The facility will ensure that resident visitation will be person-centered, considering the residents’ physical, mental and psychosocial well- being and support their quality of life. Visits will be conducted with an adequate degree of privacy. Visitors who are unable to adhere to the facility’s core principles of Covid-19 infection prevention will not be permitted to visit. They will be asked to leave.
The core principles of Covid-19 infection prevention include:
-Screening of all who enter the facility for signs/symptoms of Covid-19 to include temperature checks, question about and observations of signs or symptoms, and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with Covid-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status).
-Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub).
-Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
-Social distancing at least six feet between persons.
-Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on Covid-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene).
-Appropriate use of Personal protective equipment.
-Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit.
-Effective grouping of residents (separate areas dedicated to Covid-19 care).
-Resident and staff testing conducted per regulatory requirements.
The core principles are consistent with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance for nursing homes, and will be adhered to at all times.
Outdoor visitation will be preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as they generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increase space and airflow. Outdoor patio visits will be encouraged whenever practicable based on weather conditions, hot or cold temperatures, or an individual’s health status. Appropriate infection control and prevention practices will be adhered to when conducting outdoor visitation.
A fully vaccinated person is considered a person who is two weeks or greater following administration of the 2nd dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks or greater following administration of 1 dose of a single dose vaccine. This is based on the CDC’s public health recommendations for vaccinated persons.
The facility will permit indoor visitation for residents regardless of vaccination status with the following exceptions:
-unvaccinated residents of the facility’s county positivity rate is greater than 10% and less than 70% of the residents in the facility are fully vaccinated.
-Residents with confirmed Covid-19 infection regardless of vaccination status (until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions).
-Residents in quarantine, regardless of vaccination status until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.
Facility residents and their responsible parties will be notified of changes in visitation policies, new outbreaks, etc, by the Administrator, Social Service Director or designee.
Visitors may contact the facility’s receptionist to schedule a visit date and time.
No more than two visitors per resident will be permitted at one time. Visits will be no longer than 20 minutes in duration.
Special exceptions regarding visitation are granted for compassionate care visits. The core principles of Covid-19 infection prevention as previously outlined will need to be maintained.
No more than three residents will be permitted to receive visitors at one time in order to ensure the adherence of the core principles of infection prevention.
During indoor visitation, facilities will limit visitor movement in the facility by ensuring that they go directly to the designated resident visitation area or resident room. Visitors will not be permitted to walk through different areas/halls of the facility.
If possible, visits for residents who share a room will not be conducted in the resident’s room. In situations where there is a roommate and the health status of the resident prevents leaving the room, the facility will enable in room visitation while adhering to the core principles of Covid-19 infection prevention.
The safest way to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 is to wear a mask, and maintain social distancing of six feet, and perform hand hygiene, however, if a resident prefers close contact with their visiting loved one, and they are fully vaccinated, they may do so while wearing a well-fitting mask and performing hand hygiene before and after. Visitors will be required to maintain physical distance from other residents and staff in the facility.
Indoor visitation during an outbreak:
An outbreak exists when a new onset of Covid-19 occurs among residents or staff. To rapidly detect cases, the facility will adhere to CMS regulations and guidance for Covid-19 testing, including routine staff testing, testing of individuals with symptoms, and outbreak testing.
The facility will immediately begin outbreak testing and suspend all visitation (except that required under federal disability rights law), until at least one round of facility-wide testing of residents and staff is completed. Visitation will resume based on 14 consecutive days with no new cases of Covid-19.
Visitor Testing and Vaccination:
The facility reserves the right to rapid test visitors if determined necessary prior to visitation. Although not required, the facility will encourage visitors to be tested for Covid-19 on their own prior to visiting the facility (within 2 to 3 days of visit). Visitors will also be encouraged to become vaccinated when they have the opportunity.
Compassionate care visits:
In addition to end of life situations, the term “compassionate care situations” also refers to, but is not limited to; a resident who is struggling to adjust to a change of environment from home and lack of physical family support, a resident who is grieving after a friend or family member recently passed away, a resident who is experiencing weight loss or dehydration, or a resident experiencing emotional distress.
In addition to family members, a compassionate visit may also be provided by a member of the clergy or lay persons offering religious or spiritual support.
The facility will work with residents, families, caregivers, resident representatives and the Ombudsman program to identify the need for compassionate care visits.
Entry of additional providers of service
Health care workers who are not employees of the facility but provide direct care to the facility’s residents such as hospice workers, EMS personnel, laboratory and radiology technicians are permitted to enter the facility as long as they are not subject to a work exclusion due to an exposure to Covid-19, or are exhibiting signs/symptoms of Covid-19 after being screened.