Visitors allowed in hospitals, group homes on Long Island
Friday marked the first day people on Long Island could visit hospitals and group homes, but hard-hit nursing homes remain off-limits.
Dolores Zanchelli says she is beyond upset that she still can't see her 76-year-old mother Gina, who is at Gurwin Rehab in Commack.
Nursing homes nationwide have been hit very hard by the virus, including in New York, where thousands of deaths have been reported.
But Zanchelli says now that hospitals and group homes are allowed to have visitors, nursing homes should be allowed too.
"They're taking pretty good care of her. But they're broken-hearted, they're lonely," says Zanchelli. "They don't have any activities to do. No one comes to see them."
Because visitors are prohibited, Theresa Braun celebrated her 87th birthday virtually instead. She lives at Amber Court Assisted Living in Westbury. Assisted living facilities are also grouped in the same category for reopening as nursing homes.
"It's absolutely difficult but we are so fortunate where she is," says Marie Pattison, Braun's daughter. "But enough -- I want to see my mom. We can go outside in the courtyard, we can sit 6 feet apart, we could have masks on, limited visitation. But just something to be able to physically see your loved one right there in front of you."
Meanwhile, Zanchelli says she has joined a Facebook group called Voices For Seniors, which has been holding rallies and writing or calling the governor's office to demand visitors be let back in.