State issues full guidance on visiting nursing homes

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The state has released full guidance on returning visitors to nursing homes, allowing families to reunite with loved ones after some have been apart nearly a full year now.

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DOH will provide free rapid tests to each facility for the purpose of conducting on-site covid-19 screenings of each visitor prior to entry.

For counties with positivity rates between 5-10 percent on a 7-day rolling average, all visitors must either present a negative test from within 72 hours or get a rapid test.

In counties below 5 percent, visitor testing is strongly encouraged and rapid tests may be utilized.

Alternatively, visitors may provide proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination no less than 14 days from the date of the visit and no more than 90 days prior to the visit.

Visitation will not be permitted if the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate is greater than ten percent. Compassionate care visits are always permitted.

Each facility must also be free of COVID-19 cases for 14 days before allowing visitors.

Based on the needs of residents and a facility’s structure, visitation can be conducted in resident rooms, dedicated visitation spaces and outdoors.

The number of visitors to the nursing home must not exceed 20 percent of the resident census at any time.

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