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Health Report: Fairbanks Denali Center allowing in-person visitations without plexiglass

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 4:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Denali Center at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is now allowing in-person visitation without plexiglass, and allowing physical contact.

The Denali Center has not allowed visitation without protective barriers since March of 2020 due to CDC guidelines; but with successful vaccination rates, the center will now allow for visits with physical contact.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many long term care facilities had to take extra precautions to protect their high-risk residents. Tina Rein, Director of Nursing at the Denali Center explained, “We knew that we needed to reduce the risk of COVID coming in. That was mandatory. So, through the last year our staff really stepped up and has gone above and beyond, not only to provide the medical care that was necessary to protect the elders, but to be a family and a friend. It’s impossible to replace those folks in our lives, but our staff had to do that.”

The Denali Center is currently at a 90% vaccination rate for their residents. Following CDC testing guidelines, the center and other long term care facilities saw a reduction of COVID-19 incidents.

Rein continued, “We continue to follow CDC guidelines for routine testing, and we have proof that those high vaccination rates have reduced the incidents of COVID in those vulnerable populations in long term care. Because of that, the CDC came out with a revised visitation on March 10, and we were able to invite families and friends back to the Denali Center to do visitation without plexiglass. So they were able to make an appointment, come in and hold somebody’s hand, give mom or dad a hug, to spend time with family without that plexiglass between them, without the gowns, the eyewear... as normal as we possibly could - and it’s been super emotional for those folks that are able to come in and visit.”

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