Coronavirus Illinois: Nursing home staff, residents 'optimistic' as visiting resumes

Both Illinois nursing home staff and residents are optimistic as visits resume, one health expert said.

Many residents are now able to see family and friends in-person, as long as those visits are happening outside.

Dr. Alexander Stemer is an infectious disease expert, who also leads the COVID-19 task force at "Symphony Nursing Homes" in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. He joined ABC 7 Chicago Thursday to give an update on the status of COVID-19 in the area's nursing homes.

He said health experts and those affiliated with nursing homes are excited and optimistic as visits resume.

Illinois released guidelines for nursing home visits in late June. The state said all visits to these facilities will be outside, and appointments are required.

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Illinois has released guidance to begin to allow people to visit their loved ones at nursing homes and other health care facilities.



"Families will be able to see their loved ones by appointment in a supervised outdoor setting that ensures a minimum distance of six feet between residents and visitors, with one or two visitors per resident at a time or as determined by the nursing home," the Health Care Council of Illinois said in a statement Friday. "The number of visits allowed per day and the duration of the visit will be determined on an individual basis by each facility based on occupancy and space availability."

Anyone looking to visit will also need to take a health care screening beforehand.
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