New COVID Rules for Care Facility Visitations to Go Into Effect This Weekend

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New COVID-19 mandates are now in place for anyone looking to visit a loved one in a nursing home or care facility this weekend.

A new set of rules and challenges for anyone looking to visit a loved one in a nursing home or care facility this weekend. 

The new rules do seem fairly familiar, but some of those rules are not as simple as they seem, and advocates say it’s making it tougher on everyone involved.

The Bellerose Senior Living facility in San Jose, like all other nursing homes, is working through a new state public health order which includes requiring those visiting someone indoors to show proof of vaccination as well as a booster if you’re eligible for a shot.

A negative COVID test is also required, either an antigen result within a day or a PCR result within two days. For outdoors visits, only the negative test is required.

The Bellerose owner said that’s a lot of enforcement responsibility to put on a  staff for assisted living.

“They’re not seeing family members so maybe they’re not as active, so we have to be. as a staff member,” said owner Jeff Rodriguez. “You have to be the family member. You have to be the emotional support and so that is taxing on staff.”

Mary Meehan is an advocate for A Better Choice For Seniors in Campbell.

She said she’s been flooded with calls from families since the new rules were announced. The main complaint: how are they supposed to get those needed tests?

“I think the state needs to provide the tests to the communities,” said Meehan. “The communities are strapped and doing the best to serve our seniors. They can’t be shopping tests.”

“The reason they live with us is so that we can do the hard part, “ said Rodriguez. “The care part and their families now can focus on the emotional part and the living part, and they need that connection.”

The state also seemed to acknowledge there are a lot of other programs, such as COVID testing and test availability, that would require some tweaking.

The new rules will be in effect for one month, then on Feb. 7, the public health department will decide whether to extend them or not.

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