The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Wednesday that nursing home residents can now receive hugs from loved ones again as indoor visitation is now open to all residents.
The guidelines were announced due to the lower rates of COVID-19 infections and transmission.
Nursing homes have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as the elderly are statistically more at risk of experiencing severe illness from contracting the virus. CM released new guidance providing hope to nursing home residents, staff, and family members.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recognized that physical separation from family and other loved ones has taken a physical and emotional toll on residents and their families,” CMS stated.
CMS explained that it and the CDC “continue to recommend facilities, residents, and families adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection, including physical distancing,” adding that this is the least dangerous way to limit the spread of the virus.
“Therefore, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting facemask,” the organization added.
According to the Associated Press report, the ban on visits to nursing home facilities was initiated almost a year ago. Not until the fall of 2020 “were facilities allowed to begin socially distanced outdoor visits and limited indoor ones.”
According to CDC data, COVID-19 deaths among residents in nursing homes have since reached the lowest recorded rate this month.