Dept. of Health Announces New Nursing Home Guidance

Soldiers and Airmen from the Pennsylvania National Guard were recognized for their work and service to support the Gracedale Nursing Home in Nazareth, Pa. The recipients were (Left to right) Spc. Andy Arnal, motor transport operator for the 337th Engineer Battalion, and a Moscow, Pa. native; Sgt. Ashley Peralta, combat medic with the 213th Regional Support Group, and an Allentown, Pa., native; Airman 1st Class Kelly Teufel, aerospace medical service with the 193rd Special Operations Wing and a Royersford, Pa., native; and Airman 1st Class Keegan Gordner, aerospace medical service with the 193rd SOW, and a Pine Grove, Pa., native. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Keeler).

ELIZABETHTOWN – Pennsylvanians can visit with family and friends in nursing homes again. During a news conference Monday at an Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, nursing home, Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam announced revised nursing home visitation guidance. This comes after the state also announced Monday the completion of vaccinating residents and staff through its Federal Pharmacy Partnership.

Beam says it allows for ‘responsible indoor visitation at all times for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitations. Those scenarios include:

  • For unvaccinated residents if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated.
  • Residents with confirmed COVID infection, vaccinated or not, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions
  • Residents in quarantine, vaccinated or not, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine

Additionally, when a new case among residents or staff is identified, a facility should immediately begin outbreak testing and suspend all visitations – except that required under federal disability rights law. Once at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed, there is guidance for facilities to resume visitation.


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