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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Beginning on Monday, long-term care facilities and nursing homes in Oklahoma can reopen their doors to visitors in a phased approach.

Under the amended executive order, visitation at long-term care facilities can resume in a phased approach beginning June 15, Governor Kevin Stitt announced on Friday.

“It is important we take a measured and responsible approach to allowing visitors to our nursing homes and long-term care facilities, just as we did with the rest of our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “This guidance will allow us to continue to protect the health and lives of Oklahomans while allowing them to safely resume valuable interactions with their loved ones.”

The guidance focuses on three phases based on the prevalence of COVID-19 in each facility and the surrounding community, PPE availability, staffing levels, and local hospital capacity.

In the first phase of the plan, residents who are near end-of-life or have psychological needs are the first ones to be able to have visitors.

After 14 days, the second phase of the plan will go into effect.

During the second phase, residents who have experienced a significant medical change can then be visited by family and friends.

Once another 14 days passes, the third phase will be in place, which allows all residents to have limited visitation.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health recommends family members be tested for COVID-19 before heading to one of the facilities. Also, visitors should always wear a mask.

“The Health Department has worked closely with communities and providers on safely easing in visitations for residents at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across Oklahoma,” said Commissioner of Health Lance Frye. “Our mission is to support the mental health and quality of life for residents, while also taking into consideration the realities of COVID-19. We encourage families as they reunite with their loved ones to consider getting tested in advance and to wear masks for visitations and closely follow heightened protocols at the facilities.”