Governor Kim Reynolds says state officials are providing new guidelines so nursing homes may reopen to visitors.
In early March, long term care facilities were closed to visitors, to reduce the risk that residents would contract COVID-19.
“This time of separation has been extremely difficult for residents of long term care facilities and their loved ones,” Reynolds says. “I’ve heard stories of spouses that have been married for over 60 years who have rarely spent a day apart until these last three months, of sons and daughters who worry they’re missing precious time with an elderly parent.”
The governor says there are also concerns about how social isolation is impacting the mental health of nursing home residents. Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the state medical director, says facilities will get advice from the state on how to handle easing some of the COVID-related restrictions.
“Visitation of family as well as of health care personnel, trips outside of a facility, dining practices and group activities,” she says.
Dr. Pedati says facilities will be advised to consider virus activity in the vicinity before making changes.