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Hawaii Health Department offers grants for nursing homes to purchase equipment for in-person visits

The Hawaii Department of Health is making federal coronavirus aid funds available to skilled nursing facilities to acquire equipment for in-person visits from relatives and friends.

A total of $135,000 is available to skilled nursing facilities that are Medicare-certified, according to health officials. The facilities may apply for grants up to $3,000 for equipment such as clear barriers for indoor visits and tents for outdoor visits.

“It has been an especially difficult time for residents of skilled nursing facilities who have been separated from their family and friends for months because of necessary restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Keith Ridley, chief of the Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance, which regulates skilled nursing facilities, in a news release. “The equipment will offer a way for families to safely see each other again without putting each other’s health and wellbeing at risk.”

This past summer, the department also disbursed $30,000 from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to 23 skilled nursing facilities to purchase devices that would allow their residents to communicate virtually with their family and friends during the pandemic.

The deadline for skilled nursing facilities to submit grant applications is Nov. 27.

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