More nursing home residents -- especially those suffering from the damaging effects of isolation -- will be allowed indoor visits and relaxed social distancing protocols that will allow visitors to touch their loved ones for the first time in nearly six months under an executive order issued Thursday.
State Department of Public Health interim-Commissioner Dr. Diedre Gifford announced the new order during Gov. Ned Lamont’s daily press conference. It comes a few weeks after a group of advocates sent a letter to the commissioner asking her to change the visitation rules because residents of nursing homes needed to see their families.
The new order stops short of allowing anyone to have an inside visit, but it requires nursing homes to expand so-called “compassionate care” visits, provide the necessary personal protective equipment for all visitors and also to develop a “psychosocial plan” for every resident to make sure they are not isolated because of the coronavirus.
In March Lamont banned visits inside nursing homes to try and stop the spread of the virus inside the facilities. Despite those efforts, the virus has had a devastating impact on nursing home residents, killing more than 2,800 and infecting thousands more,