AZDHS loosens restrictions for visitations at congregate settings

Sep 25, 2020, 3:22 PM | Updated: 5:14 pm
(Getty Images/Kirsty Wigglesworth-Pool)...
(Getty Images/Kirsty Wigglesworth-Pool)
(Getty Images/Kirsty Wigglesworth-Pool)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services loosened restrictions for visits to congregate settings in an update posted Wednesday.

State health leaders gave the green light for hospice workers, emergency personnel and other health care workers who provide care to residents to visit facilities.

Regulatory personnel such as law enforcement, state licensing surveyors and health plan quality assurance investigators will also start to be permitted at facilities.

Updates to the state’s guidance will take effect Oct. 1 and all visitors will be subject to a coronavirus screening.

The update also gave more guidance for individuals who are close to residents.

Residents at facilities can now designate “essential visitors” to serve as emergency contacts as the pandemic continues.

The designated visitors will have special privileges such as visiting at hours that were available pre-COVID and for emergencies.

Those visitors will have to pass a series of requirements in order to visit, however.

Designated visitors must be at least 18 years of age, provide proof of negative testing and sign an initial attestation form vowing to avoid large gathering between testing and visitation.

AZDHS released guidance and other requirements on how and when visitations to congregate settings can resume in late August.

Visitations were paused early in the pandemic due to concerns of spreading the virus to vulnerable communities.

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AZDHS loosens restrictions for visitations at congregate settings