Ky. families asking for looser nursing home COVID-19 restrictions

Ky. families asking for looser nursing home COVID-19 restrictions

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - COVID-19 restrictions started to loosen at Kentucky long-term care facilities in February, allowing some family members to go inside facilities to see their loved ones.

Family members say COVID-19 restrictions are different depending on the place.

“As of two, three weeks ago, I was actually able to take him to a doctor’s appointment,” Denise Shelton said.

For Shelton, it’s the little moments she cherishes.

“So I was actually able to have him in my car,” Shelton said.

However, Shelton is running out time to create little moments with her 91-year-old father. He lives at Signature HealthCARE at Hillcrest.

“You’re not allowed in the building unless your family member is passing away,” Shelton said.

Vivian Burris has a similar situation. Her husband lives at the Owensboro Center.

“There’s no time limit for when we’d be able to go back in and stay for hours,” Burris said.

Families say facilities that accept Medicaid and Medicare tend to have tighter restrictions. They are regulated by the government.

“They just say that they want to keep everyone safe,” Shelton said. “And I understand, but you’ve got to weigh that out between the mental health of the person and keeping them safe as well as health-wise.”

Some families say they fear being locked out again from seeing their loved ones because of Kentucky guidelines. Those rules state if a county falls into the red, and has fewer than 70 percent of the residents vaccinated in a facility, visitation could be taken away.

Carl Lewis is allowed inside his mother’s room at the Carmel Home in Owensboro. Exactly what others are patiently waiting for.

“My prayers still go out to all the families and loved ones that are not able to see their families right now for whatever reason,” Lewis said.

“If they would loosen the restrictions then that would be beneficial for everyone involved. I mean family members come in and help,” Shelton said.

Daviess County currently sits in the orange on Kentucky’s incidence rate map just one step away from red.

Copyright 2021 WFIE. All rights reserved.