Nursing home residents accept groceries from a visitor
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Rules limiting nursing home visits in some places eased just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that COVID-19 cases are either declining or stabilizing in all parts of the country. 

California health officials on Monday announced an end to a mandate for nursing home visitors that required them to show a negative COVID-19 test before entering a nursing home, which is effective immediately. 

It was one of several states that beefed up rules for nursing home residents during the COVID-19 case surge caused by the omicron variant.

The CDC reported that the average number of new cases per day has dropped 61% to 313,000 since peaking in mid-January, when the country averaged more than 800,000 new cases daily. California itself has seen a 65% drop in cases since peaking during the omicron surge, the Associated Press reported.

In nursing homes nationwide, new cases among residents dropped to 21,799 during the week of Feb. 6, after facilities reported 37,830 new cases the week before. Resident cases during this recent wave of cases peaked at 49,325 during the third week of January. 

“With things moving in the right direction, we are making responsible modifications to COVID-19 prevention measures, while also continuing to develop a longer-term action plan for the state,” Tomás J. Aragón, MD, California’s state public health officer, said Monday.