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Gallatin County Health Dept. looking for balance between visitations and safety among senior community facilities

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Posted at 8:28 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 10:28:00-04

BOZEMAN — The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced new recommendations for visitations at nursing homes lifting certain restrictions to make it easier for visitations between family and loved ones.

While visitation recommendations differ between nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the Gallatin County Health Department is looking into ways to balance between visitations yet maintaining a safe environment for those residents.

Gallatin County Health Dept. looking for balance between visitations and safety among senior community facilities

Increasing evidence shows the mental health component visitations play. But making the wrong decision can be deadly for senior communities.

“And what we know happens if you aren’t really careful in how you do that because if you’re not really careful in how you do that you can get COVID-19 in there, and then you can see a really high number of deaths in those facilities. So, we’re trying to find a way to strike that balance,” explained Matt Kelley, the health officer for Gallatin County.

Last month, the health department lifted certain restrictions for assisted living facilities in the county. But there are still many procedures put in place to protect the residents.