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IA Families Urged to Follow Nursing-Home Visitation Curbs

In addition to restricting visitors, the CDC advises long-term care facilities to limit group activities amid the spread of coronavirus. (Adobe Stock)
In addition to restricting visitors, the CDC advises long-term care facilities to limit group activities amid the spread of coronavirus. (Adobe Stock)
March 13, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa - As health officials work to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, they're asking that families avoid making any non-essential visits to loved ones being cared for in nursing homes.

In conjunction with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Health Care Association says in-person visits are limited to situations where a patient is facing an end-of-life situation.

Association President Brent Willett says other forms of communication will have to be used for the time being.

"We are advising that families change the way that they visit and communicate with their families," says Willett, "using the means of technology that our members and providers across the state are beginning to push out and make available to families."

Willett says some providers are gathering additional television monitors for video conferencing, and they're being asked to free up more phone lines.

Willett says they're also asking providers to enhance efforts to stop a potential spread of the virus, should it find its way inside any of the facilities across Iowa.

"Things like even more frequent hand washing by staff members," says Willett, "the use of personal protective equipment in caring for individuals who may be showing any kind of respiratory symptoms."

In a scenario where a visit is allowed, Willett says there will be a special screening process at the point of entry.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - IA