Skip to content
 

Are Nursing Home Visits Allowed in My State?

Facilities are accepting visitors, but protocols vary

En español

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have gradually reopened to visitors, allowing residents to reconnect with their loved ones after nearly two years of pandemic-related restrictions.​

Twenty months after initially recommending America’s 15,000 nursing homes shut their doors to visitors to guard residents against COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 12 issued new guidance suggesting facilities open visits for “all residents at all times.”

Visits should be offered regardless of residents’ and visitors’ vaccination status — though outdoor visits are still preferred when any of the parties isn’t fully vaccinated. The new guidelines also open the door for quarantined residents to accept visitors, provided those coming to the facility don’t have symptoms or an active case of COVID-19.

“We are pleased that the CMS is taking a person-centered approach to expanding visitation so that residents can exercise their rights and avoid the isolation and other challenges that too many have experienced during the pandemic,” said AARP’s Rhonda Richards, a senior legislative representative. “But it’s important to remain vigilant and follow important infection prevention measures.”

CMS gradually restored visitation access in recent months as cases and deaths fell, though both ticked up again with the spread of the delta variant. The government cited widespread vaccine uptake as one reason officials believe it’s safe to resume more regular visits. More than 86 percent of U.S. nursing home residents are fully vaccinated, though the rate is lower among nursing home staff.

But many states have interpreted the CMS guidelines as recommendations rather than requirements, with some states crafting their own rules. There have at times been huge differences between states and even among facilities in the same state. Some have required visitors to fill out additional paperwork, sign visitation agreements or present negative COVID-19 test results before entering the facility. State officials are still weighing the latest CMS guidance, though Missouri was quick to announce it would change its policies to fit the new recommendations.

​Here’s where each state stands on nursing home and long-term care visitors, though many of these policies are changing fast:​


AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Join today and get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life. 


What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors who have proof of a negative COVID-19 test can enter facilities if at least 80 percent of residents and staff have been vaccinated and the facility hasn't had an active outbreak in the past 14 days. Visitors must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are allowed regardless of whether a facility has an active COVID-19 outbreak. Indoor visits may be restricted when facilities have active outbreaks, or if the surrounding county has a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened when they arrive and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

At facilities that have sufficient levels of staff and PPE and haven't had three or more new COVID-19 cases within the past two weeks, visitors can schedule visits during certain hours. Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance form the Arkansas Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing. Visitors to facilities in high-spread counties need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past two days.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the California Department of Public Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

What kind of visits are allowed?

isitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits for facilities that haven't had an active outbreak in the past 14 days. Indoor visits are only allowed in counties with low levels of COVID-19 community spread. Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits, but indoor visits are allowed at facilities that have gone 14 days without an outbreak. There may be indoor visitation restrictions for unvaccinated residents. Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

Read more from Mayor Muriel Bowser's latest reopening guidelines.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule visits at facilities that haven't had an active outbreak in the past 14 days and are in counties with low levels of community spread. Visitors will be screened when they arrive and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Indiana State Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a parish with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule visits at facilities that haven't had an active outbreak in the past 14 days and are in counties with low levels of community spread. Visitors may be asked to get a COVID-19 test before their visit and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Maryland Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits, but indoor visits are allowed at facilities or on floors that have gone 14 days without an outbreak. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

Download guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits, but indoor visits are allowed if visitors present a recent negative COVID-19 test. Facilities can only accept visitors if they've gone at least 14 days without a new case. Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some visitation restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Scheduled visits are no longer required, and visitors can meet with residents outdoors or indoors. Facilities should screen visitors for COVID-19 symptoms. Quarantined residents are discouraged from welcoming visitors, but visits may still be allowed. Visitors to facilities in counties with high levels of community spread are encouraged to get a COVID-19 test before their arrival.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule visits at facilities that haven't had an active outbreak in the past 14 days and are in counties with low levels of community spread. Outdoor visits are encouraged when possible. Visitors will be screened when they arrive and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

 

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits, but indoor visits are allowed at facilities that have gone 14 days without an outbreak. Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing. Only two visitors per resident are allowed at one time.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule visits at facilities that haven't had an active outbreak in the past 14 days and are in counties with low levels of community spread. Outdoor visits are encouraged when possible. Visitors will be screened when they arrive and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the New Mexico Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the New York Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are preferred, but visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits, but indoor visits are only allowed at facilities that have gone 14 days without an outbreak and are located in counties with low levels of COVID-19 community spread. Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Oregon Department of Human Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are preferred, but indoor visits are allowed at facilities that don't have an active outbreak. Residents are limited to no more than two visitors at a time, and only one visitor can be in a resident's room at a time. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Tennessee Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Outdoor visits can be scheduled even if a facility has an active outbreak. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits, but indoor visits are also allowed. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Utah Department of Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

At facilities that have decided to reopen and meet certain requirements, visitors may schedule outdoor visits during specified hours. Indoor visits are permitted if either a resident or their visitor is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Visitors and residents must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from Gov. Jay Inslee.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Outdoor visits are encouraged when weather permits, but indoor visits are only allowed at facilities that have gone 14 days without an outbreak and are located in counties with low levels of COVID-19 community spread. Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule visits at facilities that haven't had an active outbreak in the past 14 days and are in counties with low levels of community spread. Outdoor visits are encouraged when possible. Visitors will be screened when they arrive and must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule outdoor or indoor visits. There may be some restrictions for residents who are quarantined, who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are unvaccinated and living in a county with a high level of community spread. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Wyoming Department of Health.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect new information.
 

More Coronavirus Information

Note: We are currently in the process of replacing our commenting service, so it may take a few days for previous comments to appear. Login or register on AARP.org to join the conversation.

Need more personalized information?

Answer three quick caregiving questions.

Looks like you’ve started the questionnaire but didn’t finish.

Would you like to start over?

View your caregiving results