ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that indoor visitation may resume at Maryland nursing homes where no new cases have been reported in 14 days or more, along with greater flexibility for compassionate care visits, and an additional $6 million specifically for testing nursing home staff. The governor was joined by State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon, who announced the expansion of child care in Maryland to the full teacher to child ratios and capacities.
“This spring, for states across the nation, nursing homes became ground zero in the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Hogan. “Today, effective immediately as a result of new federal and state guidelines and our advances in rapid testing, indoor visitation is now able to begin in all nursing homes. We are also committing an additional $6 million specifically for the testing of nursing home staff using state testing resources.”
Earlier this week, the governor held his 25th meeting with the Maryland Coronavirus Response Team of doctors and public health experts. Discussions included additional measured and data-driven steps to continue moving forward with the state’s safe, effective, and gradual reopening plans.
INDOOR VISITATION FOR NURSING HOMES. Governor Hogan announced that under new federal and state guidelines, nursing homes and assisted living facilities can begin allowing limited indoor visitation, as well as compassionate care visits to support residents who may require emotional and spiritual support. To qualify, facilities must have no active cases in the last 14 days and no outbreak testing in progress. On June 19, the governor announced a return of limited outdoor visitation. Read the Department of Health’s notice to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- As part of this transition, state health officials are implementingnew testing guidelinesexpanding the use of rapid antigen tests—which could be used to screen visitors—while continuing to require regular diagnostic testing depending on local conditions. The state will commit an additional $6 million to help facilities cover the cost of nursing home staff testing. To date, the state has dedicated nearly $102 million to testing and PPE for nursing homes.
- On August 5, 130 Maryland nursing homes had active COVID-19 cases; as of October 1, that number has decreased to 76.This represents a decline of 41.5%