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SC nursing homes prepare for indoor visitation

Planning is now underway at S.C. nursing homes and assisted care facilities, after state health officials released guidelines to resume indoor visitation.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — At the Wellmore of Lexington, a senior living facility, window visits between residents and their families have become the norm.

Sarah Sovcik, one of their team members, is usually on the inside of the glass.

"I'm with them everyday," Sovcik said, "and I get to be in there to help them, but I know they would love their family members in there."

Residents may soon have that chance.

Wellmore and other facilities have been preparing for the move since state health officials loosened restrictions allowing indoor visits to happen.

According to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), safety measures must be in place and each facility has to meet certain criteria, including not having had any COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks.

Compassionate care visits are an exception.

Wellmore Executive Director Glenn Ferrere says their sights are set on safety as they prepare.

"We're excited that the loved ones get to be with each other, but concerned," Ferrere said. "As we know, this virus is not going anywhere; It hasn't gone away, so we still want to make sure that we have all of the proper procedures, and make sure that every hoop that we jump through is to ensure the safety of our residents, and our staff and our visitors that are coming as well."

Sovcik says the shift could take some getting used to, but she's looking forward to what's to come.

"I know it might be hard with the members wanting to love and touch on them and vice versa the families, but still understanding like we're still in COVID-19 and we can't do that yet, but we're slowly getting closer, so there's definitely a bright future for these visits," Sovcik said.

The full nursing home visitation guidance can be found on our previous coverage here.