Nursing homes, which have been closed to guests since mid-March because of the coronavirus, will soon be reopening to visitors.
In his daily virtual press briefing, Gov. Jim Justice said nursing home visitation will be phased in starting Wednesday, June 17. In order to reopen to visitors, nursing homes must have had no positive cases in the past 14 days and must pass a certification by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
Before coming, visitors must make an appointment with the facility to see their loved one to ensure social distancing. Beyond that, specific rules about visiting will be determined on a facility-by-facility basis.
Restricting nursing homes visitation was one of the first executive closures Justice made because of the pandemic. Nursing home residents are at high risk for contracting the disease as many are elderly, have preexisting conditions, and are living in close contact with other people.
Almost 2,200 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 85 have died in West Virginia.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.