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California corrections officials have begun limiting medical parole only to inmates so ill they are on ventilators. They are citing a federal rule change as the reason inmates who are quadriplegic or have other severe permanent disabilities no longer can be placed in nursing homes. An attorney representing inmates says it could lead to a third of the 210 permanently incapacitated inmates on medical parole being sent back to prison. The federal agency says California could switch to other care facilities that don’t fall under the same guidelines as nursing homes. A state corrections spokesperson said that would require establishing a new monitoring program for those facilities.

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was far from a football field at this time last year when shoulder pads and playbooks gave way to scrubs and medical charts. The big New York Jets offensive lineman with a doctorate in medicine was on the front lines helping fight against a pandemic that gripped the world and putting his playing career on hold. Duvernay-Tardif was coming off having won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs in his sixth year in the NFL when he began working as an orderly at a long-term care facility. He's back playing football now and starting for the Jets.

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The government is telling nursing homes to open their doors wide to visitors, easing many remaining pandemic restrictions while urging residents, families and facility staff to keep their guard up against outbreaks. New guidance Friday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services instructs nursing homes to allow visits at all times for all residents. Facilities will no longer be able to limit the frequency and length of visits, or require advance scheduling. Although large groups of visitors are discouraged, nursing homes won’t be allowed to limit the number of loved ones and friends who can pay a call on residents.

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Voters in Texas have pushed back against pandemic restrictions on nursing home visits and worship services. A pair of constitutional amendments approved Tuesday would prohibit government officials from limiting religious services or preventing nursing home residents from having visitors. Both passed with significant support, about a year after some officials had imposed restrictions to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. Voters elsewhere also approved new constitutional rights. A successful Maine amendment creates the nation's first right to grow and eat food. In New York, voters passed an amendment establishing a right to clean air and water.