State says it’ll facilitate long-term care home visitations
Mike Seals - March 11, 2021 11:48 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma long-term care home residents now will be allowed visits by loved ones who have completed state-certified essential care training aimed at stopping the coronavirus, state leaders announced Tuesday.
Gov. Kevin Stitt and state Health Commissioner Lance Frye outlined the revised COVID-19 guidance for care homes during an afternoon news conference. Stitt had closed the homes to visitors one year ago when COVID-19 began sweeping the state.
The governor cited the state’s vigorous COVID-19 vaccine distribution for making the guidance revision feasible.
Masked visitors who have been vaccinated will be allowed non-supervised visits to vaccinated residents after proof of that vaccination is provided to home managers. When either the visitor or the resident has not been vaccinated, proof of a negative COVID-19 test or an onsite test may be required for a non-supervised, masked visit. When both visitor and resident are unvaccinated, proof of a negative COVID-19 test or an onsite test may be required for a masked, non-contact, supervised visit.
Visitors will be required to complete essential care training the state will provide online that officials said would take about 15 minutes to complete.
“We are excited this will give families the opportunity to reunite with their loved ones in a safe way,” Frye said in a statement.
Still, Frye cautioned care home visitors to follow masking guidelines. Oklahoma does not have a statewide rule requiring face coverings, although some cities, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa, have mask mandates.
“This is for the safety of your loved one and everyone in the building who may be vulnerable to COVID-19,” he said.
Oklahoma reported 270 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the state’s pandemic total to 429,432. Of those, 11,637 cases were active, 401 fewer than Monday. According to the state Department of Health, 167 new deaths brought the state’s COVID-19 pandemic death toll to 7,307.