Changes to visits in long term care facilities

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Wednesday (July 1) was the first day long term care facilities could allow visitors for the first time since March.

State health leaders set strict guidelines for these visits:

  • The home is required to be free of COVID-19 cases for at least 28 days
  • Visitors must not have had any signs of the coronavirus for at least three days
  • Visitors cannot go inside within 14 days of a positive test
  • Visitors will have to keep six feet of distance away from family members
  • Visiting hours will be set and limited to give staff a chance to clean and sanitize in between guests

Rachel Bunch is the executive director for the Arkansas Healthcare Association and said another factor to reopening is making sure there are enough hospital beds in the region.

“I’ve been communicating to our members,” Bunch said. “Depending on how things go in the state with community spread and the numbers and cases, we may have to close back again.”

Bunch said she’s hopeful it won’t have to come to that as long as everyone does their part to keep everyone safe.

Justin Randall’s father has been in a nursing home in Tontitown for about two years. The facility is not open for visitors yet, but Randall said he’s grateful for all the work that’s being done to protect his dad and others.

“Right now it’s a scary feeling that there’s more positive tests coming out of Arkansas,” Randall said. “So we’re a little scared, but we’re dealing with it as the time passes.”

Randall said he hasn’t seen his dad since February and is looking and is looking forward to giving him a big hug when he can.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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