Starting Tuesday, Delaware’s long term care facilities can apply to allow visitors to see their loved ones indoors.
Since June, assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the First State could apply to allow outdoor visitations - as long as they had no new COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days. And 26 of the 88 facilities statewide were approved to do that.
Starting September 8th, facilities can apply to bring visitors indoors while taking special precautions to maintain safety.
“We have people that are prepared to review the plans. And we really want to get the families back so they can see their loved ones, we do understand that this has been really difficult for both the families and the residents.” said Corinna Getchell, head of Delaware's Division of Healthcare Quality.
She says the biggest determining factor in approving indoor visitation is if a facility is free of COVID-19 cases.
“The biggest thing that we’re looking at right now is to make sure that the facilities COVID status is appropriate for the level that they’re applying for. After that, we look to make sure all the safety measures are in place.”
Getchell adds many safety precautions are required for indoor visits. Only 2 people at a time are allowed to visit someone, masks and social distancing must be practiced, and the visitation room has to be close to the entrance.
If anyone in a facility tests positive for COVID-19, visitations must stop for at least 14 days.
As of September 3rd, the first state has seen 368 deaths from Coronavirus in long term care facilities.
Division surveyors visit all the long term care facilities regularly and are knowledgeable about the layout of the facilities and the safety protocols staff and residents have been taking.