Citing mental and physical health concerns, State Representative Beryl Amedee, R-Gray, has written a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards and other state health officials asking them to allow family members to visit residents in Louisiana’s nursing homes. Visitations have not been allowed in nursing homes in the state since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
In her letter, Amedee said, “It has come to our attention that there is a segment of the nursing home community who are particularly vulnerable to losing their physical health–possibly to the point of death–due to current COVID-19 visitation policies.” She added, “We urge you to immediately move forward and put into action a plan to allow limited family visitation at nursing facilities. With proper guidelines in place, visits could resume in a safe environment.” Amedee stated, “Patients with memory difficulties or mental deficiencies are especially at risk as they are unable to recognize their lockdown status.”.
At its peak, over 70 residents tested positive at Legacy Healthcare of Franklin, with 20 deaths reported. St. Mary Parish Coroner Dr. Eric Melancon told KQKI News on Saturday that others at the facility have either recovered or the number of those testing positive has dramatically decreased. Over 60 residents have tested positive at Patterson Healthcare Center while five have reportedly died from the virus. Most recently there have been five cases reported at Legacy Healthcare of Morgan City, with two deaths. Several cases have also been reported at Maison Jardin Assisted Living Facility in Morgan City, including 3 deaths. Melancon said that everything is being done to quarantine the sick residents and staff is restricted to certain areas.
You may read Amedee’s full letter below.