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If you've been looking for a real sign that the COVID-19 pandemic that has been gripping the world in its deadly fist is finally starting to ease - here it is!  Late last week, Louisiana health officials relaxed the rules on visiting nursing homes!

That's right, if you have been patiently waiting for the moment you could visit with your favorite elderly relative - now's your time!  According to the report from Houma Today, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is following the federal guidelines for nursing homes and senior care centers issued last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Reportedly, this move literally opens the door for inside visits at skilled nursing facilities across the state "regardless of the resident or visitor's vaccine status."  There are, however, a few restrictions.  According to the guidelines, visitation should be limited when: The parish positivity rate is more than 10% and less than 70% of the residents the facility have received vaccinations, the patient has a positive test for  COVID-19 (at least until after the quarantine period has passed), or there are residents of the facility who are currently under quarantine.

Health experts say that while this is a long-awaited turn of events and most can't wait to see their loved ones again - we should still exercise caution.  Masks, frequent hand washing, and social distancing are highly encouraged during visits.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

KEEP READING: Here are the best places to retire in America

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