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Arkansas nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term-care facilities will reopen to visitors starting Wednesday.

General facility guidelines by the Arkansas Department of Health include:

• The facility has to have completed baseline testing of all residents and staff members, and reported the results to the Department of Health.

• Visits must be scheduled in advance and limited to two people for each facility resident, and visits will be allowed only during select hours of each day.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

• The facility must screen every visitor, vendor and employee before allowing their entrance.

• The screening process includes: a questionnaire to record the identity of the resident, date, name, address and phone number of the visitor; a declaration regarding signs and symptoms of infection, contact and/or exposure to known covid-19 positive persons, and any previous testing for covid-19; and a statement that the visitor will inform the facility immediately if they develop symptoms within 72 hours of the visit or test positive for covid-19 after visiting.

• Visitors must wear masks at all times.

• Hands must be sanitized with an alcohol-based hand rub or by hand-washing with soap and water when entering or exiting.

• The facility must monitor all visits to ensure that masks are worn and visitation policies are followed.

Outdoor family visitation is encouraged when possible. The visitation guidelines include the general requirements for visitation, as outlined above, as well as additional measures including:

• The facility must monitor the outdoor temperature in all outdoor visitation areas.

• Visits should occur only on days when there are no weather warnings that would put either visitors or residents at risk.

• The visitation area must be wiped down between visitations using an approved antiviral disinfectant.

• Outdoor spaces must allow appropriate social distancing of at least 6 feet between visitors and loved ones.

• Residents should wear masks during the visit if they are able.

• Visitors must stay in designated outdoor visitation locations.

• Visitors should be restricted to children 12 years or older. Special family circumstances warranting children under age 12 to visit can be approved by individual facilities.

• Visitors may provide food and beverage to the resident consistent with dietary considerations if approved by the facility.

Indoor congregate visitation in a designated area will be allowed on a limited basis. The requirements include:

• Visitation must be staggered throughout the day to accommodate the visitation space and appropriately limit the overall number of individuals visiting at one time.

• The visitation area must be wiped down between visitations using an approved antiviral disinfectant.

• Indoor visitation spaces must allow appropriate social distancing of at least 6 feet between visitors and loved ones.

• Residents should wear masks, if able to do so.

• Visitors must remain in their vehicles until their scheduled visitation time.

• Visitors must stay in the designated areas and are not permitted to go into resident rooms or living areas without express permission granted in advance of the visit.

• Visitors should be restricted to children 12 years or older. Special family circumstances warranting children under age 12 to visit can be approved by individual facilities.

• Visitors may provide food and beverage to the resident consistent with dietary considerations if approved by the facility.

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