New guidance for long-term care facilities

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Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:39 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - More guidance on long-term care facilities is out.

Vermont Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said Tuesday that it helps those facilities ease up on restrictions a bit more. It will provide framework to allow them to resume some group activities again and provide guidance for more visitation.

However, the secretary was clear that this will be a phased approach and some facilities might ease up at different paces, depending on their situations, and that safety would still be the top priority.

"The pace of the easing of restrictions in long-term care facilities is slow and steady. And it needs to be that way. We are proceeding with caution, again, knowing that these facilities support our most vulnerable Vermonters," Smith said.

Testing will also be a key component.

For nursing homes, testing will be required to move through the reopening phases.

For other places like assisted living, testing will be optional, but there will still be restrictions.

The secretary said they're working on developing long-term testing strategies.

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