Advocates argue for opening up nursing homes, relax rules

Kansas

FILE – Gloria DeSoto, 92, right, visits with her family, in their car, from a window of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, where she lives, in New York, Thursday, June 11, 2020. A focus on the elderly at the start of the nation’s vaccination campaign helped protect nursing homes that were ravaged at the height of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, but they are far from in the clear. New outbreaks, often traced to infected staff members, are still occurring in long-term care centers across the country, causing continued havoc for visitation policies. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Families and advocates for the elderly in Kansas argue that with most nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19, some facilities’ visiting rules need to be relaxed.

A state official who investigates complaints against nursing homes and the elder-care focused Kansas Advocates for Better Care called on the state Tuesday to intervene when nursing homes aren’t open enough.

Some industry officials still see a need for caution because of the growing presence in Kansas of the faster-spreading delta variant.

Operators feel they’re still facing tough choices after nursing homes were COVID-19 hot spots earlier in the pandemic, but advocates for residents worry that the delta variant could cause homes to lock down again. 

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