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WCHD develops visitor guidelines for long-term care facilities amid COVID-19 surge

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Nursing Home

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Winnebago County health officials have developed guidelines to help long-term care facilities help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The guidelines come days after county leaders sounded the alarm on cases and hospitalizations rising in the county

Here's the guidelines the county health officials came up with:

Visitors should:

  • Understand the potential risk of visiting during an outbreak and times of high community transmission.
  • Stay home if they have signs/symptoms of Illness or if they have been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Be screened upon entering the facility for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 illness.
  • Consider antigen testing if not vaccinated. For testing locations, go to https://dph.illinois.gov/testing
  • Go directly to the designated visit space or resident’s room and not roam the facility.
  • Wear masks covering the nose and mouth when in the facility, including hallways and private rooms, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Maintain social/physical distancing. Scheduling is encouraged to ensure that social/physical distancing can be maintained for residents and their visitors.
  • Consider safer visitation options such as virtual, outdoors, or window visits if unvaccinated, including children under the age of 5 years who are not eligible for vaccination.
  • Work with the facility to determine a meeting space if the resident’s roommate is at high risk for COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised.

WCHD says it recognizes that physical separation from family and other loved ones has taken a physical and emotional toll on residents and their family and friends. Help slow the spread of COVID-19 by: 

  • Getting vaccinated
  • Wearing a face mask when in indoor public settings or crowded outdoor spaces
  • Maintaining social/physical distancing
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.

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