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Recently I had a conversation with a dear friend who has a daughter with special needs that is a resident of a long term care facility and my friend explained to me that because of the COVID pandemic, she has been allowed to see her daughter since March.

My friend explained that due to her absence, her daughter has felt lost and abandoned and these feelings had brought on some other issues including a form of depression.

Way too many Louisiana citizens can relate to this story and some have had experiences just like this or even worse. But it appears that there is now a legal remedy for the issue.

A new law has just gone into affect in Louisiana that will allow close family members access to visit these residents during public health emergencies like the current pandemic.

The original story from the Louisiana Radio Network highlights that this is a much broader issue than most would know.

More than 3,500 children and adults live in nearly 500 of the sites statewide with intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and other ailments that require 24-hour treatment.

The new law includes provisions requiring safety precautions during these visitations. State Representative, Rhonda Butler, who's had a similar experience with her 31 year old son who resides at a facility in Alexandria, says “So now they’re allowed with onsite testing and wearing PPE, they’re allowed to touch their child, hold their child and see their child.”

There were additional regulations written into the law for those special needs patients who spend some time at home and at a care facility. Butler explained, “And for those that take their child off of the facility like I do, we are allowed to pick them up and have two negative testings prior to bringing them back and they can go back into the facility.”

Now if we can just go to work on something similar for our elderly who are confined in nurse care centers and haven't seen their family in months.