x
Breaking News
More () »

Jacksonville's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Jacksonville, Florida | FirstCoastNews.com

Biden Administration eases restrictions for nursing home visits

The guidelines say that vaccinated residents may have “close contact, including touch, with a visitor if they are wearing a mask."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Wednesday the Biden Administration released revised guidelines for nursing home visits, loosening some of the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines say that vaccinated residents may have “close contact, including touch, with a visitor if they are wearing a mask."

With some people not being allowed to see loved ones for nearly a year, doctors are saying that we are headed in the right direction and that visitation could have many mental health benefits.

"The grief of not being able to get to your loved one is really beyond description," said Mary Daniel, founder of Caregivers for Compromise and a wife who fought long and hard to be by her husband's side who has dementia.

"A year ago, today was the last day I went to see him and a year ago tomorrow I was told I couldn't come back," said Daniel. 

Her husband stays at the Rosecastle assistant living facility in Deerwood. Daniel wasn't able to visit him for more than 100 days but that changed in September.

"Thanks to the governor and his task force that he appointed me to we have been able to go in assistant living facilities," said Daniel. 

While the state already allows some visitation at nursing homes
Chief Medical Officer for RoseCastle Management Dr. Kevin O'Neal says today's move allows even more people to see their loved ones.

"As a geriatrician, we know that social isolation is toxic and it creates all kinds of health-related problems," said O'Neal.

"We really shouldn't be seeing too much of a spread and I don't anticipate at this point that we're going to see a spike in nursing facility resident cases because of these amount of restrictions," said Daniel. 

The CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released helpful guidelines when visiting a nursing home like wearing a mask, using good hand hygiene and social distancing.

Read those below.