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Mother's Day returns to assisted living, senior centers in Utah

This May 3, 2020, photo released by Shelly Solomon shows, from left, Steve Turner and his sisters, Carla Paull and Lisa Fishman, holding up a Mother’s Day banner emblazoned with images of their mom, Beverly Turner, in front of her assisted living facility in Ladue, Missouri. In 2021, Utah officials say people who are fully vaccinated can celebrate Mother's Day in person without masks, even in long-term care facilities.

(Shelly Solomon, AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah-area assisted living and senior centers say Mother's Day 2021 looks a lot different than it did a year ago, with families able to visit their loved ones again.

Scott Monson, president of the Utah Assisted Living Association, says policies might differ from facility to facility, but in general, the doors are open, with safety precautions in place.

"We encourage vaccinations, very much so," he said. "If you are a vaccinated adult child and a vaccinated resident, you can take your mask off, you can embrace, you can be in the room together."

Those who are not vaccinated will need to take precautions such as wearing a mask.

Monson said last year, the holiday came with a measure of fear and uncertainty along with separations. Mother's Day typically brings among the largest visiting crowds of the year to long-term care facilities in Utah, but in 2020, pandemic-related shutdowns muted the celebrations and kept families apart. This year, he's expecting a big weekend.

"There's a good energy in the buildings, where people are seeing their loved ones again, and they are able to visit and have a degree of normalcy come back, where they can continue that family relationship and really just love each other," he said.

The change, he noted, comes as a result of following the health guidelines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We've seen through the vaccine, we've seen through good social distancing and wearing masks and doing the things the health department has instructed us to do, that the case count is down," he added.

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