Visitation at Oklahoma's nursing homes and long-term care facilities has been suspended in an effort to help contain the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a press release.

The decision comes via new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

"We take the threat of COVID-19 especially seriously, as our population of elderly Oklahomans is particularly vulnerable to this disease. The fact of the matter is, the greatest threats to the health and wellbeing of our residents are visitors, many of whom are loved ones. We do not take the decision to suspend visitation lightly; we do so only because it gives us the best chance to save lives and protect those who are in our care," said Steve Buck, president and chief executive officer of Care Providers Oklahoma, the trade association for Oklahoma's nursing homes.

This declaration suspends all medically unnecessary visits, per the press release.

Medically necessary visits include doctor's appointments, appointments with hospice-service providers. Family is asked to communicate via technology like FaceTime or by phone.