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Dozens of long-term care facilities can begin reopening

June 10, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — More than a third of North Dakota’s long-term care facilities have gotten state approval to begin reopening.

Eighty-two of the 218 facilities have completed testing to qualify for the first phase of reopening.

Visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities has been restricted since April 6 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday announced visits could resume, but in phases. The Bismarck Tribune says the first phase of the state’s three-phase plan allows outdoor visitation with proper safeguards such as masks and physical distancing. It allows for communal dining to resume and limited group activities for residents.

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Phase two involves resuming indoor visitation with restrictions and phase three is fully opened visitation with screening of visitors. Moving into those phases will depend on several factors, including a county’s case status and whether there are active cases in a facility.

Health officials say long-term care facilities in North Dakota have had 53 coronavirus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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