CONNECTICUT — The state is tightening restrictions on nursing home visits, following a spike in coronavirus infections caused by the highly transmissible omicron variant.
Beginning this weekend, visitors to Connecticut nursing homes are now required to either show proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and, if eligible, have received a booster shot.
Alternately, visitors may have recently tested negative for the virus in order to enter the facilities.
The new executive order will go into effect Saturday, Jan. 22.
The order requires nursing homes to deny entrance to any visitor that tests positive for COVID-19 or who refuses to take a rapid antigen test. The facility may not deny entrance to any visitor who is willing to take a rapid antigen test but is unable to do so because the nursing home is unable to provide a rapid antigen test.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 test must show either a rapid antigen test was completed within the previous 48 hours or a PCR test was completed within the previous 72 hours, and may be either paper or electronic.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health plans on distributing 50,000 rapid antigen tests to all nursing homes. These are to be used exclusively to facilitate safe visitation. Distribution will begin on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.
"We know that some of the people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 include those who live in nursing homes, which is why we need to be doing everything we can to protect them from this virus," Gov. Ned Lamont said.