Arizona Not Ready To Allow Visitors In Nursing Homes

Published: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 1:50pm
Updated: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 5:21pm
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The coronavirus has hit long term care facilities especially hard. And while the state looks to slowly reopen, Gov. Doug Ducey says he’s not ready to allow visitors into nursing homes.

For many families, that news comes after weeks of not being able to see their loved ones in person.

Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, says that is a big problem. 

"[T]he check and balance in the system was family members, and they can't visit anymore, and so the eyes and ears of the people who care the most aren’t there to tell the regulators something is wrong," said Humble. "And this is going to go on for some months."

Ducey gave no indication as to when he would lift his order and allow visitors.  Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ was at Tuesday's press conference with the governor.

"The White House announced they would like all of these facilities that are Medicare certified to be tested in the next two weeks," Christ said.  "So our team has been working on that plan and this has been our top priority."

There are about 150 of these certified facilities in the state. Christ did not say if residents at the state’s assisted living facilities or group homes would be tested.

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