Gov. Greg Abbott relaxed state visitation to nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term facilities. The new visitation rules start on Thursday.
Since March, many families have been unable to visit their loved ones who live in group care facilities, to keep the coronavirus from spreading. In August, the rules were relaxed to allow visitors to facilities that did not have anyone who had tested positive for COVID-19.
The new revised guidelines that go into effect this week allow visitors whether there are active cases inside or not. The new rules allow two “essential family caregivers” to be permitted inside a nursing home resident’s room. These “caregivers” are not required to maintain physical distancing. But they also must also test negative for the virus two weeks before the visit.
Brian Lee, executive director of nursing home advocacy organization Families for Better Care, says the new rules will help families.
“I think there’s a lot of anger and angst out there among families to see their loved ones,” Lee said.
But he said the lack of a tougher testing requirement could put more people at risk.
“There aren’t enough precautionary measures to keep people safe in our opinion,” Lee said.