VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The County of Ventura announced that family and friends will soon be able to visit long-term care facility (LTCF) residents safely. It has been more than two months since the County stopped all visitations at these facilities to protect the residents inside from COVID-19, as they are considered high-risk.
“It is long needed and urgently required that family and friends be allowed to visit their family members who are in LTCFs. The LTCFs have done an incredible job of keeping our seniors mentally healthy during these long months,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.
The County hopes that, by allowing visitations, they will be improving the quality of life for residents. Major restrictions are still in place, however, to continue to protect everyone from the virus that is still very prevalent within the community.
The County said the following restrictions and allowances will be in place as long as the facility remains in Phase 3 of Reopening Nursing Homes and Opening Up America Again.
Types of interactions allowed between residents and their family and friends:
- Door visits may be arranged. This involves the resident staying inside the facility and interacting with their loved ones who must stand outside the door of the facility. The door will be kept open, and the resident and their visitors must remain 6 feet apart. Everyone must also be wearing a mask.
- Facilities may bring a resident outside with a mask on to spend time with visitors who are also wearing masks. The resident and their visitors must stay 6 feet apart. This interaction may occur in an open space outside such as a courtyard, a backyard or on a porch or veranda.
- Family members or friends can drive up in a car and visit with a resident brought to the curb of the facility. A minimum of 6 feet of distance must be maintained. Both the resident and their visitors must be wearing masks.
Virtual interactions, such as video calls and phone calls, are always allowed between residents and visitors and are a great alternative for anyone who doesn't want to risk their health. Residents who are bed-ridden are encouraged to stick to these alternative types of interactions.
Additional precautions for those who wish to visit or have visitors include: mandatory sanitation of benches, chairs, doors, etc. before and after visits, screening visitors for COVID-19 symptoms and limiting the number of visitors to five. The full list of guidance for residents, visitors and facilities can be viewed here.
Physical contact is still not allowed between residents and their visitors at this time.