New federal guidance lifts visitation restrictions in nursing home rooms

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 4:14 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Valuable, close encounters with friends and loved ones inside residents’ rooms are happening once again.

“They basically came out with new guidance that said there is no new guidance as far as visitation goes,” said Karen Venis, CEO of Sayre Christian Village.

Sayre Christian Village and other nursing homes no longer have to restrict visitation or access to residents.

“I think that each step that we take that gets us closer to a sense of normalcy for us, is a big win for their mental well-being,” Venis said.

This guidance is largely because most nursing home residents have been fully vaccinated and, most are showing high levels of receiving the booster.

However, it doesn’t mean COVID-19 is long gone inside those walls.

“But we are still going to have— we have a case right now. We believe that contact came from the community. We didn’t have any other positive cases in the building,” Venis said.

That resident was fully vaccinated and is not showing symptoms. Visitors are still asked to wear masks and can be rapid tested if they choose.

“And then walk in and have that level of protection and peace of mind knowing they aren’t the ones bringing it in to the facility,” Venis said.

With no restrictions in place, Sayre officials said they are still going to educate on the importance of the vaccine and infection control practices.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is still discouraging large gatherings where physical distancing is not possible.

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