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Oregon begins allowing 'limited' outdoor visits for long-term care residents

State officials say that they will begin allowing limited visits to people in long-term care facilities as long as they are held outdoors with proper precautions.

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 12:12 PM

SALEM, Ore. — While many of Oregon's coronavirus restrictions have been lifted under the first two phases of reopening, long-term care facilities have been on lockdown since March — with visits to residents all but completely banned in an attempt to limit COVID-19 exposure for those most at risk.

Now providers can begin allowing visits as long as they are held outdoors with proper precautions in place, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).

Facilities have to develop a plan in order to adhere to "required safeguards" that will continue to keep coronavirus from spreading to the elderly and those with health conditions, the agency said.

Those prerequisites include health screenings for visitors, use of face coverings, physical distancing, and limits on the number of visitors.

"While visits with family and friends are essential to well-being, they also create significant risk, not only for the individual who is seeing a loved one, but for everyone who lives and works in that care facility," DHS said in a statement.


RELATED: Visitation remains limited as families work to navigate long-term care and isolation


The outdoor visitation change applies to all nursing homes, assisted living centers, residential and memory care facilities, and adult foster homes. Any facilities that are currently dealing with COVID-19 cases or suspected cases cannot offer outdoor visits until "DHS determines that the outbreak has resolved."

All current restrictions on indoor visits remain in place, regardless of the local county's reopening status. However, DHS said, residents are "free to leave" and return to their facility if they follow all public health guidance.

“We hope this policy provides some relief to residents, their family members and friends who we know have suffered extreme hardship as a result of visitation restrictions required during the pandemic. Balancing resident safety with the essential need to have contact with family and friends is challenging as COVID-19 presents life-threatening risks and spreads rapidly in congregate care settings,” said Mike McCormick, interim director of the DHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities. “We will continue to evaluate all long-term care policies in partnership with Oregon Health Authority to ensure they are in line with Governor Kate Brown’s reopening plan for the state.”

Visits to long-term care facilities were originally included in early drafts of Oregon's Phase II reopening plan, but that aspect of reopening was eventually discarded as too high-risk for vulnerable groups with the other consequences of reopening still uncertain.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 392197

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60432839
Washington42082398
Marion39986507
Clackamas32861382
Lane30179358
Jackson24956361
Deschutes23639185
Umatilla15135182
Linn14704179
Douglas13438292
Josephine10201246
Yamhill9787143
Klamath9072147
Polk8248102
Benton611138
Malheur592790
Coos5693107
Columbia433356
Jefferson420866
Lincoln363852
Union339255
Crook336356
Wasco317046
Clatsop262735
Baker220833
Tillamook217045
Hood River214537
Morrow197825
Curry192439
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105616
Wallowa76013
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5087907

Reported Deaths: 74561
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152858627184
San Diego4074794340
Riverside3880835358
San Bernardino3748555967
Orange3346265736
Sacramento1684922447
Kern1578751804
Fresno1568972259
Santa Clara1522681929
Alameda1252361507
San Joaquin1076041834
Ventura1040841191
Contra Costa1038691046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare861371099
San Francisco56931672
San Mateo56354629
Monterey52521626
Solano47693358
Santa Barbara47345553
Merced45086668
Sonoma43207412
Placer42204470
Imperial38516773
Kings35221362
San Luis Obispo31511360
Madera26233311
Shasta26113458
Butte25476318
Santa Cruz22268224
Yolo21590260
Marin18495249
El Dorado18325166
Sutter14577186
Napa13424105
Yuba1076389
Tehama10282130
Humboldt10183119
Nevada10029105
Mendocino857799
Lassen797656
San Benito782979
Tuolumne774691
Lake7046110
Amador578366
Siskiyou475855
Glenn457436
Calaveras442288
Del Norte376942
Colusa325921
Inyo256746
Plumas19397
Mono18924
Mariposa160718
Trinity99817
Modoc7725
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
Unassigned810
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