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August 07, 2020

Health Law Daily

Some States Begin To Reopen Long-Term Care Communities To Visitors

  • August 07, 2020

Multiple states moved to allow visitation at long-term care facilities. The regulations generally allow window or outdoor visits under certain conditions.
      New Mexico. The AP (8/6, Lee) reports New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced that residents of some nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will be able to have outdoor or open-window meetings. “The initiative will begin next week in a handful of counties with relatively low rates of positive testing for the coronavirus.” The AP adds, “Grisham and state health officials said social isolation is taking a toll on elderly and disabled people.”
      Texas. The Dallas Morning News (8/6, Jones) reports that new Texas Health and Human Service Commission rules will allow long-term care facilities “with no confirmed staff cases of COVID-19 in two weeks and no active cases in resident” to have visitors. However, staff must receive weekly coronavirus tests and “physical contact between visitors and residents is prohibited.” The Texas Tribune (8/6, Champagne, Platoff) reports that long-term care facilities will allow indoor visits “provided there are plexiglass barriers,” but nursing facilities “can offer only outdoor visits.”
      Washington. The AP (8/6, Ho) reports, “Calling it a ‘big step forward,’” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) “on Thursday announced how visitors may return to nursing homes and other long term care operations – six months after the country’s first known coronavirus outbreak devastated a Kirkland facility.” Washington “is issuing a four-phase guideline on visitation that encourages outdoor meetings and correlates with the governor’s four-phase county reopening plan.” Beginning “Aug. 12, individual nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult family homes may apply to the state for approval to allow visitors.” Almost all the state’s care facilities “will begin in the first phase for visitation, which allows for compassionate, window, remote and outdoor visits.”