Exclusive: Gov. Abbott says nursing home visitation announcement is forthcoming

Texas

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — An announcement concerning family members being allowed to visit loved ones in nursing homes is expected in a week or two, according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Gov. Abbott told KTAB News on Thursday afternoon that the announcement will provide a way for people to visit nursing homes as safely as possible.

“We expect to make an announcement in a week or two that will provide some way of having loved ones go into a nursing home and be able to physically see their family member, using strategies to make sure we are not importing COVID-19 in those nursing homes to make sure that we keep them healthy and do not increase the risk of death,” said Gov. Abbott.

In March, Gov. Abbott issued a disaster declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic and thereby restricted visitation at nursing homes.

Many nursing homes across the state have experienced clusters of cases, including many deaths. As a result, each resident and staff member of nursing homes underwent testing by the National Guard.

Still, family members have been shut out of nursing homes for three months.

“We know how incredibly important it is for family members to see loved ones in nursing homes,” said Gov. Abbott.

The Governor said that Texas has the second-lowest death rate of the top 25 states in the U.S. with the most cases. One reason for this, he said, is because of Texas’ strict policy on nursing home visitations.

“We’ve done a good job protecting those in our nursing homes and that’s one reason why we have such a low death rate,” said Gov. Abbott. “That said, we do look to find a solution that will allow more loved ones to see their loved ones in nursing homes.”


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