Visitation at Nursing Homes Debated

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, though the delta variant’s spread is making operators nervous.

A state official who investigates complaints against nursing homes and the elder-care focused Kansas Advocates for Better Care are calling on the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services to crack down on homes that aren’t open enough.

Clusters of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes accounted for fewer than 5% of the cases reported by Kansas as of Monday, but for nearly 39% of the state’s reported deaths – more than 2,000 of them.

More than 90% of those cases and deaths happened before May 4, but they’re still happening, with nine active clusters as of last week.

State and industry officials said homes’ current visitation policies are driven by guidance from federal and state regulators and health officials.