On December 31, the Department of Public Health issued an order requiring all nursing home and assisted living facility visitors to provide proof of a negative COVID test before visiting with their loved ones. Due to the difficulty in finding tests, the new rule has led to widespread lockouts in many facilities, casting residents into the depressing isolation. Shortly thereafter, the State permitted COVID-positive long term care facility staff to continue to come to work, creating a ridiculous situation where COVID-positive staff are providing care to residents while vaccinated and boosted visitors who do not have COVID are locked out.
Compounding the State’s missteps, a lack of enforcement regarding visitation has led to facilities across the state illegally shutting down all visitation, leaving residents and visitors scratching their heads. Long term care facilities are not allowed to shut down visitation at their discretion. If your facility has shut down all visitation, immediately file a complaint with the Department of Public Health (for nursing homes) or the Department of Social Services (for assisted living – email complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org)