Loved ones frustrated over tighter state nursing home visitation guidelines

If you want to visit a loved one at a nursing home, there is a new state rule to follow. All visitors now have to show a negative COVID test within 24 hours of their visit.

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Some say the new rule will just make it harder to see their loved ones.
Phyllis Delvecchio has a 92-year-old mom who stays at Ellis Residential & Rehabilitation Center in Schenectady.

Delvecchio says getting a COVID test in 24 hours is difficult right now. She says she has scheduled tests everywhere in hopes of getting quick results. She says many places are not able to get her test results for 48 hours.

Delvecchio’s mom was admitted to the nursing home in February 2020, right before the pandemic.

Delvecchio says she initially went a few months without seeing her mom in person, but then was allowed to in July 2020.

The nursing home had a weekly testing option at one point where if you got a negative COVID test, it was good for the week. Delvecchio says since June 2021, restrictions were eased even more. She is hoping they can go back to having a weekly testing option.

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Delvecchio also has another concern. Learn about what that is, by watching the video of Jonathan Hunter’s story.

Ellis Residential & Rehabilitation Center released this statement on Thursday:

"Facilities like Ellis Residential & Rehabilitation Center (ERRC) received a new directive yesterday from the New York State Department of Health regarding new testing requirements for visitors. We immediately informed family members and loved ones of the changes, which took effect today.

While this new state testing requirement adds a frustrating hurdle for so many families across New York, full compliance with regulatory safety measures is a top priority for all of us at ERRC. We fully embrace the spirit of such measures to protect both loved ones and the dedicated staff who care for them.

During times of high community transmission, extra steps are needed to slow the spread of the virus. We look forward to the day when COVID-19 no longer poses a threat—when we can lift such protocol.

Family members, friends and other loved ones are such important collaborators to our residents’ experience and care, and we thank them for their ongoing cooperation and understanding."