PHOENIX — Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced Wednesday that long-term care facilities will be allowed to resume in-person visitations as early as this weekend if the location proves it is following state health guidelines.
According to a release from the governor’s office, the Arizona Department of Health Services approved recommendations on resuming in-person visits from the state’s Task Force On Long-Term Care on August 28.
The guidelines require LTC facilities to implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies by Friday, September 4 in order to resume in-person visitations.
The type of visitations allowed, and measures needed to be taken depends on each county’s level of community spread of the coronavirus.
Counties with "substantial community spread" will only be allowed to hold compassionate care visitation, which can be defined here.
Counties in the moderate category will be allowed to have limited outdoor visitation but not indoor visitation. And counties in the minimal category will be allowed to have limited indoor visitation.
According to the governor's office, counties with “substantial” community spread include Pinal, Gila, Mohave, Yuma, Santa Cruz and Graham. Counties with “moderate” community spread include Coconino, Yavapai, Maricopa, Pima, Navajo, Apache, La Paz and Cochise. Greenlee has “minimal” community spread.
Additionally, facilities in any stage shall allow indoor visits if certain conditions are met, including:
- The visitor presents the facility a negative COVID test (either PCR or antigen) less than 48 hours old;
- The visitor signs an attestation that they have isolated in the time between the sample was taken and the visit and is free from symptoms;
- The facility limits contact as much as possible, including a dedicated visitation space;
- Additional requirements can be found HERE.