State lifts curbs on indoor visits to senior homes, but urges caution

Despite an alarming surge in coronavirus cases, Gov. Tim Walz’s administration is rolling back a heart-wrenching policy that prevented families from visiting their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities during the pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Health issued new guidelines Monday that allow indoor visits at most senior homes that have not had new COVID-19 infections in the preceding two weeks and the infection rate in the surrounding county is no more than 10%. But the state recommends that long-term care facilities limit how many visitors a resident can have at one time, as well as the duration of indoor visits.

The guidance was issued in response to a new federal policy and significantly eases restrictions in place since March, when nursing homes and assisted-living complexes across the state shut down and barred family visits in an attempt to protect older residents who are particularly vulnerable to the

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