Saturday, June 13, 2020

Governor Stitt announces phased return of nursing home visitation

Visits allowed to resume June 15 in accordance with guidelines

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 12, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt today issued Amended Executive Order 2020-20, which allows for visitation to long-term care facilities to resume in a phased approach effective June 15.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has released guidance to ensure the safety of Oklahomans who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure while also considering the quality of life and dignity of the residents of long-term care facilities. The OSDH guidance was created based on best practices from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state trade associations.

“It is important we take a measured and responsible approach to allowing visitors to our nursing homes and long-term care facilities, just as we did with the rest of our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “This guidance will allow us to continue to protect the health and lives of Oklahomans while allowing them to safely resume valuable interactions with their loved ones.”

The guidance contains three phases based on the prevalence of COVID-19 in each facility and its surrounding community, PPE availability, staffing levels and local hospital capacity.

“The Health Department has worked closely with communities and providers on safely easing in visitations for residents at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across Oklahoma,” said Commissioner of Health Lance Frye. “Our mission is to support the mental health and quality of life for residents, while also taking into consideration the realities of COVID-19. We encourage families as they reunite with their loved ones to consider getting tested in advance and to wear masks for visitations and closely follow heightened protocols at the facilities.” 

All nursing and skill nursing facilities, assisted living, adult day care, residential care and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities will be required to submit the following information to OSDH:

  • The name, phone number and email of a licensed health care professional to serve as their infection preventionist
  • Evidence the infection preventionist completed a CDC training course
  • A monitoring plan for the facility’s infection surveillance, staff training and infection prevention and control practices

The State is in the process of finalizing a grant program to use CARES Act funding for long-term care facilities to enhance infectious disease prevention and mitigation. Further details and application information will be released in the coming days.


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