State keeping COVID guidelines in place at long-term care facilities
As Delaware’s COVID State of Emergency ends, visitation at the state’s long-term care facilities will still face some restrictions.
The Department of Health and Social Services says Delaware’s 86 long-term facilities will continue following the state’s visitation and testing guidelines to keep residents healthy.
The type of visitation allowed depends on each facility’s current status of positive COVID cases among residents, the county’s overall COVID positivity rate, and the percentage of residents who are vaccinated.
The state’s guidance for visitors includes active screenings for COVID regardless of vaccination status, the use of face coverings by unvaccinated visitors and in common areas, social distancing, and signing a visitor’s log.
Kim Reed is with the Division of Health Care Quality. She says the goal is to keep long-term care facility residents safe.
"They're congregate living settings. There's healthcare in other congregate institutional type settings like our correctional facilities and others. It will continue to have a higher level of mask wearing and that type of thing that's being decreased for the general public just to really avert risk and keep those people safe," said Reed.
Long-term care facilities have seen over 27 COVID cases and 759 of the state’s 1,695 deaths during the pandemic. But since May 28 there have only been 27 cases and 6 deaths at these facilities, with no deaths since the week ending June 25.
Reed says the state hopes to maintain that trend.
"To see the numbers down, to see less need for isolation and quarantining, certainly see things kind of, not returned to pre-COVID status yet, but it is very nice to not to see so much COVID in the nursing homes," Reed said.
Reed says her office will help with any visitation policy issues that come up, but it has not had a lot of people disgruntled with guidelines.