Citing rising vaccinations on Thursday, Gov. Ayse Insley said the state’s nursing homes, ancillary facilities and other “long-term” care facilities could reopen their visits.
Internal visits are now allowed if a resident or visitor is fully vaccinated, Inslee said at a briefing in Olympia.
“If your mother is in the facility և she is vaccinated and you are not, you will still be able to visit her home,” Inslin said. “If you are vaccinated, he is not, you will be able to go inside with him.”
The announcement was welcome news for the 70,000 residents of the state’s 4,000 long-term care facilities, which have suffered the most and have been shut down the most since the onset of the coronavirus epidemic. Authorities barred visitors from Seattle shortly after the outbreak, and nursing home residents spent most of the year staying in their rooms.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Deb Murphy, CEO and CEO of LeadingAge Washington, an advocacy firm that represents nonprofit nursing homes. “The need for hugs and caring relationships between loved ones who have been vaccinated with loved ones is crucial to their emotional well-being.”
Last week, Medicare և Medicaid Services Centers announced that institutions should allow all residents of nursing homes to visit indoors, regardless of whether a resident or visitor is vaccinated against COVID-19. “It’s a good idea for the visitor to hug or touch the resident if the resident is fully vaccinated,” says the CMS in its new guide, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, this guide does not change the limitations of individual states.
Nearly all nursing homes and ancillary facilities received both doses of the vaccine through a federal partnership with CVS և Walgreens. Adult family homes were shot through the door-to-door efforts of the federal partnership և health և fire departments.
Previously, Washington had a four-phase plan to open its doors to institutions, and in-house visits were in the third to fourth stages, requiring the counties to have 25 or fewer new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants in two weeks. Currently, six counties meet the criteria.
The disease has been particularly deadly in the state’s long-term care facilities. Long-term care residents account for about 1 percent of the state’s population, but about 49 percent of all deaths in the state are attributed to COVID-19, according to the State Department of Health.
Across the state, there are at least one active case of COVID-19 in 144 institutions in the county or state, the lowest number in at least six months, according to the Department of Social Welfare. At the peak of December, nearly 600 institutions reported at least one active infection. The facilities must be removed from the joint 28 days without a positive test.
According to Inslee, indoor visits are not allowed if there is an active outbreak in the facility or if the resident has an infection.
On Thursday afternoon, Seattle facility operators broke the news to residents, their loved ones, and made plans for the long-awaited meetings. Laurie Taylor was about to tell her mother, Patti Taylor, that they could finally get together after Patti Taylor lived in the Kirkland Life Care Center for a year. Patty Taylor turns 97 later this month, and her daughter was hoping to throw a party for her.
Laurie Taylor says the visits “will be the best gift for her ever.”
Once the doors open, residents and their loved ones will have to deal with a year-long blockade, making those inside buildings vulnerable to social isolation. Long-term care workers report that residents are not growing at a faster rate, which is characterized by weight loss, loss of appetite, inactivity, and rapid decline. One employee described the residents as “dying of a broken heart.”
Lack of visits for people with Alzheimer’s և dementia նվազ Decreased mental stimulation can accelerate cognitive decline, which in some cases can be irreversible. More than 500 Washington residents died of Alzheimer’s or dementia in 2020, more than expected in previous years, according to an analysis by the Alzheimer’s Association, which is 10% higher than the norm. »: