Updated Visitation Procedures
Visitation can be conducted through different means based on the facility’s structure and residents’/tenants’ needs, such as in resident/tenants’ rooms, dedicated visitation spaces, and outdoors. Regardless of how visitation is conducted, certain core principles and best practices to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission must be followed:
Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention
Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, or have symptoms of COVID-19, should defer their visit and not enter the facility until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation.
A visitor who has been exposed to someone confirmed positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days should wear a mask for the duration of their visit.
Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred).
Face covering or mask (covering nose and mouth) and physical distancing at least 6 feet between people in accordance with current CDC guidance.
Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices.
Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit.
Appropriate staff use of PPE.
Effective cohorting of residents/tenants (separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care).
Residents/tenants and staff testing conducted as required.
These core principles are consistent with the most current CDC guidance for nursing homes and should be adhered to at all times. Additionally, visitation should be person-centered, consider the residents/tenants physical, mental and psychosocial well-being, and support their quality of life. Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention should not be permitted to visit or will be asked to leave.
Level of Community Transmission
The facility will use the Community Transmission Level metric- NOT the COVID-19 Community Level to determined specific infection control and prevention practices as recommended for the identified level. The Nursing facility will check the COVID-19 Community Transmission Level, via the website, weekly.
If the community transmission rate increases, new practices should be implemented as soon as possible.
Visitors Entering the Facility
The facility must allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents/tenants as permitted under regulations. Facility will no longer limit the frequency and length of visits for residents/tenants, the number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits.
Indoor Visitation during an Outbreak Investigation
Visitors will still be allowed in the facility.
Visitors should be made aware of the potential risk of visiting and precautions necessary in order to visit the resident/tenant during an outbreak investigation and adhere to the Core Principles of COVID-19
Visitors should wear masks during visits, and the visits should occur in the resident’s/tenant’s room or private area when possible.
Infection Prevention for Visitation
Active screening of visitors is no longer required.
Signs are posted at facility entrance and around the facility with guidelines about visitation for visitors who have had a positive COVID-19 test, are symptomatic for COVID-19 and/or have had close contact with someone confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 within the past 10 days. Any visitor who has been positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 should be advised to defer their visit, if non-urgent, until they meet the criteria to end their isolation. A visitor who has been exposed to an
individual who is positive for COVID-19 should wear a mask in the facility and while visiting residents/tenants until 10 days have passed since their close contact. If they are unable to wear a mask, they should defer their visit.
Although there is no limit to the number of visitors that a resident/tenants can have at one time, visits should be conducted in a manner that adheres to the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention listed above. Facility should ensure that proper social distancing can be maintained during peak times of visitation and encourage visitors to go directly to resident’s/tenants’ rooms or designated visitation areas.
Visitors are not required to be tested or vaccinated, or show proof of such.
Sharing a meal during visitation
Visitors may eat with a resident/tenant if the resident/tenant (or resident/tenant representative) and the visitor are aware of the risks and adhere to the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention. If the visitor is unable to physically distance from other residents/tenants, they should not share a meal with the resident/tenant in a common area.
Indoor Visitation During an Outbreak Investigation
An outbreak investigation is initiated when a single case of COVID-19 occurs among residents/tenants or staff to determine if others have been exposed. When a new case of COVID-19 among residents/tenants or staff is identified, the facility will begin outbreak testing in accordance the facilities COVID-19 testing policies and procedure which align with the CMS and CDC
While it is safer for visitors not to enter the facility during an outbreak investigation, visitors must be allowed in the facility. Signs will be posted to make visitors aware of the Outbreak Investigation. If visitors choose to visits during an investigation, they should wear masks during visits and ideally visit in the resident’s/tenant’s room.
Denise Cheney, RN, Infection Control Nurse/Social worker designee
St. Francis Manor