MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A son, who hasn’t seen his mother in months, hoped new assisted living facility guidelines in Tennessee could give him that opportunity.
Under the new guidelines, on October 1 family members can visit their loved ones only if there have been no COVID-19 positive cases inside a facility for 14 days in a row.
It’s very disappointing for Ray Essary because one of the employees at the King’s Daughters and Son’s home tested positive for the virus.
“I hate that I can’t see my mother every single day but maybe it won’t be long before it gets better and I’ll be able to do that,” said Essary.
Essary is very close to his mom especially since his father passed away.
He called her several times a day but it wasn’t enough.
“Phone calls are good but it’s still not putting your arms around your mom that’s something we all look forward to,” said Essary.
His mother Carolyn Bizzell lives inside the King’s Daughters and Son’s home in Bartlett which identified its second cluster on July 8.
The Shelby County Health Department data said two people died, while seven residents and 24 staff members tested positive.
At one point, Essary said his mom tested positive for the virus.
“We tried to talk to her through the window when she was in the COVID hall. She didn’t understand but she could see where we were,” said Essary.
The nursing home administrator said the residents who tested positive have now recovered.
All of the staff members are back as well except for one who is in quarantine.
It’s good news but not for family members who wanted to visit their loved ones.
In Governor Bill Lee’s guidelines, nursing homes can only allow visitors if there are no cases for 14 days straight.
Essary said it’s disappointing but necessary if it means keeping his mom safe.
“The older people in the nursing homes are extremely vulnerable to the disease. My mom has had COVID once and I’m not ready for her to be sick again,” he said.
FOX13 reached out to the nursing home administrator who said there is some confusion about allowing guests inside the facility because of new guidelines released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
When FOX13 checked with the State Health Department, a spokesperson said their protocols align with CMS.
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