Oak Manor unable to accommodate visitors yet

Glenn Parrish

The Arkansas Department of Health began allowing nursing homes in the state to permit visitors into their facilities again last week.

Oak Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Booneville did not open its doors, according to administrator Sue Travis.

Travis said the fluid nature of the requirements by the Health Department to have visitors — some guidelines were changed and or added as recently as last Monday and another conference call was set for Tuesday — made it impossible for the facility staff to accomodate all rules by Wednesday’s first possible visit.

Effective, July 1, nursing homes could admit visitors certain mandates, including if there had not been a positive coronavirus COVID-19 case in the facility.

There are also facility sprecific requirements including that testing of all residents and staff had been completed — state officials set a goal of testing all facilities in the state in June with Logan County facilities set for June 17 collections.

There are requirements for the visitors as well, including wearing a facemask during the visit, with the resident also wearing face covering if possible. There must also be a screening procedure before entry with visits scheduled in advance and limited to certain hours.

Visitors must also be at least 12 years of age and they cannot eat during the visit, though the resident can be brought food and beverage.

Other requirements specific for the facility depending upon whether the visit is outdoor or indoors — visits were not to be permitted in resident rooms — with each carrying temperature monitoring, cleaning, and various other requirements by the facility staff.

Travis could not say when the facility might be open for visitors again.