Iowa long term care facilities to allow visitation for all residents

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 11:20 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa long term care facilities will allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents regardless of vaccination status of the resident or visitor.

The Iowa Department of Public Health made the announcement on Friday.

It comes as Iowa is nearing one million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered and 139,142 doses have been administered in long term care facilities for staff and residents. More than three million doses have been administered in nursing homes nationwide.

The updated guidance comes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and allows for the safe expansion of visitation.

“Spending time with loved ones and seeing them in person is critical to overall well-being. This past year has been incredibly challenging and hard on older Iowans and their loved ones. This is great news and one more step closer to normal,” said Kelly Garcia, Director of the Department of Human Services and Department of Public Health interim director.

Scenarios that would limit visitation include:

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions;
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

The updated guidance also allows for compassionate visits - when residents are facing end-of-life situations, regardless of other criteria.

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