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What nursing home visits will look like in Texas following Gov. Greg Abbott’s new guidance

Visitation can begin Sept. 24 under new protocols

Kay Foley, 88, left and her daughter Chris Coverdale blow kisses to each other after an outdoor visit, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at Jones-Harrison nursing home, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Minneapolis. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Kay Foley, 88, left and her daughter Chris Coverdale blow kisses to each other after an outdoor visit, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at Jones-Harrison nursing home, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Minneapolis. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP) (© 2020 Jerry Holt/Star Tribune)

Citing declining COVID-19 hospitalizations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that visitations can resume at nursing homes throughout most of the state under new guidance.

Starting Sept. 24, the new guidance will take effect, provided that there is no active COVID-19 outbreak in the facility, Abbott said Thursday.

Under the new rules, laid out on the state’s website, residents can designate up to two essential family caregivers who can visit the facility.

Before visiting, the caregivers must be provided training on how to safely go inside the facility. In long-term care facilities, the caregivers must be trained on the proper use of personal protective equipment and other infection control measures. The caregivers must use the proper PPE at all times and must test negative for the novel coronavirus within 14 days prior to the visit.

“Designated caregivers will not be required to maintain physical distancing, but only one caregiver can visit a resident at a time,” according to the state’s guidance.

General visitors are only allowed at previously approved facilities. Depending on the facility, it can offer outdoor visits, open window visits or indoor visitation with the use of plexiglass safety barriers. In these visits, physical contact is not permitted.

For more information on Abbott’s announcement, visit the state website.


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