4 News Now Q&A: What does new guidance on nursing home visitation mean for your family?

Your Questions Answered

Q: What does new guidance on nursing home visitation mean for your family?

A: Almost a year later, nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19 can now get a visit and a hug from their loved ones.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services worked with the CDC to come up with new guidance, which allows indoor visits, regardless of vaccination status. However, there are some exceptions:

  • When a resident has a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • When a resident is in quarantine
  • When unvaccinated residents are living in facilities where less than 70 percent of residents are vaccinated
  • In counties with a positivity rate greater than 10 percent

Both agencies say while indoor visits are allowed, outdoor visits are less risky, and are “preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated.”

The updated guidance comes as COVID cases and deaths among nursing home residents have plummeted in recent weeks, at the same time that vaccinations really started to pick up.

Keep in mind: the federal guidance does not change states’ individual restrictions. Washington is still limiting visits in all long-term care facilities and has a four phase plan for facilities to open their doors.

Ltc Phases

Indoor visits are allowed in the third and fourth phase. The third phase is for counties with 25 or fewer new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. Changes to the plan would need to be approved by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Do you have questions about COVID-19? Submit them HERE