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Gov. Greg Abbott allows in-person visits at nursing homes

Long term care facilities will reopen to designated family members on Sept. 24.

DALLAS — Kim Ingram can easily recall the first weekend in March precisely for how unremarkable it was. She spent a few hours with her mom at her nursing facility in Arlington, sharing lunch and laughs and having family time.

“I never dreamed that would be the last time for months on end,” Ingram said.

Outside of a window visit before Mother’s Day, Ingram hasn’t seen her mother Joy, who lives with Alzheimer’s, since March.

“My horror through this whole thing was by the time I get to see her again will she even recognize me – will she know who I am still?”

She found the answer is “yes” during her first outdoor-only, socially-distanced, by-appointment visit with her mom just last week.

She hopes to be even closer to her next week.

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Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday allowed nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities to reopen to designated family members starting September 24.

The announcement came as Abbott decided bars still cannot open in Texas, while allowing all retail, restaurants and offices to expand from 50 to 75 percent capacity starting Monday.

Three days later, nursing homes will follow.

In allowing in-person visits, the state will require facilities to train essential caregivers on proper of use of PPE and test negative for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days before the first visit.

“It is such a relief,” Ingram said.

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Precautions Ingram says she’s grateful for if it means, after more than six months, she can just hold her mother’s hand again.

“I promised her from day one the moment I’m allowed to be there, I will be there,” Ingram said.