BOSTON (CBS) — As Massachusetts begins to ease restrictions created to slow the spread of coronavirus, the limitation on hospital and long-term care facility visits has not been one of them. “It’s a complicated issue, there’s a lot of psychological benefit in [allowing visits], big concerns about some of the issues associated with the virus,” Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said the state is “actively looking at” allowing outdoor visitations for residents in long-term care facilities.

“As we opened up Phase One which is only a week old, there was a request for us to open visitation for hospitals and, in consultation with the medical advisory board, we feel like we want to see how this first phase goes,” said Sudders.

“Ending visitation of both hospitals and long term care were among some of the hardest decisions we needed to make. As a social worker, I actually wanted to open visitation sooner,” the secretary said.

“Give us a couple of weeks to see how increasing services in our hospitals and in pediatric practices – let’s see how that goes for a couple weeks, and then cautiously look about opening up visitation and again under very, very strict protocols,” Sudders added.

Baker acknowledged, “There’s a lot of things about this that nobody likes, and I completely get it.” He called the issue “personal for me, and for many other people as well.”


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