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Iowa implements new nursing home visitation guidelines

The CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the new guidelines Friday.

IOWA, USA — As more nursing home residents and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC and CMS released new visitation guidelines for facilities, according to a press release from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The new guidance states facilities should allow "responsible indoor visitation" at all times regardless of who has a vaccine or not. There are exceptions, however, when facilities should limit visitation to the following: 

  • Unvaccinated facility residents, if the county positivity rate is greater than 10% and less than 70% of facility residents are vaccinated
  • Facility residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or not
  • Facility residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or not, until they meet criteria for quarantine release

The new guidance puts an emphasis on "compassionate care". That's when a resident's health has sharply declined or a resident is experiencing significant change in his or her circumstances.

For residents in these situations, visitation should be allowed at all times, regardless of the resident's vaccination status, county positivity rate, or an outbreak at the facility. 

As of Friday, IDPH stated 78,204 Iowa nursing home residents and 60,963 staff members have received the vaccine. 

Watch Local 5's special coronavirus episode about long-term care facilities on YouTube.

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