New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says 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 Tuesday as state data shows hospitalizations and the rate of death for the COVID-19 virus at their lowest point since the pandemic began. Twenty-four deaths were attributed to the coronavirus on June 15.
“We’re going to allow hospitals to start accepting visitors, at their discretion,” said Cuomo, who said he’s trying to strike a “balance” between protecting public health and addressing needs of hospitals 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 PPE, and maintaining social distancing.
At nursing homes, hard hit by the virus, visitors continue to be banned. A spokesman for the governor, Rich Azzopardi, says the nursing home residents are a “more vulnerable population,” and that state officials are still looking at the safest way to allow visitors.
Cuomo says 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 credits the state’s slow and cautious reopening and says he wants to continue with that plan.