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Nursing homes can resume visitors Wednesday

Jacquie Slater
Updated: July 15, 2020 07:24 PM
Created: July 15, 2020 06:04 PM

Visitors can return to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and group homes as of Wednesday, July 15. The New York State Department of Health gave the green light last week to allow visitors at these facilities as long as they meet certain guidelines.

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However, on Wednesday many nursing homes said they aren't ready yet and visitors are not allowed back in.

NewsChannel 13 called 10 different nursing homes in the area and all 10 said they didn't meet state guidelines for visitors yet. Those facilities include Shaker Place, Rosewood, Livingston Hills, Hudson Park, Teresian House, Wesley Health Care Center, Diamond Hill, Eddy Heritage House, Troy Center, and River Ridge Living in Amsterdam.

Marisa Rivera's longtime friend has been a patient at River Ridge for the last four weeks. She says they have long awaited coronavirus restrictions being lifted.

"Beside seeing her through the window or calling her on the phone there's not much they can do and she's really depressed in there," said Rivera.

Rivera says River Ridge sent a letter to families Tuesday saying they are not ready to host visitors again. As part of the state's reopening guidelines a facility must have been coronavirus free for 28 days. They must also have submitted a safety plan to DOH and the plan must be approved before visitors can return.
"We called and they said they don't have a plan of action yet. They still need clearance from the state and the CDC," said Rivera.

Shannon McHale is the administrator at River Ridge and she says while they've been fortunate not to have any residents or patients test positive for the virus there were a few staff members who were asymptomatic and tested positive. McHale says the earliest they can allow visitors given the guidelines is August 7.

"The safety and well-being of our residents remains our top priority. We will continue to follow guidance from the Department of Health to ensure safety and well-being of our residents and staff," said McHale.


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