State plans to test everyone in nursing homes for COVID-19, governor says

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The state’s plan to test everyone in nursing homes is the first step in reopening the facilities.

According to Gov. Hutchinson, the state is close to having a set plan on reopening senior resident homes.

With a spike in active nursing home cases, there’s a heightened safety concern to allow family visits and activities to resume.

“The reopening will take time and I’m sure we’ll see constant adjustments as we go through the process,” said Rachel Bunch, Arkansas Health Care Association.

“Some of the requirements will be that visitors will be screened, they have to wear masks at all times when they are in a facility. They’ll be visiting with the patients for the most part in a designated are not going back to the rooms,” said Dr. Nate Smith, Arkansas Health Secretary.

Dr. Nate Smith said the reopening will be done very carefully taking into consideration testing numbers and what health leaders know about COVID-19.

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