Minnesota Health officials issue strict new guidance for visits to senior care facilities
August 11, 2020
Faced with an alarming resurgence of the coronavirus in senior living facilities, state health officials are recommending strict new guidelines around when and how these facilities should further open their doors to outside visitors.
The Minnesota Department of Health released detailed guidance Monday for the reopening of Minnesota's long-term care facilities to family members and outside caregivers. For the first time, state regulators are recommending that facilities consider COVID-19 infection rates in the community, among other factors, before any further relaxing of their visitation policies.
The guidelines mark a shift by state regulators toward a more cautious posture in allowing visitors to long-term care facilities, which have seen a surge of new coronavirus cases in recent weeks. They are recommending that facilities meet minimum safety standards and consider community infection rates, similar to the decentralized approach that was developed for schools. At the same time, state health regulators stopped short of pulling back on recent steps to ease visitor restrictions, citing concerns about the harmful effects of prolonged isolation and loneliness.