Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that visitors will now be allowed for patients at hospitals and residents of group homes for the developmentally disabled. But nursing home visits remain off-limits for now.
The governor made the announcement as data shows the COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates at their lowest points since the pandemic began. Twenty-four deaths were attributed to the coronavirus on Monday.
“We’re going to allow hospitals to start accepting visitors, at their discretion,” said Cuomo, who added he’s trying to strike a “balance” between protecting public health and addressing the needs of hospital patients to see relatives and friends.
Visitors will have to follow rules laid out by the hospitals and group residences, including wearing masks and other personal protective equipment, and maintaining social distancing.
At nursing homes, which have been hit hard by the virus, visitors continue to be banned. A spokesman for the governor, Rich Azzopardi, said the nursing home residents are a “more vulnerable population,” and that state officials are still looking at the safest way to allow visitors.
Cuomo said New York, which had the highest rate of transmission from the virus in the spring, now has the lowest rate of transmission of any state in the nation. He credited the state’s slow and cautious reopening and said he wants to continue with that plan.