Louisiana to impose new nursing home evacuation rules

Louisiana has issued temporary evacuation rules for nursing homes that will be fully implemented in May, ABC affiliate KTBS reported Dec. 10.

Health officials used an emergency approval process to implement the new rules over the next six months. Permanent regulations, similar to the temporary ones, are expected within the next year.

The regulations are for nursing homes' "unlicensed" evacuation shelters, such as warehouses, churches and other nonmedical facilities. The new rules come as a response to the disastrous evacuation of seven homes by owner Bob Dean in 2021.

The evacuation standards will be implemented starting May 15 for hurricane-prone parishes and in 2024 for the rest of nursing homes in the state.

Here are some of the regulations:

  • Sites must have at least 60 square feet per person and a working heat and air-conditioning system.

  • There should be one shower and handwashing station per 15 people and one toilet per 20 people on-site, though nursing homes can apply for waivers to these restrictions.

  • Health and disaster preparation officials will inspect unlicensed shelters at least once a year. If inspectors are denied access, nursing home licenses can be revoked.

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