Alabama will allow nursing home visits, but not hugging or close contact yet

Hospital, nursing home visitation changes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - COVID-19 has kept many families have gone six months without seeing loved ones who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Today’s new Safer at Home update offers a ray of hope but there are rules.

“While these will be different because they are socially distant, it’s still good to be there in person, and we think this will do a lot to boost the spirit of our residents,” said John Matson of the Alabama Nursing Home Association regarding visits.

The rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will still be strict, and touching is not allowed.

“It’s a face to face visit, we have to maintain social distancing, as CMS says, so you can’t reach out and hold someone’s hand or give them a hug, but you can visit with them in person,” he explained.

Visitor approval might be different depending on the facility, but expect health checks and possibly more.

“They may also ask you to take a point of care COVID 19 test or bring by paperwork that you’ve had a COVID-19 test in the past two or three days,” said Matson. Not all facilities will do that.

Matson says this good news is contingent upon people in the community...

“Even if the nursing home meets all the stipulations that are outlined, but it’s in a county with a positivity rate of 10 percent or higher, the nursing home cannot allow indoor visitation,” he warned.

Check with the facility your loved one is in before you go to make sure you know their protocol to schedule a visit. Masks will be mandatory.

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