In-person visitations at long-term care facilities to begin Monday

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 18:16:39-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In-person visitations at long-term care facilities will begin June 29 as Kentucky eases restrictions.

Kentuckians will be allowed to visit loved ones at some assisted living and personal care homes starting Monday.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander made the announcement Thursday. State guidelines were released shortly after. You can read the full document here.

Sayre Christian Village CEO Karen Venis said they are currently reviewing the guidelines and working to develop their policies with safety as the top priority.

“We have mixed emotions. We want to connect these families with their loved ones. At the same time, we have to make sure we’re still doing everything we can and taking very aggressive measures to keep our environment safe,” said Venis.

According to the state guidelines, visitors will be required to wear masks, wash their hands before and after the visit, have their temperatures checked, and practice social distancing. Facilities will need to create designated visitation areas, schedule visits and limit visitors to two per resident, as well as sanitize frequently and enforce social distancing policies.

After a visit, anyone who had contact with the visitor will need to be immediately screened.

“We’re just going to take a look at making sure we don’t open up the flood gates, but at the same time have a controlled environment where we can provide these visitations and connections, but still keep our environment safe,” said Venis.

Even with strict guidelines in place, some feel it’s still too early to allow in-person visitations.

Barbara Vogler’s 95-year-old mother, Jean Gregory, has been a resident at Sayre Christian Village for 12 years. She said she’s worried about COVID-19 making its way into the area her mother lives in.

“I understand people want to see their loved ones and I want to see my mother too, but I’d sure like to keep her around a lot longer. I just think this virus is not going away,” Vogler said.

Facilities will also be allowed to resume group activities of 10 or fewer people, communal dining and off-site appointments.

In-person visitations for nursing homes and in Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities will resume July 15.