For the first time in about a year, residents of long-term care facilities who are vaccinated can travel in the community without being forced to quarantine upon their return to their living facility.
The adjusted guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health is in response to new federal guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Long-term care residents, including those who live in nursing homes and assisted-living centers, can now eat at restaurants, go to church and other social settings, though there are some conditions, including:
– Residents who have completed the vaccine series don't have to quarantine upon return from an outing, unless they were in contact with a known COVID-19 exposure. Touching is also allowed.
– Residents who are fully vaccinated can gather indoors and outdoors with other fully vaccinated people. They can also socialize indoors or outdoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are low risk for severe infection.
– Avoid outings if a 14-day county percent positivity rate is above 5%.
– Unvaccinated residents may be required to quarantine upon return from an outing.
– Vaccinated residents "should be able to have private visits," though masks are required (if tolerable). Outdoor visits are still preferred.
– Compassionate care visits should be allowed regardless of vaccination status.
“Residents of long-term care facilities need the opportunity to see and spend time with their friends and loved ones as much as possible. As we continue to make progress in the effort to defeat COVID-19 it’s great to take steps like this to ensure residents have those connections and support," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.