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Long-term care facilities bring back some restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) - The IDPH coronavirus dashboard shows Black Hawk County at a positivity rate of at least 10%, and has for about two weeks. At this rate, some restrictions are coming back to long-term care facilities.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can restrict visitations when counties reach a 7-day positivity rate of 10% and less than 70% of a facilities' residents are fully vaccinated.

"I think it saddens all of us when we have to do some restrictions. That's not what we want to do, but it's what we must do to keep them safe," Western Home Communities Quality Assurance Officer Kathleen Niedert said.

She hopes people consider getting the vaccine, as more restrictions are possible if the positivity rate does not decrease.

Compassionate care and end-of-life visits will be the only option for the nursing homes if the positivity rate does not decrease. Masks and social distancing requirements will also be implemented during this time of increasing COVID-19 cases.

"We brought it down before. We can do this again. I'm very hopeful that we can do this again, but it's going to take all of us working together. It's not just healthcare workers that have to do this, all of us have to work on it," Niedert said.

Before the increase in positivity rate, CMS allowed any type of visit and even physical touch.

This guidance will stay the same until the county's positivity rate drops below 10%.

View the full guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services here: