On March 13, 2020, the New York State Department of Health issued guidance to Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities limiting visitation to medically necessary or end-of-life services. Further, the guidance canceled congregate meals and activities in health care facilities when one or more residents tested positive for COVID-19.

Updated Guidance

On July 10, 2020, the New York State Department of Health issued updated guidance allowing for outside visitation and limited indoor visitation and activities provided the Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities meet specific benchmarks and develop a reopening plan through the New York Forward Safety Plan.

Required Criteria

This New York State Department of Health directive details the specific criteria that Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities must follow reducing such restrictions, while mitigating the risk of a resurgence of COVID-19. However, it is important to note that nothing in the New York State Department of Health directive absolves a health care facility’s responsibility to ensure that resident and family communication is ongoing and supported by virtual visits, whenever possible, nor does it change the guidance previously issued relative to visitation for medically necessary or end-of-life services.

Phase 3

Commencing July 15, 2020, Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities in PHASE 3 regions may resume limited visitation and activities ONLY under the New York State Department of Health guidelines.

In an effort to advocate for safe and effective visitation of our loved ones, the Long Term Care Facility Reform and Oversight Task Force of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association has drafted an outline (To view the outline, click here.) to summarize the conditions for reopening visitation in Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities.

However, please be advised that the New York State Department of Health can rescind and/or adjust the visitation rules for Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities at any time due to community or facility spread of infection, or the failure of the facility to follow the guidelines in order to ensure the health and safety of the residents, staff, and visitors. Also, visitation is subject to staff availability to implement the visitation guidelines.

At Russo Law Group, P.C., we understand the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and how unsettling and emotionally difficult it is to be isolated from our loved ones, especially those who reside in Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities. We can help you to understand the visitation guidelines which can be complicated and confusing. We invite you to take advantage of our comprehensive website as well as our free seminars and webinars to learn more about how Russo Law Group, P.C. may assist you.


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