New York nursing home visitation guidance determined by county positivity rates

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with media Monday to give an update on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

On day 359 of the pandemic in New York state, the governor provided the following data:

  • 142,019 COVID-19 tests reported Sunday statewide
  • 6,146 new cases
  • 4.33% positivity rate statewide
  • 89 new COVID-19 deaths statewide
  • 5,804 hospitalized
  • 3.75 million total vaccine doses administered to date

The governor announced guidelines for movie theaters in New York state.

“Movie theaters in New York will be brought up to speed with the rest of the state,” Gov. Cuomo said. “25% capacity, no more than 50 people per screening, assigned seating, social distancing.”

The governor reiterated past guidance on resuming wedding reception events in a few weeks.

“50% capacity up to 150 people per event, with patrons tested before the event and local department of health approval,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This takes effect on March 15.”

The governor said local districts will soon report updates on teachers being vaccinated in an effort to advance full in-person instruction.

“Opening schools is very important for children and it has economic consequences,” Gov. Cuomo said.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced new guidance for nursing home visitation, which is designed by local levels of viral transmission.

  • If county has less than 5% positivity rate, testing isn’t required, but encouraged
  • If county has between 5% and 10% positivity rate, testing is required (within 72 hours of visit, testing resources made available through state department of health)
  • No visitation if a county’s infection rate is greater than 10%
  • No visitation if a facility has a new confirmed case within 14 days
  • If visitor has had both vaccine doses administered, and is 14 days removed from second dose and within 90 days of second dose, no test is required, but is encouraged
  • Maximum visitation capacity is 20% of resident population of the facility
  • Nursing homes must have separate room for the visit to take place, or the resident is alone in the room

Monroe County has been under the 5% positivity rate threshold since late January.

The governor gave an update on the state’s fiscal deficit. The governor previously said that New York needed $15 billion from the next relief package to offset losses due to COVID-19. He said the current relief bill proposed by the federal government would provide about $12 billion for New York state.

The governor toured a new mass vaccination site in Brooklyn earlier Monday. The site at Medgar Evers College will be able to administer 3,000 doses of the vaccine per day. It will be staffed by both federal and state employees.

There will also be special transportation lines opened to make sure people have ample access to the site. This site opens Wednesday, and similar mass vaccination sites are scheduled to go online in Upstate New York next week, including here in Rochester.

Listen to the full briefing:

This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.

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