Gov. Andrew Cuomo Announces Updates On Nursing Home Visitation, Rapid Testing

Families will soon be able to see loved ones living in New York's nursing homes. The announcement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo also included big news about rapid testing; CBS2's Dave Carlin reports.

Video Transcript

DANA TYLER: Anticipation and excitement for families who will soon be able to see their loved ones who are in nursing homes in New York. This announcement from Governor Andrew Cuomo also included some big news about rapid testing. CBS2's Dave Carlin explains.

ANDREW CUOMO: I believe reopening is going to be accelerated by testing.

DAVE CARLIN: More places in New York City get rapid COVID-19 testing, including here at Bio-Reference on Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street. There are 11 new testing sites, eight in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

JON R. COHEN: To get rapid testing of people so they feel comfortable going to any types of events. So, the rapid testing really does provide New Yorkers the comfort and actually the safety to go do the things that we want them to begin to do.

DAVE CARLIN: The results come back in as little as 30 minutes. For most members of the public, the service will cost $30 per test. The governor said rapid testing will be key to getting people back inside nursing homes to visit their loved ones, and he announced forthcoming changes in protocols.

ANDREW CUOMO: This is going to be a very big deal for nursing home residents and families.

DAVE CARLIN: The governor said the specifics will be announced by the State Department of Health Monday. This comes as he faces mounting criticism over his handling of nursing homes in the pandemic. Glad to get visitation back to these communities, including the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is its president and CEO, Daniel Reingold.

DANIEL REINGOLD: It's just been such a long time that the time for visitation is here. We're just so excited.

DAVE CARLIN: Back in late December, CBS2 covered the first vaccination of a resident here, Kelly Dixon, who declared.

KELLY DIXON: I'm going to go to Yankees and see my grandkids.

DANIEL REINGOLD: 98% of the residents at the Hebrew Home have been vaccinated. Many of our staff have been vaccinated. By now and certainly in the coming months, family members probably as well will have access to the vaccine. And so the safety will be there, and the ability to do rapid testing is easy. It's quick.

DAVE CARLIN: Visitors will be required to show results from rapid tests before entering, the state providing this service to them for free. In Riverdale, Dave Carlin, CBS2 News.

DANA TYLER: And for a list of the rapid COVID testing locations, go to our website CBSNewYork.com.