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Washington nursing homes allowed to safely resume indoor visits

Washington state now says indoor visits to long-term care and nursing home facilities are permitted for visitors or residents who are fully vaccinated.

Washington state is now allowing indoor visits to long-term care and nursing home facilities for visitors or residents who are fully vaccinated.

“To see her and talk to her is a blessing,” said Sherman Conover, who recently visited his 106-year-old mom, Margie Conover, in-person.

They were occasionally able to see one another from a distance outdoors when the weather was nice. Other times, Sherman had to see his mom from a few stories below.

“During last June and August, a caregiver would bring mom up to her 3rd-floor window and I'd have to go up there and wave to her, it was really hard,” Sherman said on Thursday.

Both he and his mom are fully vaccinated — and last week, they were able to finally and safely embrace.

The Washington State Department of Health said COVID-19 cases are plummeting in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, thanks to the effectiveness of vaccines, infection control procedures and previous visitation restrictions.

Outdoors visits are still preferred, the state said, but families who've endured a difficult year can finally pick up where they left off.

“It's hard to explain it in words how great it's going to be for you to kiss your mom and grandparents, it's going to be fabulous,” Sherman said.

It will be up to each home and facility to come up with a process to allow for the visits, the state said.