Arizona Nursing Homes Cautiously Allowing Visitors

Published: Sunday, September 20, 2020 - 11:32am

Six months ago, Arizona long-term care facilities restricted family visits due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, they are cautiously welcoming visitors again. 

When the pandemic hit, the idea was to restrict visitors to keep vulnerable residents safe. Very few people thought the restrictions would last so long. Eventually, a task force crafted reopening recommendations and for the last week or so, families have had the chance to visit again.

David Voepel is the CEO of the Arizona Health Care Association. He says while he’s heard positive feedback from facilities, there were also hurdles. 

"There was some confusion with some family members, and they were up around the state really and thinking that well now that it's just wide open. And it's like, No, it's not. It's not wide open, and it depends on the facility and what they can do. So there's been an education process as well."

Voepel says the task force will meet again this week and possibly provide updated guidance. 

Months after long-term care facilities closed their doors to visitors due to the coronavirus, they’re slowly starting to reopen to them… But after a task force came together to craft recommendations on how to open again, the group could be updating that guidance later this week. 

Voepel says they could update how they screen visitors. Currently, a person has to take a COVID-19 test before every indoor visit. 

"And it would follow the same protocols as used for staff on… So it would, it would make it a little bit easier for those family members that come in once a week and help out with their loved ones."

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