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Track the Status of Nursing Home Visits in Your 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 months of isolation.

Visits have yet to return to their pre-pandemic norms, particularly for residents and visitors who have not yet been vaccinated. TTemperature screenings, social distancing and an emphasis on outdoor visits are standard protocol at many facilities. But federal officials in March updated visitation recommendations to ease restrictions on indoor visits and to allow residents to hug or hold hands with their loved ones for the first time in a year. In April, they opened the door for vaccinated residents and visitors to reunite without wearing masks and without social distancing. For many, that change means a return to relative normalcy for the first time in more than a year.

In announcing the recommendations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cited widespread vaccine availability as one reason that officials believe that indoor, maskless visits will be safer than in months past. Nationally, COVID-19 infections and deaths in nursing homes have steadily fallen in recent months, and facilities that receive federal funds through Medicare and Medicaid payments have completed a series of vaccine clinics managed by a federal partnership with CVS, Walgreens and other pharmacies. Experts believe widespread vaccine availability has helped slow the pandemic’s spread in nursing homes — though many suggest a degree of herd immunity is also a factor. More than 1.4 million long-term care residents and staff have contracted COVID-19.

“Residents must be able to exercise their rights to visitation, and facilities should be held accountable for ensuring such visits occur,” Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer at AARP, said in a statement about the new federal guidance.

But the federal recommendations aren’t mandates. And regardless of a facility’s vaccination status, state policies very. There can be huge differences among facilities even within the same state. Some states and nursing homes require visitors to fill out additional paperwork, to sign visitation agreements or to present negative COVID-19 test results before they enter the facility. Others have also carved out rules for essential caregivers, who can bypass some of the restrictions imposed on other visitors.

"The responses should really be tailored to your environment — not just your state but your local microclimates and your local prevalence of disease,” says David Nace, M.D., president of the nonprofit Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and chief medical officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Senior Communities assisted living and skilled nursing operations.

In some cases assisted living facilities opened to visitors more quickly than nursing homes. But guidance for nursing homes and assisted living facilities has been similar at the federal and state levels, and visiting access to assisted living centers also varies among states and even among neighboring communities.

Here's where each state stands on nursing home and long-term care visitors:


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What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule appointments at facilities that haven't had an active outbreak in 14 days and are in counties with low levels of community spread. Visitors must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

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 appointments 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 must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the California Department of Public Health.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Visitors can schedule appointments 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 must wear masks 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?

At facilities that meet certain requirements, visitors may schedule visits during specified hours. Outdoor visits are encouraged when possible, and visitors and residents must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.

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?

Outdoor visits are allowed regardless of whether a facility has an active COVID-19 outbreak, but indoor visits are allowed only in facilities that haven't had an outbreak in the past 14 days. Visitors must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Where can I learn more?

Read the executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

What kind of visits are allowed?

Facilities can accept visitors if they are in counties with low transmission rates and if they have remained free of an outbreak for at least 28 days. Outdoor visits are recommended when possible, and visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing.

Where can I learn more?

See guidance from the Georgia 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. 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 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. Visitors will be screened when they arrive and must wear masks 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 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 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 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 must wear masks 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 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 Mississippi State Department of Health.

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 Missouri Department of Health and Senior 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 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 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 Nevada 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. 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 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 York Department of 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. 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 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 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 if the Ohio Department of Health is allowing visits in your county.

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 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 Utah Department of 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. 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 Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living.

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.
 

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