North Dakota easing visiting restrictions at nursing homes

June 6, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced Friday that he’s easing restrictions on visitation at long-term care facilities that were put in place because of the coronavirus.

Visitation to skilled nursing, basic care and assisted living facilities was suspended by executive order on April 6. The amended order bases visiting rules on the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the county and the number of active cases among residents.

More than 40 facilities have been approved to begin the first phase of the plan, which includes group dining and activities such as bingo. In 14 days, if another round of testing shows no new active positives, they can begin indoor visitation.

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Starting immediately, the state is encouraging outdoor visitation by appointment, with appropriate social distancing and personal protective equipment, including masks.

“We know the stress and strain of isolation is real,” Burgum said.

State health officials on Saturday reported 71 new cases of COVID-19, including 46 in Cass County, for a total of 2,816. One new death was confirmed, increasing the total to 72. Hospitalizations are down one, to 29.

A record 4,034 tests were completed Friday, about half of which were people who have been screened more than once. It’s the first time testing has topped 4,000.