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Outdoor visits now permitted at nursing homes, long term care facilities in MI

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:35 PM EDT
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FENTON, Mich. (WJRT) - Outdoor visitation is now permitted at nursing homes and long term care facilities in Michigan, beginning Tuesday; however, only if strict COVID-19 health and safety guidelines are followed.

The easing of restrictions is certainly some well welcome news for loved ones both in and out of such facilities, but there is some mounting concern because the weather will soon be getting cooler and facilitating outdoor visits will become more challenging.

“At the beginning before we came outside, we actually did window visits, so I think in the fall we’ll go back to those for a little bit, but we’re really hoping from the state to get some guidelines on what we can do,” said Catrina Kraus, Resident Director of Vicinia Gardens in Fenton.

But for now under the order, at most two people are allowed to visit a resident outdoors, masks must be worn by both residents and loved ones, six feet social distancing is also required, and an appointment must be made in advance with the facility.

“We’ve had one person per family, preferably the durable power of attorney using their right to come in and see the resident once a week,” Kraus said.

The state has reported viral spread of COVID-19 has been stable over the last few weeks.

Congregate facilities have seen a 19 percent drop in cases as well.

But even with some relaxed restrictions, visiting is just not what it was pre-covid. Just ask Kate Deschner, who lives at Vicinia Gardens.

“I have a lot of local friends that have called, and they’ve come and sit outside like I have, and we just have a really good visit,” she said.

But again, Fall will be here in less than a week meaning the weather will be turning cooler, but a place like Vicinia Gardens is hopeful visits indoors will soon be allowed.

“Especially with the holidays coming up. You know having grandparents day on Sunday, just broke my heart knowing they couldn’t see their grand-kids or great grand-kids,” Kraus said.

ABC12 did reach out to the governor’s office and they say they have no additional updates or information regarding visitor restrictions for the upcoming months.

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