NEW ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING ON-SITE VISITATIONS AT OUR CENTER EFFECTIVE June 22, 2022
Visitation is critical to the well-being of residents, families, and staff. Visitation guidelines have been updated to reflect the revision of QSO-20-39NH 3/10/2022: Nursing Home Visitation-COVID-19 (cms.gov) Visitation should be available at all times following the Core Principles of Infection Prevention: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Spread in Nursing Homes | CDC
General visitation and essential care givers are allowed visitation at all times including under the following circumstances: End of life, residents who have lived with family and struggling with the change of environment or lack of in-person support needs, the resident is making one or more major medical decisions, experiencing emotional distress, grieving the loss of a loved one, needs cueing or encouragement to eat or drink previously provided by family member, or a resident who used to talk and interact with others is seldom speaking.
Visitation will be available at all times. There are no limits to the frequency or length of the visits, the number of visitors, and will not require any advanced scheduling. Visitation will continue regardless of the Center’s outbreak status or a residents’ transmission-based precautions.
Visitation can be conducted through different means based on a center’s structure and residents’ needs, such as in resident rooms, dedicated visitation spaces, outdoors, and for circumstances beyond compassionate care situations. Regardless of how visits are conducted, there are certain core principles and best practices that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission: Visitors will receive education related to the core principles of infection Prevention and appropriate mask wearing, hand hygiene, and social distancing.
Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention
Although there is no limit on the number of visitors that a resident can have at one time, visits should be conducted in a manner that adheres to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and does not increase risk to other residents. Centers should ensure that physical distancing can still be maintained during peak times of visitation (e.g., mealtime, after business hours, etc.). Also, centers should avoid large gatherings (e.g., parties, events) where large numbers of visitors are in the same space at the same time and physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Indoor Visitation during an Outbreak Investigation
An outbreak investigation is initiated when a new center onset of COVID-19 occurs (a new COVID-19 positive case among residents or staff). Center will adhere to CMS regulation and guidelines for COVID-19 testing, to include routine testing of staff that are “not up to date with vaccination”, testing of individuals with symptoms, and outbreak testing either center-wide testing, or testing based on contact tracing. QSO-20-38-NH REVISED 3_10_22.pdf
While taking a person-centered approach and adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, outdoor visitation is preferred when the resident and/or visitor are “not up to date” with vaccinations against COVID-19. Outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow. For outdoor visits, centers should create accessible and safe outdoor spaces for visitation, such as in courtyards, patios, or parking lots, including the use of tents, if available. However, weather considerations (e.g., inclement weather, excessively hot or cold temperatures, poor air quality) or an individual resident’s health status (e.g., medical condition(s), COVID-19 status, quarantine status) may hinder outdoor visits. When conducting outdoor visitation, all appropriate infection control and prevention practices should be followed.
Visitor Testing and Vaccination
While not required, the center offers and encourages visitors to be tested. The center encourages and educates visitors about vaccination. Testing and vaccination is not required as a condition of visitation.
Responsibility: The Administrator is responsible for ensuring staff adhere to the guidelines.
* Note: Staff that test positive for COVID-19 are placed on leave and not allowed to work in the center until they have two negative tests for COVID-19 at least 24 hours apart.
We want to convey our sincere concern for those who have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones at this challenging time, and our deepest condolences go out to everyone who has lost a loved one during this crisis.