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Texas' Relaxed Nursing Home Guidelines Still Don't Make It Easy To Visit Loved Ones During Pandemic

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Dan McQuarry's 91-year-old mother, Doris, has lived at Settlers Ridge Nursing Home in Celina for five years.

He said he used to visit her often before COVID-19.

"That's been devastating to me, because I used to see my mother three days a week," he said.

Even though the state released new guidelines earlier this month that allow outdoor visitation at nursing homes, it also requires facilities to have had no new COVID-19 cases for two weeks.

Settlers Ridge currently has 35 cases and five residents have died of COVID-19.

McQuarry says with numbers like that, he has no idea when he will get to see her again.

"They can be gone tomorrow. And the hardest thing for me is the thought that you know you won't be able to, you won't be able to over kiss them for the last time," he said.

His family has already experienced tragic loss this year when they lost McQuarry's sister last month.

His mother was released for the funeral, but had to quickly return to the nursing home. He says he's starting to worry about her mental health.

"You want to be there for them, especially after the loss of my sister, because I know mentally what she's going through," McQuarry said.

He would love to talk to her every day, but he says she struggles with technology and they only sometimes talk on the phone.

"Technology to her is a very hard thing to do. I wish the nursing homes were able to do more to assist them in doing that," he said

McQuarry said he wrote Governor Greg Abbott, saying residents need extra attention in such a delicate time.

"I think for a lot of families, I think we worry about what goes on behind closed doors and we can't see on the inside what's going on," he said.

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