Maryland health officials have eased restrictions on nursing home visits just before Father’s Day weekend.
Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Maryland citizens have been forbidden to visit family members in the state’s 227 nursing homes since March 10. While health officials said some restrictions will remain in place “for the foreseeable future” to protect the elderly population, many homes announced on Friday that they will finally allow limited visitation.
There are, of course, caveats. State officials have “strongly recommended” that no more than two visitors per resident be allowed to enter the premises, and those visits will only be allowed to take place at facilities with no active coronavirus cases.
COVID-19 has hit Maryland nursing homes especially hard, with over two-thirds of the state’s facilities contending with the deadly disease over the course of the last few months. As of the time of this writing, Maryland is still battling 63,548 confirmed cases.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan “ordered all nursing home staff be tested weekly for the coronavirus, now that the state has recently completed a round of universal testing of all residents and staff.” Personal protective equipment (PPE) will continue to be mandatory for all staff, and regular screenings will continue.
Still, in a time of national division and the slow recovery from a global health crisis, the ability to reunite people with their most vulnerable loved ones is sure to warm the summer holiday weekend.