“Front porch visits” continue at Crossville Health and Rehabilitation

Northeast Alabama
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CROSSVILLE, Ala. — Governor Kay Ivey eased some visitor restrictions at Alabama nursing homes and long term care facilities, including assisted living facilities.

However, it may take a while before some in our area, like DeKalb County, are able to have in-house visitations.

Until then, Crossville Health and Rehabilitation is continuing its “front porch visits” while it waits for the county’s coronavirus positivity rating to go down.

“We have seen some happy tears shed. We’ve heard some stories about marriages, engagements, baby announcements, or gender reveal announcements,” said administrator Heather Blackburn.

Julie Abbot met up with her mother and father-in-law who live at the facility Tuesday morning.

“It’s been great just being able to see them and just it’s just hard to explain because we hadn’t seen them since March when all this started. We’ve talked to them on the phone, but that’s all,” said Abbott.

She told News 19 her mother Margaret often asks about the family’s cows and her great grandchildren.

Before visitors can sit and talk with their loved ones, they are all screened. They must answer a coronavirus questionnaire and have their temperatures checked. There can be no touching, eating or drinking during the visits. Also, masks must be worn and they have to stay at least six feet apart.

Currently, there are zero patients or staff members at Crossville Health and Rehabilitation with COVID-19, according to Blackburn.

Blackburn and other staffers are working on getting an area ready for when in-house visits will be possible.

“We don’t currently meet the indoor criteria based on county positivity rate surveillance testing. A facility has to go 14 days without a single resident or staff member testing positive for COVID-19 and if your county positivity rate is up, you’re not allowed to do it,” said Blackburn.

She said in-house visitors will be required to undergo the same screening process.

“Company policy will be that visitors must have taken a coronavirus test within 72 hours and get negative result before permitted in,” explained Blackburn.

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