Long-term care residents take advantage of new guidelines that let them leave for 24 hours without quarantining

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This week the Minnesota Department of Health updated its guidelines for long-term care facilities.

Now residents can leave their facility for less than 24 hours without having to quarantine when they come back.

At Shakopee Friendship Manor, 100-year-old Faye Monson was the first resident to take advantage of the newest guidelines.

"Oh, it was exciting and some of my grandkids were there and it was just nice, and they come to see me and call me all the time," Monson said.

Jamie Mohlin is the director of social services at Shakopee Friendship Manor. She says while it’s been challenging, they’re starting to see signs of hope.

"It’s been great. The mood around here is different, the morale, the families are excited, the residents are excited," Mohlin said.

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The latest announcement from the state no longer requires long-term care residents to be vaccinated in order to forego a quarantine period when returning, as long as they don’t come in contact with anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.

"I had someone call me today and he said, ‘I saw the news. Is this true?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, we’re still figuring out details, but yeah it is,’ and so he’s excited," Mohlin said.

Staff at Shakopee Friendship Manor say they’re already putting together a list of people who are eager to visit with family or friends outside of the facility.

"Just having that option is nice for these families," Mohlin said.

Monson says she loves the opportunity to go home because she enjoys sitting outside on her family’s porch.

"Oh, birds and squirrels, it’s just nice," Monson said. "I’ve always liked being outside — I was raised on a farm."

Monson says she is thrilled this announcement came in time for Easter.

"I love my family. I don’t expect them to come all the time, they got their things to do, but I love them," Monson said.

The full list of the latest COVID-19 guidelines for long-term care facilities is available on the MDH website.