MDH Updates Guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities, Residents Allowed to Gather
The Minnesota Department of Health has updated guidance for Minnesota’s long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living-type facilities, which will now allow vaccinated residents to gather in different settings.
The updated guidance includes the following recommendations:
- Residents who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine after non-medically necessary outings unless they spend 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period within 6 feet of someone who can spread COVID-19.
- Residents who are fully vaccinated may gather indoors or outdoors with other people who are fully vaccinated.
- Residents who are fully vaccinated can visit indoors or outdoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
- If the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with the people they are visiting.
- Unvaccinated residents who leave the building to gather with others may be required to quarantine when they return.
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm states,
“Residents of long-term care facilities need the opportunity to see and spend time with their friends and loved ones as much as possible. As we continue to make progress in the effort to defeat COVID-19 it’s great to take steps like this to ensure residents have those connections and support.”
In addition, the state has released updated guidance including recommendations related to facility visits:
- Residents should be able to have private visits.
- If a resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitted face mask (if tolerated) and performing hand hygiene before and after.
- Compassionate care visits, essential caregivers, and visits required under state and federal disability rights laws should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate, or an outbreak.
- Screening questions must now include whether the visitor has had close contact in the prior 14 days with someone who is infected with COVID-19 (regardless of whether the visitor is vaccinated). If the visitor answers yes, the visitor should not be allowed to enter.