JONESBORO, Ark- It’s been three months since nursing homes across the state have allowed visitors due to covid-19, but that ends today.
Guests will be able to visit their loves ones but must follow a list of restrictions to make sure everyone stays safe.
“’We schedule the visits and the family can approach the resident, social distance 6 feet apart,” says Brian Rega Director of Senior Service, Housing at St. Bernards. “We can either do them on the patio here through the window, or if the weather is bad, we can invite them inside. The visits are all monitored to make sure they don’t touch; they don’t get too close and that everyone wears their mask.”
Rega says in preparation for today all staff and residents were tested for covid.
He says they all came back negative but had one been positive they wouldn’t be able to start visits today.
Each resident is allowed two visitors at a time, and they will be screened as well as visits will be timed.
Rega says areas be will be cleaned and sanitized between visits.
He says the reaction from family members has been 50/50 about allowing visitors, saying some are excited but others are cautious.
Rega says if one does test positive, they have a plan.
“If a resident, staff member or visitor tests positive the protocol calls for us to stop the visits. Everyone just stops and we pause it for 28 days and then we can look at starting it again,” says Rega.
I was able to speak to one family member who didn’t want to be interviewed but she did say she was happy to see her relative but says she is still cautious because the virus is still there.