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Here’s what it will take for Ga. nursing homes to allow visitation

A COVID-19 related death has been reported at a Greenup County nursing home.
A COVID-19 related death has been reported at a Greenup County nursing home.(AP images)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:01 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - People who live in Georgia long-term care facilities may soon be allowed to engage in certain activities, including visitations.

But they don’t have the green light just yet. The new order doesn’t lift the shelter-in-place for those facilities, but it allows new guidelines relaxing some of the restrictions.

According to an executive order from Gov. Brian Kemp, a facility that wishes to reopen needs to consider several things like cases in the community and facility.

Officials are asking facilities to submit written plans to support their reasoning for reopening and publish it for residents.

They would also need to have other things like personal protection equipment, testing plans and adequate staffing before visitations would be considered.

The executive order also continues to allow for a local option for required face coverings and continues to ban gatherings of more than 50 people where social distance cannot be maintained

That includes businesses like restaurants, clubs, bars and theaters.

The order will remain in effect until Sept. 30. The public health state of emergency has also been renewed for another 30 days, now ending Oct. 10.

Across the river

In South Carolina, dozens of nursing homes got the green light for visitors, including one in our area.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Westminister Memory Care in Aiken can begin limited visitation. It made the list because the facility follows DHEC guidelines, including low case numbers, widespread testing and PPE requirements.

Visitations in the Palmetto State have been restricted since March.

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