New guidelines announced for long-term care facilities

Joplin Area Coronavirus

MISSOURI — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is updating its visitation guidelines for long-term care facilities in an effort to reunite families. New guidelines would allow facilities to create an Essential Caregiver Program. It would allow indoor and outdoor visits in facilities that have not had any covid-19 cases for 14 days.

Individual nursing homes will determine which types of visits would be most appropriate to keep their residents safe. Staff at Wildwood Senior Living say their top priority is preventing the spread of the virus, but personal contact and time spent with loved ones is also important.

Tim Moore, Regional Director, Arrow Senior Living Management, said, “The health and safety of our residents and our staff is paramount in all of the guidelines we’re putting out there. So, we don’t have an exact date but the plan at this point and time is probably to have the guidelines out within the next 7 to 10 days. With some basic guidelines for internal visits, including, common area visits, as well as apartment visits for our independent living. And then some common areas visits for our assisted living residents as well.”

Moore says if a facility decides to have an Essential Caregiver Program, each resident can designate five visitors to see, but only two at a time for visitation.

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