HHSC loosening visitor restrictions at nursing homes, enhancing safety rules

Local News

AUSTIN, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced they will be loosening visitor restrictions at long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, Nursing home facilities were put under strict rules to protect vulnerable residents in the facilities. However, on Thursday, the Commission announced they will now allow limited visitation at the care facilities.

The HHSC says limited outdoor visits will be permitted if the nursing facility has:

  • No confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in staff in the past 14 days
  • No active positive cases in residents
  • If the facility previous had an outbreak that has fully recovered, the facility must be adequately staffed and following infection control procedures
  • The facility staff is being tested for COIVD-19 weekly.

At long-term care facilities, the HHSC says limited indoor and outdoor visitation will be permitted if:

  • No confirmed positive COVID-19 positive staff in the last 14 days
  • No active positive cases in residents
  • Has adequate staffing to facilitate visitation in compliance with infection control protocols.
  • Use of a plexiglass safety barrier for indoor visitation.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are constantly assessing what actions are necessary to keep residents and staff safe in these facilities,” Phil Wilson, executive commissioner of the Texas HHSC said in a statement. “By following these procedures and rules, facilities can more effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help us achieve our shared goal of reuniting residents with their families and friends.”

In addition to the visitor guidelines, the HHSC also issued enhanced safety measures for nursing facilities on Thursday. The rules include:

  • Having a COVID-19 response plan that includes designated staff to work with cohorts of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, and staff should not change designation from one day to another, unless required to maintain adequate staffing for a cohort.
  • All nursing facilities must screen all residents, staff, and people who come to the facility in accordance with specified criteria, and each resident must be screened at least three times a day for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Each facility must have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two-weeks supply of personal protective equipment and resident recovery plans for continuing care when a resident recovers from COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Texas Trib map

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss
April 22 2021 09:00 am