Governor Reynolds Reveals Plan to Reopen Iowa’s Long Term Care Facilities
At Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' daily press conference, a plan to reopen Iowa's long term care facilities was revealed.
Iowa's public health director, Dr. Caitlin Pedati, said the guidelines would include guidance on visits by family and healthcare personnel, trips outside a particular long term care facility, dining practices, and group activities. You can see the governor and Pedati discussing the plan they said would be revealed later on Thursday in the video below.
I can't imagine how difficult the last few months have been for residents of Iowa long term care centers, their families, and the workers in those facilities. My wife's mother is in a long term care facility and when I saw her talking through a window to her mom... it was heartbreaking. But it was safe, and that's what was most important.
It was March 12 the state of Iowa recommended prohibiting visitors in long term care facilities. The federal government followed suit the next day, according to We Are Iowa. In the foreseeable future, there won't be a risk-free time to open these types of facilities. The Iowa Department of Public Health announced earlier today that 694 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which certainly won't alleviate concerns. There are 40 long term care facilities in Iowa that currently have outbreaks, according to the IDPH.
Having said all that, it's been nearly three months since many Iowans could see and really talk to their loved ones in long term care facilities. Waiting for a vaccine to reopen them just doesn't seem feasible. It's just too long. So, now, the state looks forward to slowly reopening them while at the same time praying it's not too soon.