Pa. Dept. of Health to give update on vaccines, visitation guidelines for long-term care facilities

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will provide an update on COVID-19 vaccines and visitation recommendations in nursing homes.

Health officials are set to discuss what’s being done to protect the mental and physical wellbeing of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents.

While it’s been an incredibly tough year for residents and staff at long-term care facilities, this conversation will focus on hope and change, as the state gets COVID-19 cases under control.

The discussion begins at 10 a.m. at the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown.

The Department of Health’s acting secretary Alison Beam will join officials from the retirement community to talk about reconnecting residents with loved ones while still keeping them safe from coronavirus.

Beam will give an update on the visitation order from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as the Federal Pharmacy Partnership.

The Village will discuss infection prevention and control practices.

After a year of visits through windows or no visits at all, new federal guidelines recently prompted the Wolf administration to encourage long-term care facilities to start allowing vaccinated residents to see loved ones inside their buildings again.

Those guidelines say nursing homes can allow responsible indoor visitation, meaning the number of people inside at a time is limited and that social distancing is still practiced.

Those who are not vaccinated or who are COVID-positive may not have visitors.

Visitors can expect to be screened for coronavirus symptoms, asked to wear a mask and practice good hand hygiene.

This is a developing story. Stay with abc27News for the latest.

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