Congregate setting visitation rules intended to keep everyone safe

Sep 1, 2020, 4:15 AM
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Families will be able to visit loved ones currently living in long-term care facilities this week after the state rolled out guidelines last week for visitations to congregate settings.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s task force on long-term care compiled a list of recommendations for assisted living and long-term care facilities so residents would be able to have in-person visits from their families.

“It’s really important for families to be able to visit with their loved ones. They have not been able to visit with them for 25 weeks,” Dana Marie Kennedy, state director for AARP Arizona, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has implemented a number of guidelines stemming from the recommendations of the task force, including requiring a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the visit.

“They are going to have to jump through a couple of hurdles, but we feel this is in the best intent to keep everybody safe,” Kennedy said.

Visitors must also undergo symptom screening, wear a face covering at all times and adhere to physical distancing requirements.

The facility will have requirements including maintaining a visitor log for contract tracing purposes, designating an assigned visitation space and using hand sanitizer before the start of the visit.

Kennedy said the task force also advocated to make sure there’s adequate personal protective equipment and testing for staff and residents in place.

“We realized they’re not going to be able to hug them, they’re not going to be able to touch them, they’re going to have to maintain social distance that’s recommended by the CDC, but they are going to be able to see them,” Kennedy said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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Congregate setting visitation rules intended to keep everyone safe