Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Indoor visitor ban at long-term care facilities lifted by Minnesota officials

Meanwhile, Gov. Tim Walz has extended the peacetime emergency.
Author:

The Minnesota Department of Health is relaxing visitor restrictions at senior care homes despite rising COVID-19 numbers statewide. 

"Social isolation as a result of COVID-19 visitor restrictions is a significant concern and an issue that requires close cooperation between facilities, visitors, and local and state public health to address safely and successfully," the MDH said in a release featuring 22 pages of guidance

"All visits should be held outdoors whenever practicable," the guidance says, noting that allowing indoor visits should be one person at a time and only if a facility has had no new COVID-19 cases for 14 days. It's the first time in approximately 8 months that indoor visits will be allowed. 

In July, the health department loosened lockdowns at long-term care facilities by designating an "essential caregiver" to residents, who had spent the previous four months isolated from their families while COVID-19 spread in hundreds of senior care and nursing homes. To date, residents of long-term care have accounted for 1,522 of Minnesota's 2,144 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, according to state data.

As cases rise, Gov. Tim Walz on Monday officially extended Minnesota's peacetime emergency for another 30 days, marking the fifth time he's done so since the pandemic began.  

“My top priority remains the health and safety of Minnesotans,” Gov. Walz said in a release. “As we watch cases rise dramatically in states around us, we must double down in our efforts to protect Minnesota from the spread of COVID-19.”

Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota have all seen test positivity rates, cases and hospitalizations reach record levels in recent weeks. Minnesota, meanwhile, has 446 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized (306 in non-ICU, 140 in ICU), according to state data

Though restrictions are again being loosened as Minnesota heads deeper into fall and closer to the winter, when there are fears of increasing outbreaks when people spend more time indoors where the virus is known spread with more ease than in outdoor settings, visitors and staff will still have to follow strict guidance: 

  • Health screening, temperature checks for all visits upon arrival. 
  • Hand washing
  • Face covering or mask covering mouth and nose. 
  • Social distancing at least 6 feet between persons. 
  • Instruction COVID-19 signage throughout buildings. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces. 
  • Appropriate staff use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Separating residents to areas dedicated to COVID-19 care. 

A flowchart, seen below, offers simple rules to follow for when visits can or can't be allowed. 

Next Up

polaris Ranger XP Kinetic

Here is Polaris' new electric Ranger off-road vehicle

The Minnesota-based company unveiled the electric UTV on Wednesday.

MNWOSO_Aurora

MN women's soccer team narrows name, logo options to final 3

The winning nickname and logo will be announced in January.

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.

ambulance

Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.

Related

long term care elderly

MN eases restrictions, allowing some inside visits at long-term care facilities

Family and others deemed as essential caregivers can now visit residents of long-term care facilities indoors.

long term care elderly

Visitors welcome: Minnesota eases visitation rules at long-term care facilities

The new guidance only restricts visitors for residents in certain situations.

long term care elderly

Minnesota adjusts guidelines for long-term care residents, visitors

For the first time in nearly a year, residents won't have to quarantine if they are vaccinated and leave their facility.

long term care elderly

400 MN National Guard members headed to long-term care facilities

The governor also hopes to provide $50 million in federal funding to help facilities hire more workers.

long term care elderly

Coronavirus: New guidance released for visiting long-term care homes

Visits to congregate care facilities have been strictly limited during the COVID-19 outbreak.

gov. tim walz

Walz touts progress MN has made fighting COVID-19 at long-term care facilities

“We’ve made progress, but there’s still more work to do," Gov. Tim Walz said.

long term care elderly

32 care facilities affected by COVID-19 named in Minnesota

At least 47 facilities have had at least one confirmed case.

long term care elderly

Care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks soon to be identified in MN

The media age of the 18 people who have died from COVID-19 in Minnesota is 83.