TEXAS, USA — What will families need to do if they want to visit their loved ones inside nursing and long-term care facilities as Texas continuing reopening?
The state has announced a long list of restrictions. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect. Visits will resume next week, but with strict guidelines.
Under the new rules, nursing home residents can have up to two essential family caregivers. They will be trained and allowed to go inside a facility for a scheduled visit, including going inside a resident's room.
The caregivers will not have to follow social distancing guidelines, but only one can visit at a time.
An Austin-based non-profit, Families for Better Care, said it's important to get families reunited, but it needs to be done safely.
""There is no room for error when it comes to nursing homes and this virus," executive director Brian Lee said. "If they get one step wrong, you're talking multiple fatalities. We know this. They know this. So they have to get this right. They have to have the right precautions, the right safety measures in place to keep everyone safe."
Lee is calling for rapid molecular testing at every nursing home in Texas, which he said would be able to identify asymptomatic individuals.
According to Governor Greg Abbot's new rules, PPE must be used during the scheduled visits and the caregiver has to test negative for COVID-19 within the past 14 days before visiting.
While these guidelines may seem strict, experts said there is no room for error when it comes to nursing homes and COVID-19.