More emotional reunions expected after Pa. updates guidance for nursing home visits

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa (WHTM) — Masonic Village has embraced COVID-19 restrictions to try and stop the spread of the virus.

For many that means a simple embrace, like a hug, hasn’t happened for a year.

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94-year-old Dorothy Fasnacht got the hug she was waiting for on Monday.

Abc27 News was there when Fasnacht met with her son, Jim.

“It feels great,” Dorothy said of the visit. “It feels so human.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is matching federal guidelines for visits at nursing homes.

During a press conference on Monday, Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Allison Beam said because so many people in skilled nursing facilities have been vaccinated visitors don’t necessarily have to be.

The new guidance figures to be welcomed news for people waiting on their shots, but anxious to see their loved ones.

“These benchmarks make us really realize the investment of our efforts in things like the vaccination rate and really, it’s a testament to what our communities have done by way of mask-wearing, socially distancing. These are the small steps that we’re going to be able to take that feel like such a great reward,” Beam said.

Beam said Pennsylvania will continue an aggressive plan to get shots to skilled nursing home facilities.

More information about the revised guidance is available at the Centers of Medicate & Medicaid Services website.

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