New nursing home guidelines require 14 consecutive days without COVID-19 case before visitation
Elation has turned to deflation for some Long Island residents with loved ones in nursing homes as they learn they may not get to see them this week due to visitation guidelines.
On Monday, Elise Rubin was thrilled at the thought of finally getting see her 90-year-old mother Edith face-to-face instead of through a window. But after the guidelines became clear, she realized a visit on Friday won't be happening.
"It's not true, it was an empty announcement. It was all hype," says Rubin.
Nursing homes still have to overcome a huge hurdle -- 14 consecutive days with no positive COVID-19 cases in residents of staff.
"This 14-day rule really overshadows everything," says Gurwin Jewish CEO Stu Almer. "If we could get past that hurdle, all of the other things would come in to play quickly."
Gurwin Jewish in Commack hasn't had 14 consecutive days without positive cases since March. It's a problem plaguing nursing homes statewide according to LeadingAge, a trade association representing 200 not-for-profit nursing homes across the state.
"Two weeks ago we did a poll of our members, and 90% of the nursing homes said they could not do visitation now," says LeadingAge President Jim Clyne.
If and when a nursing home is able to have visitors, other guidelines come into play based on county transmission rates. At less than 5%, visitors are encouraged to get tested. Rates of 5-10% means testing or proof of vaccination is required. Above 10% means visitation isn't allowed.