Minnesota long-term care facility residents can meet with visitors outdoors under new guidelines

Residents of long-term care facilities can now visit with friends and family members outdoors, according to new Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Under strict conditions, residents can now meet face-to-face with visitors at scheduled times.

“The Minnesota Department of Health recognizes how the effects of isolation can have serious impacts on the health and well-being of residents in LTC facilities,” said newly released guidelines from the state. “At this time, we believe the risk of COVID-19 transmission in LTC facilities and the need for family, partner or close friend interaction can be balanced under certain conditions.”

The new guidelines require all visitors to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms ahead of the visit, they must wear masks and they must use hand sanitizer.

Residents must also wear masks and cannot host visits if they are in a 14-day quarantine period, or if they are currently being treated for COVID-19. Facility staff must also be available to assist residents as needed to help facilitiate the meetings. 

The visits must take place in outdoor places that are accessible without the visitor going into or through any buildings.

During the visits, physical contact is not allowed. Pets and children are allowed to take part in the visits, but under strict supervision with no contact.