With lockdowns relaxing, talk of reopening nursing homes emerges


Whitney Bryen, Oklahoma Watch

A sign on the door for Grace Skilled Nursing and Therapy indicates no visitors are being allowed in the facility, which has suffered a severe outbreak of COVID-19.. Many nursing homes have adopted the same policy.

Deaths of nursing home residents and staff reached triple digits this week and facility officials say the number will likely continue to climb. But a state legislator wants to allow visitors back into nursing homes as early as June 1.

Rep. Lundy Kiger, R-Poteau, urged the governor to begin planning a "soft reopening" of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that would include precautions like reserving a room for visitations, screening visitors and requiring them to wear masks and practice social distancing.

But families of nursing home residents and facility officials say it's...

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