Having parents and grandparents in assisted and healthcare facilities is never easy. It's been particularly hard on families during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The elderly are the most vulnerable demographic in the population, and visits have been prohibited, which, has created its own set of problems and worries; elderly patients, some with dementia related symptoms not understanding why they've been abandoned by their families.

A little bit of good news on that front Thursday, as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has modified some rules put into place by the Governor's Executive Order.

People living in residential care facilities such as nursing homes will be able to see visitors outdoors under a new epidemic order that goes into effect on September 15th.

“Limiting visitation has saved lives,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said in a release. “And seeing loved ones in person is important for mental health. Allowing outdoor visits – with proper procedures such as requiring social distancing and masks – is good for residents and can keep everyone safe.”

Here are the new state rules going into effect on September 15th:

To allow visitation, the facilities must, among other things:

  • Permit visits by appointment only.
  • Limit the number of visitors during each scheduled visit to two people or less.
  • Exclude visitors who cannot or will not wear a face covering during the entire visit.
  • Require visitors to maintain social distancing.
  • Limit the number of overall visitors at the facility at any given time based upon space limitations, infection control capacity and other appropriate factors to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Prohibit visits to residents who are in isolation or under observation for symptoms of COVID-19.
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