Minnesota loosens visitor restrictions at long-term care facilities

Minnesota is easing visitation restrictions at long-term care facilities as the federal government has issued new guidelines for the pandemic with the vaccine rollout speeding up.

Long-term care facilities, like nursing homes and other shared living care facilities, faced strict lockdowns during the pandemic as COVID-19 devastated some facilities and threatened others.

Under new recommendations from the CDC, facilities in Minnesota can now allow "responsible" indoor visitation for all residents regardless of the vaccination status of the patients or visitors -- as long as the facility doesn't fall into certain cases including the following:

• 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

At the same time, leaders say the guidance allows for compassionate care visits under any circumstance.

The state says the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is allowing for the changes towards normal for care facilities. But, they are continuing to urge Minnesotans to continue to follow COVID-19 recommendations to ensure the downward trend in cases continues.