New Program Opening Long-Term Care Facilities To Some Visitors

 Residents of Nebraska’s long-term care facilities could soon get in-person visits from relatives or friends under a new program designed to help them during the pandemic.

      The Essential Caregivers program was created in response to restrictions that have kept most visitors out of such facilities since March. Participants may be family members, friends, or volunteers who provided regular support to resident before then.

      Governor Pete Ricketts supports it, but emphasizes it will need to be phased in so facilities that choose to participate may not be opening their doors to visitors right away.

      The program will allow volunteers to go into nursing homes and other care facilities once they’ve received training on how to properly don and doff protective clothing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

      Meanwhile, Ricketts has also announced the state’s Directed Health Measures have been revised to align with CDC recommendations to shorten the length of quarantine required for persons who’ve had close contact exposure to the coronavirus. 

       Depending on specifics of a given case, the length of quarantine could fall from 14 days to 10, 7, or 5 days.