes were forced to implement if a resident or staff member came down with a case of COVID-19.

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A spokesperson confirmed the change to CBS 6’s Anne McCloy Thursday evening, writing, “This replaces the previous guidance that had the 14-day provision. “

The previous 14-day rule caused some nursing homes to remain closed for months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some facilities stayed closed to visitation the entire year, causing outcry from families and politicians who argued the isolation was causing more harm than good for nursing home residents.

According to a news release from the NYSDOH, “The guidance, which takes effect immediately, permits visitation at all times and for all residents with limited exceptions for unvaccinated residents in areas of high community spread and lower resident vaccination rates, residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection or those in isolation or quarantine. Facilities must still continue to adhere to strong infection control practices This guidance replaces the February 23rd guidance which required a facility to be COVID free for 14 days.”

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You can find the link to the new NYS guidance here.

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