Go Ahead, Hug Loved Ones in Nursing Homes

Shawn Brown right receives his second does of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from a volunteer worker left at a mass vaccination clinic at Seattle University on Feb. 26 in Seattle. Brown got his first dose of the vaccine in January after a broken freezer

Nursing Home Visitation Restrictions Being Relaxed – KIWARadio.com

For those reasons, the guidance says, a fully vaccinated nursing home resident "can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after".

Although this opens up visits for many nursing home residents, there are a few cases included in the guidance where visitations should be limited because of a high risk.

Nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19 can get hugs again from their loved ones, and indoor visits may be allowed for all residents, the government said Wednesday in a step toward pre-pandemic normalcy.

The updated guidance also says that "compassionate care" visits should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident's vaccination status, the county's COVID-19 positivity rate or an outbreak. The CDC released long-awaited guidance Monday for Americans who have been fully vaccinated, telling them that it was safe to gather in small groups at home without masks or social distancing.

Facilities experiencing outbreaks should continue to follow guidance from their local health department.

Due to many nursing home residents and staff being vaccinated for COVID-19, some new policies have been implemented. "We also acknowledge that there is no substitute for physical contact, such as the warm embrace between a resident and their loved one".

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is updating its visitation guidance for long-term care facilities to allow for in-person, indoor or outdoor, visitation in most circumstances.

Visitors should be counseled about their potential to be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in the facility if they are permitted to visit.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued updated guidance for nursing homes to safely expand visitation options during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency. The facilities have been intense breeding grounds for covid-19 among staff and residents, who live in close quarters.

The first CMS nursing home guidance, nearly a year ago to the day, restricted all visitors and nonessential health workers, except for compassionate care visits, which were to be held in a single, designated room. If a visit can take place outdoors, that is preferred, even for the fully vaccinated.

Nearly three months after vaccination efforts began in nursing homes, the impact of the protection they offer can be seen in the lowered rates of new infections locally. This continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly if either party has not been fully vaccinated. But since the arrival of vaccines, new cases and deaths in nursing homes have fallen steeply, outpacing national declines, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.

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