MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Minnesotans will be allowed to visit family members in senior living centers under new guidance Friday from state health officials that loosens restrictions in place for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Health said long-term care facilities will be able to designate family members or others as essential caregivers for residents of such facilities.

That will give them expanded access to their loved ones.

COVID-19 has been most devastating to Minnesota's senior residents, with almost 78 percent of the state's 1,495 deaths in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

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