Minnesota care centers to let 'essential caregivers' visit

Minnesota care centers to let 'essential caregivers' visit Photo: WDIO File

Associated Press contributed to this report
Updated: July 10, 2020 06:26 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesotans will be allowed to visit loved ones in senior living centers under new guidance Friday from state health officials that loosens restrictions imposed four months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Health said long-term care facilities will be able to designate family members or others as essential caregivers for residents of such facilities. That will give them expanded access to their loved ones, with proper precautions.

The new Essential Caregiver Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities (PDF) lays out a framework long-term care providers can use to designate people to be essential caregivers, striking a balance between meeting residents’ needs and limiting infection risks.

“Minnesota families have made great sacrifices to control the spread of COVID-19 in our long-term care facilities. I know this has been hard,”  Governor Tim Walz said in a release. “But with this guidance, families will be able to reunite with their loved ones while continuing to protect the health of our elderly Minnesotans.”

An essential caregiver could be a family member, outside caregiver, friend or volunteer, who has provided regular care and support to the resident before or during the pandemic. Residents can have more than one essential caregiver for providing emotional support and individualized, person-centered care.

COVID-19 has been most devastating to Minnesota’s senior residents, with almost 78 percent of the state’s 1,495 deaths among residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities.
 

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Associated Press contributed to this report

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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