Outdoor visits to be allowed at Michigan nursing homes

Long barred from seeing loved ones due to COVID, people will be able to visit nursing homes in Michigan as long as it's outdoors.

Nursing homes in Michigan will begin allowing outdoor visits next Tuesday under an executive order issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday.

The order doesn’t just apply to nursing homes, where residents have been cut off from the outside world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic six months ago. The order also extends to other residential care facilities including hospice residences, adult foster care facilities, and juvenile homes.

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Limiting visitation has been a difficult rule to impose, according to Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

“The limitations on visitation have saved lives,” he said in an interview with Bridge Michigan. “And at the same time, we know that the limitations have also caused hardship, and we’re glad to be able to relax some of those limitations in a smart, evidence-based way.”

There are some other restrictions. Visitors must wear masks and stay six feet away from each other, visits must be scheduled in advance, and facilities must not have had any cases of the coronavirus for 14 days.

Also, facilities are not required to allow visits and county health officials can bar visitations if they deem it necessary.

You can read the full story here.

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