Nursing homes to allow 2 visitors under new Safer At Home changes

Gov. Ivey lifts some restrictions on nursing homes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Although today’s new state health orders allow for more visitors in nursing homes, federal orders will overrule them and visitation policies will remain unchanged.

Nursing home residents were some of the first people to get vaccinated, the first step to safely seeing loved ones again.

From visits through plastic shielded boxes to patios and through windows, those in nursing homes have missed their families.

Governor Kay Ivey’s newest Safer at Home order allows them to see two visitors.

“We’re very appreciative that Governor Ivey and Dr. Harris allowed us to have another additional visitor per resident,” said John Matson, AHNA spokesperson.

However, federal rules state if a county has more than 10 percent positivity, they go back to not allowing visitors.

“We know that we are not ready to return to pre-COVID visitation, but we think the federal government could ease some of those visitation restrictions,” said Matson.

Federal restrictions have not changed since September of last year, but they are expected to as case rates in nursing homes go down.

With Ivey’s decision, AHNA says there are guaranteed smiles at nursing home facilities statewide.

“We’re thankful for technology and video chat, we are grateful for parades and window visits, but nothing takes the place of being able to sit face-to-face with your loved one,” said Matson.

You may also be checked for fever and you do have to wear a mask where ever you visit.

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