Long-term care facilities following steps to safely allow visitors

Long-term care facilities following steps to safely allow visitors

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Since March 12, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia have jumped from the 30′s to over 300,000.

One of the places seeing significant changes to daily life - our long-term care facilities.

The guidance listed in Governor Kemp’s latest executive order opens the door for visitors to see their loved ones in long-term care facilities. The phases are based on days since the last confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case, County case rate and positivity rates.

In Savannah, Hospice Savannah often takes former residents of long-term care facilities for a short time.

“We understood that many of our patients and families were coming out of the hospital where they had not seen their loved one for a long time, or a long-term care facility where they had not seen their loved one for a long time," said Hospice Savannah President/CEO Dr. Kathleen Benton.

Because of that, Dr. Benton says they’ve been allowing up to two visitors for residents under certain conditions, recognizing the toll isolation has had on those patients and their families.

“In some ways I feel like that has been the most challenging piece of this entire pandemic, the way it has affected the elderly population, and those families who are loving and supporting those elderly.”

Dr. Benton says she’s glad to see the possibility of those in long-term care or assisted living to get to see their families and have that interaction again.

“I’m glad to see we’re moving towards, towards the interaction that those patients really need and that those families need.”

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