As the omicron variant continues to spread rapidly, assisted living centers are stepping up their COVID-19 precautions to keep residents and staff safe.

COVID-19 infections and deaths are soaring inside assisted living centers because of the omicron wave– leaving residents and loved ones wondering if we could return to restrictions not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. 

According to the CDC, assisted living centers reported a near record of about 32,000 COVID-19 cases among residents just two weeks ago.

Despite the rise in cases, health officials say they will not be limiting visits to loved ones inside senior centers.

However, COVID-19 restrictions could be implemented to keep both residents and staff safe from the rapidly spreading omicron variant. 

“There might be a situation where you will be asked to visit with your your loved one in a in a communal setting, not necessarily in a private room, where you know, the the the impacts of a virus might be a little bit more concentrated,” said Eric Essley, President of Leading Age Indiana. “You might be asked to wear a mask as well, both the resident and the visitor.”

Experts say when visits to loved ones were limited at the beginning of the pandemic, the isolation impacted the overall health of residents.

“There was a real big push on trying to keep folks safe but the downside of that was really the social isolation, that ultimately did impact the overall health of the residents,” Essley said.

That’s why experts say they will not return to limiting visits.

“I think it’s important for folks not to feel on edge about this and that visitation will continue with safety measures in place,” said Zach Cattell, president of the Indiana Health Care Association.

The surge of cases inside senior living homes has renewed a push to get more residents and staff members vaccinated and boosted.

Experts hope not only will residents and staff follow the CDC’s recommendations but also guests planning to visit.