North Carolina now allowing visitors into nursing homes under certain conditions

Posted at 12:08 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 12:08:26-04

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued an order that will now allow indoor visitation at nursing homes.

NCDHHS says due to North Carolina's key metrics continuing to remain stable and control requirements, a Secretarial Order was issued, updating visitation guidelines for nursing homes to allow indoor visitation.

“We have focused on protecting the health of nursing home residents since the start of this crisis. Our progress in testing, infection control and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities allows us to move forward with safe indoor visitation in accordance with federal guidance,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

Indoor visitation will only be permitted in nursing homes with no COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and in counties with a percent positive testing rate of less than 10%.

Visitors also must be screened for COVID symptoms. They must wear a face covering and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after a visit.

N.C. officials say the state has provided PPE; helped fill staffing shortages; provided infection prevention and control training, support teams and targeted funding; mandated testing; and completed on-site infection control inspections of North Carolina’s more than 400 nursing homes.