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Rochester seniors react to new CDC recommendations

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came out with new information Monday, saying if you have been vaccinated, most of the time, you can ditch the mask.

According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated can visit with unvaccinated people from a single family without masks or social distancing if those they’re meeting with are not at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Those in nursing homes and assisted living centers were many of the first people vaccinated. River Bend Assisted Living & Memory Care in Rochester said all residents there have been offered the vaccine, and all but one person is fully vaccinated.

Executive Director Jon Stene said it’s encouraging to see the new recommendations from the CDC. He said a year ago, things were tough for the people in his care.

“It really wasn’t fair to anyone involved, but really this population,” Stene said.

“Being locked up in four walls, you can get pretty depressed,” resident Dottie Staebler said.

“We’re really excited with the new information from the CDC,” Stene said.

Harold and Dottie Staebler will be married 62 years in July. They said it’s been nice to see their children and grandchildren again.

“When they opened it up here for us, which was a blessing, we got to see our grandson who we had only seen in pictures,” Dottie said.

As of right now, residents are allowed two visitors a day.

Even though it’s been great to get out and actually see others, Dottie says she will continue to wear a mask, and it is required of them.

Stene says River Bend abides by the orders of the Minnesota Department of Health.

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Kamie Roesler

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