Alabama hospitals, nursing homes easing visitor, caregiver restrictions Friday

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The biggest change in Gov. Kay Ivey’s amended Safer at Home order deals with hospitals and nursing homes. It allows for one visitor or caregiver to accompany a patient or resident at a time.

Effective October 2, 2020, all Hospitals and Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities) shall ensure that each patient or resident may be accompanied by one caregiver at a time (in the case of hospitals) or receive visits from one visitor at a time (in the case of nursing homes and long term care facilities), subject to reasonable restrictions imposed on the entrance of persons because of the COVID-19 county positivity rate, the facility’s COVID-19 status, a patient’s or resident’s COVID-19 status, caregiver/visitor symptoms, lack of adherence to proper infection control practices, or other relevant factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Safer at Home Order, Amended 9.30.2020

Some hospitals and nursing homes already had exceptions in place on a case-by-case basis, either allowing compassionate visits to say final goodbyes to nursing home residents or allowing caregivers to accompany patients if they were “necessary” to the patient’s well-being.

Kristin Nolan doesn’t know why her stepmother, her father’s caregiver, wasn’t granted under that restriction. She said her father’s cancer was just deemed terminal, and she says she’s accepted that she may not be able to see him, but she doesn’t want him to be alone. She thinks her situation goes beyond previous COVID-19 visitor restrictions, but hope the eased regulations help – before it’s too late.

“I understand they’re going over the policy and it’ll be changed in the next few days, but in our case, in my dad’s situation, she should have been there the whole time,” she said.

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