New COVID-19 guidance discourages nursing home residents from leaving for Thanksgiving

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LAKELAND, Fla (WFLA) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the United States, health officials are worried about senior citizens this Thanksgiving holiday.

New federal recommendations from the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Quality Safety & Oversight Group were released on Friday for nursing homes and long term care facilities ahead of the holiday season.

The new guidelines are not mandatory for facilities to follow, but Amanda Tenpenny , the Operations Director at Lake Gibson Village, tells 8 On Your Side they are firm in following every new recommendation.

“It’s not an order we actually have to follow but because we have followed all the guidelines they have continued to put in place, we have really continued to keep the virus out of this building,” said Amanda Tenpenny.

The new federal guidelines are recommending that nursing home residents do not leave their facility for the holiday. If they do, they are recommending the resident quarantines for 14 days when they return.

Tenpenny tells 8 On Your Side family members who take a loved one out of a facility for the holiday, should still continue following all COVID-19 protocols.

“Our recommendation is to do exactly what we are all doing which is 6 feet social distancing and continue to wear masks. We are also suggesting that they even wear gloves,” added Tenpenny.

She adds that Lake Gibson Village will be moving forward with these new guidelines for the Christmas and other December holidays as well.

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