Houston, TX -- A Texas Boy Scout troop is helping residents at a nursing home get a little closer to their visitors with a "hug booth" designed with COVID-19 safety in mind.
Heartis Clear Lake, an assistant living facility in Webster that is one of several such homes to impose strict safety measures following a surge of COVID-19 cases at nursing homes, is now allowing residents and their loved ones some limited physical contact through the booth created by Boy Scout Troop 848.
The booth has a plexiglass window that allows guests to stick their hands through large, sanitized gloves for hugging and other physical touches.
"They build it exactly the way we envisioned it," Becky Hudson, the lifestyle director at the facility, told KTRK-TV. "They're great, safe and come with gloves."
The booth is similar to devices installed in other nursing homes across the country amid the pandemic.
Kevin Warren, the CEO of the Texas Healthcare Association, said contact with loved ones is important to the well-being of seniors in assisted care homes.
"Don't let COVID-19 be a deterrent for figuring out somehow, some way to engage the family member in the facility," Warren said.
"Coordinate with the facility leadership, make a phone call and find out what are their visitation requirements and what they are allowing them to do."
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