Now that a significant number of nursing home residents and employees are fully vaccinated, the CDC has released new guidance for testing and social distancing in long-term care facilities. These new guidelines help alleviate the burden on these facilities caused by unprecedented challenges during the pandemic. You can read the updated CDC guidelines here.
This new CDC guidance on fully vaccinated people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities eases requirements for testing, masking, visitation, and social distancing. Here’s what you need to know about how these changes impact life at The Inn at Belden Village.
COVID Testing Requirements
Updated CDC guidance recommends that residents and workers receive a COVID test immediately if they have symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are fully vaccinated, followed by a second test 5-7 days later. These individuals should also take a series of two viral tests if they are exposed to someone who tests positive.
The CDC still recommends routine testing for unvaccinated employees in long-term care facilities. The updated guidelines advise testing monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly depending on the county’s current positivity rate.
During an active outbreak of COVID-19, all facility residents and employees should continue regular testing every 3-7 days until there are 14 days of no new cases. The CDC did not change this testing recommendation for any individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
Indoor Visitation Guidance
Significant revisions to restrictions previously placed on visiting during the pandemic now allow for in-person, indoor visitation. Fully vaccinated visitors and residents can engage in personal contact without masks or social distancing in their room or a visitation room where no unvaccinated residents are present.
This update is a welcome change for nursing home residents who have missed seeing their loved ones during regular visits. Fully vaccinated residents can now look forward to finally hugging their family members again after spending more than a year apart.
Communal Activities In Long Term Care Facilities
Many of the communal activities enjoyed by residents also came to a halt during the pandemic. Now, the CDC’s new guidance allows fully vaccinated people to resume in-person dining without social distancing. This guidance means that fully vaccinated residents can safely enjoy each other’s company together at the same table without masks—which means they can see each other’s lovely smiles again!
However, guidelines for communal activities that involve unvaccinated residents have not changed. If an unvaccinated individual participates in a communal activity, the CDC still advises facilities to require masking and social distancing for the safety of those individuals.
What Does This Mean For Residents?
This new guidance from the CDC represents a positive step towards normalcy that will allow our residents to enjoy many of the activities and social opportunities missing from the past year. While the CDC still recommends masking and social distancing for unvaccinated individuals, fully vaccinated residents can now resume in-person dining, social activities, and in-person visitation.
While fully vaccinated employees can dine together and participate in meetings without social distancing, all workers will continue wearing masks while interacting with residents.
Contact The Inn at Belden Village for more information on our specific policies and procedures. We’re happy to help and we’re dedicated to keeping your loved ones safe and healthy!