Rotterdam woman frustrated over ongoing COVID guidelines in nursing homes

SCHENECTADY – Most of the COVID safety protocols in the state are no longer in place, including mask wearing in most public places.

One of the exceptions is in hospital settings and nursing homes. Visitation guidance has not changed since January 12. If you want to go visit a loved one, you will need to wear a mask. You also have to have a negative PCR test result taken two days before the scheduled visit.

That has some NewsChannel 13 viewers wondering why testing is still required. One of them is Phyllis Delvecchio. NewsChannel 13 first interviewed her back in January once the new guidelines were put in place. Her mom is 92-years-old and stays at Ellis Residential & Rehabilitation Center in Schenectady.

In a follow-up interview with NewsChannel 13 on Wednesday, she said she believes it’s time to amend the January guidance.

Delvecchio says the testing requirement makes things challenging for her to see her mom. She goes to a drug store to do a PCR test two to three times a week. She says the nursing home offers testing there during the week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. She says it’s tough to make it to the testing there because of her work schedule.

Delvecchio is fully vaccinated. She believes that since we are past the omicron variant, it is time to relax the guidelines.

She also says she was told by the nursing home that the staff members are vaccinated, but are not required to do the testing. Delvecchio says she feels that’s not fair.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to the Department of Health and Ellis Medicine. There’s no word on if the guidance will change in the future. A spokesman from Ellis Medicine says they are under order to follow the state guidelines.