Nursing Homes Can Start Allowing Some In-Person, Outdoor Visits

Jun 3, 2020

FSSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dan Rusyniak says nursing homes have tried to use technology to keep residents connected with friends and family. But he says there's no substitute for in-person contact.
Credit Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The state says it will issue new guidance to nursing homes to allow family and friends to do in-person, outdoor visits with residents.

Indiana largely barred any in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Family and Social Services Administration Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dan Rusyniak says there has been an effort to use technology to help replace that contact.

But he says there’s no substitute for in-person visits.

“And now while the congregate nature of a nursing home can amplify COVID-19, recent evidence in the scientific literature has shown that transmission risks are much lower outdoors,” Rusyniak says.

Rusyniak acknowledges not every nursing home patient can do visits outdoors but says this is a first step.

He says family and friends who come to visit will be screened for COVID-19, which could include temperature checks.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.