New rule stops some families from visiting nursing homes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Linda Gill hasn’t seen her 83-year-old father in almost four months.

“I used to visit him every day before this all started,” she said of the virus. “He thinks that nobody cares anymore. And I’m afraid that he’s just going to give up.”

That’s why she’s been eagerly anticipating their visit at Riverview Healthcare, his Coventry nursing home – scheduled for next week.

“I need that visit,” said the Cranston resident. “I definitely need that visit. I think he needs it also.”

But Gill says the nursing home emailed her to inform her of a new positive COVID case. A new Department of Health rule says if any nursing home in the state gets a new positive COVID case, it has to stop visitation for 14 days.

“That’s what’s really aggravating about it, because I’m so excited – even though it’s 9 feet apart and 15 minutes I have to stay in the car – I was excited that I’m going to be seeing him next wee,” she said. ” And now I’m not going to be able to see him.”

Gill believes instead of stopping visitations completely, facilities could shut down only certain areas and allow visits on other parts of the property.

“I just want them to try a little harder,” she said. “One COVID case and now I can’t see him.”

That rule rule on stopping visitations after a positive COVID case is statewide, but the Health Department says other rules differ by facility.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island