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Mother and daughter see each other for the first time in over a year at Norfolk nursing facility

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NORFOLK, Neb. (KTIV) - Saint Joseph's Rehabilitation and Care Center in Norfolk is seeing some changes to its COVID guidelines.

The facility has a new rule, if both the resident and the visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they can take off their mask to see each other, and even go into the resident's room.

The rules also state that fully vaccinated people can eat a meal together, with no plexiglass in between. Officials say that its giving residents a much needed sense of normalcy.

"If the visitor is also fully vaccinated and we have confirmation of the vaccination as of last week, They actually can visit in their rooms with the masks off" said Rita Raffety, the facility's administrator.

Raffety said there has been a very high rate of vaccinations among residents, allowing the majority of their visits to not be behind a Plexiglass barrier

Nursing homes were among some of the hardest-hit places during the pandemic. Now with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, things have gotten better. St. Joseph's Rehabilitation and Care Center in Norfolk is open for visits once again.

And because of that, for the first time in a year and a half, a daughter was able to see her mom—in person… and not through a screen.

"It's wonderful to see her because when something like this happens you don't know. You need to see them and see how they're doing" said Diana Berger, who saw her mother Monday.

Berger came all the way from California for the visit and says FaceTime calls were helpful.

"I cried the first time I saw a FaceTime with her because I hadn't seen her for so long," added Berger.

Now Berger is able to see her mom, and even maybe a smile since they don't have to wear masks because they’re both fully vaccinated.

Administrators say that the residents were very happy when visitors were allowed to come into their rooms.

Brett Mayerson

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