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Minnesota to open nursing home visitation during pandemic

Associated Press

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Sauer Health Care senior-living facility in Winona is where at least 15 deaths from COVID-19 were reported.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Long-term care facilities in Minnesota soon will be allowed to open up more to visitors during the coronavirus pandemic but will have to follow the state’s strict guidance.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday outlined the new visitation guidelines, which take effect Aug. 29.

The guidance includes several factors, such as the latest COVID-19 case numbers in the surrounding community; the number of active, confirmed cases among the facility’s residents, staff and visiting service providers; and whether staff are working at other long-term care facilities, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

“This guidance helps facilities keep their COVID-19 guard up while taking cautious steps toward ensuring residents have more social connections and interaction,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a news release.

Minnesota health officials Monday reported 625 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus and three additional deaths. The number of positive cases has risen to 61,516 since the pandemic hit the state.

Of the newly reported deaths, two were in private homes and one was in a long-term care or assisted living facility. That brings Minnesota’s death toll to 1,660. Of that number, 1,250 are among residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities, or about 75% of the state’s total.

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