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Families hopeful new nursing home guidelines will allow them to reconnect with loved ones

Gov. Polis drafted new guidelines Wendesday
Loosened Nursing Home Visitation Guidelines
Posted at 1:49 AM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 09:31:45-04

PUEBLO — Earlier this month News 5 introduced you to a family who couldn't visit their loved one who lives in a nursing home, being told COVID-19 restrictions forbid them to even do it through a window. For families like them, the drafted guidelines Governor Polis announced Wednesday loosening visitation restrictions couldn't be here soon enough.

Not much has changed since we introduced you to Katherine Gonzales.

"We're still basically at the same point we were a couple weeks ago," Gonzales said.

She's only been able to see her mom, Ruby, one time--outside in the hot summer sun.

"She just wasn't talking as a much as normal," Gonzales said. "She would laugh and she would giggle, and we would make comments and we would try to get her attention, but it wasn't... it's not the same."

But when she heard the news Governor Polis had drafted new guidelines allowing in-person visits...

"Oh my god my heart stopped," she said.

It was a roller coaster of emotions.

"And then when I was told that the guidelines... it was just a draft, it was not in effect... my heart got broke," she said.

Governor Polis said the guidelines should be finalized by the end of the week and could be in effect as early as next week.

"I feel like the restrictions are keeping my mom from wanting to keep going," Gonzales said.

For families like hers, every day counts.

"[My mom] keeps asking me and telling me... when are you going to take me out of jail? I'm not in jail. I'm my own person. Just... stuff like that," she said.

Every. Single. Day.

"And many people tell me your mom's not dead," Gonzales said. "And well, yeah, my mom's not dead. But it's just the thought of not being able to see her. And being there to help support... what we can help her with."