Visits to hospitals & group homes can start soon, governor says

Visits to hospitals & group homes can start soon, governor says
Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds his daily coronavirus briefing in Albany Tuesday. (Source: WWNY)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Hospitals and group homes will soon be able to allow visitors.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday that as long as state guideline are followed, visits to those organizations will be allowed.

Visits to hospitals can start at their discretion. Group home visits can start Friday.

“This was always a balance of public health versus the personal relationships” between people in these institutions and their loved ones," the governor said.

Nursing homes, though, remain closed.

“The Health Department doesn’t think the reward justifies the risk, at this point” Cuomo said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the state is studying when and how to allow nursing home visits.

Elderly population are known to be particularly susceptible to the coronavirus.

The state has barred visits to all three types of institutions since March to try to halt the spread of the disease to vulnerable populations.

Restrictions are being loosened now, the governor said, because “the numbers look very good.”

State guidelines for hospital visits include time limits, personal protective equipment, and temperature checks.

Group home visitors will have to wear masks and be checked for COVID-19 symptoms.

Hospitalizations and deaths from the illness continue to decline.

Twenty-five people died Monday, a number Cuomo said was “so low that it may even be statistically questionable.”

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