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DENVER (KDVR) — New guidance for Colorado care facilities was announced by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in a public health order released on Monday.

“The new visitation guidelines are a milestone for our residential care facilities as we continue to move towards a new normal,” said Randy Kuykendall, director, Health Facilities and EMS Division, CDPHE.

“I am optimistic about this guidance, as well as the continued vaccination in our residential care facilities to ensure that residents have both physical safety and good mental health.”

Easing visitation restrictions, infection prevention, visitor testing, vaccination and compassionate care visits are outlined in the new guidance for facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities.

Key visitation updates:

  • Outdoor visitation should be preferred over indoor visitation whenever possible.
  • Compassionate care visits must be allowed at all times, even during an outbreak.
  • If the resident is fully COVID-19 vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask (covering both their nose and mouth) and cleaning their hands before and after contact.
  • Indoor visitation should be allowed for all residents except:
    • Unvaccinated residents whenever the facility’s COVID-19 county prior week test positivity rate is more than 10% and fewer than 70% of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated.
    • Vaccinated and unvaccinated residents with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection.
    • Vaccinated and unvaccinated residents in quarantine.

Visitors to the care facilities are encouraged to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Their vaccine status is not a current factor in formal guidance.

Read the summary of changes.