Nursing home seniors citizens, most who haven't seen their friends and family since the coronavirus began, will finally welcome visitors.

Visitation will be allowed at nursing home facilities if visitors take a rapid test before entering. New York State Department of Health is providing the tests to nursing homes for free.

Any nursing home in counties with COVID positivity rates less than 5% won't require rapid testing before visitors are allowed in. If the rates are between 5-10%, testing will be required at least 72 hours in advance. Any facility in a county with higher than 10%, will not be allowed visitors. All nursing homes must provide a separate room for visitation.

"One of the most devastating aspects of this virus has been how it separated families from their loved ones, making an already difficult situation even harder to bear," Governor Cuomo said. "Thanks to the dedication of New Yorkers, we're now at a point where we can begin to resume nursing home visitations under strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of residents. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer, but we are not out of the woods yet. New Yorkers have been through so much this past year and as long as we continue to follow the science and remain united, we will finally win this war."

Some nursing homes in New York state that haven't seen a COVID case in 14 days have been allowing visits.

The new nursing home visitation rules go into effect on Friday, February 26th. You can get the full nursing home guidelines from the New York State Department of Health.

Indoor dining is also opening back up. New York City indoor dining can expand to 35 percent capacity Friday, February 26. The reopening is subject to strict state guidance and aligns with New Jersey's 35 percent limit.

COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped to a little more than 6,000, the lowest level since December 17. The 7-day average positivity rate has declined for 42 straight days.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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