Syracuse, N.Y. — Nursing homes will provide visitors free rapid on-site Covid-19 tests under new state rules designed to make it a little easier for people to visit loved ones.

Visitor testing will be required in counties with Covid-19 positivity rates between 5% and 10%. Visitor testing is not required in counties with positivity rates below 5%, but the state Health Department is strongly encouraging people visiting nursing homes in those counties to get tested anyway.

The state Health Department will provide rapid tests to nursing homes so they can provide the tests at no cost to visitors.

The state, however, will continue to ban visits at any nursing homes that have had Covid-19 cases in the past 14 days or are conducting outbreak testing.

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