WASHINGTON — The Biden administration published revised guidelines on Wednesday for nursing home visits during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing guests to go inside to see residents regardless of whether they or the residents have been vaccinated.
The recommendations, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with comment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are the first revision to the federal government’s nursing home guidance since September. And they arrived as more than three million vaccine doses had been administered in nursing homes, the agency said.
Federal officials said in the new guidance that outdoor visits were still preferable because of a lower risk of transmission, even when residents and guests have been fully vaccinated.
The guidance was also the latest indication that the pandemic in the United States was easing, with coronavirus cases continuing to decrease across the nation, though the seven-day average remains at more than 58,000. The C.D.C. released long-awaited guidance on Monday for Americans who have been fully vaccinated, telling them that it was safe to gather in small groups at home without masks or social distancing.
About 62.5 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 32.9 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
In a statement laying out the reasons for updating the recommendations, Dr. Lee A. Fleisher, the chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, cited the millions of vaccines administered to nursing home residents and staff and a decline in coronavirus cases in nursing homes.