Change in Visitation Effective Monday, November 21, 2021
CMS has updated the guidance to visitation in skilled nursing facilities to allow for more visitation for our residents. Outdoor visitation remains the preferred method of visitation. The memo states that “visitation is now allowed for all residents at all times.” However, there is a condition to that statement, “we must adhere to the core principle of infection prevention.” Some of these core principles include:
- Visitors that have a positive viral test for Covid-19, symptoms of Covid-19, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should not enter the facility. The facility is responsible for screening all visitors which we do using the kiosk at the main entrance.
- Hand Hygiene using the alcohol-based hand rub should be used.
- Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose) and physical distancing at least 6 feet between people.
Since all of our residents and staff are vaccinated, we are able to open up visitation with the following changes. These changes will be effective Monday, November 21, 2021. These exceptions are either based on the need to provide for physical distancing or based on limits included in the memo from CMS:
- Visits will be limited to the resident’s room; visitor movement in the facility should be limited and there should be no wandering in the halls of the facility or into common areas.
- Each resident may have two visitors at a time.
- The number of visits per day and the length of the visit is no longer restricted.
- Masks must be worn at all times therefore eating and drinking is prohibited.
- Children who are 5 years and older that have been vaccinated may visit but they must be able to adhere to the rules above.
- Roommates do not need to leave the room for visitation unless the visitor is unvaccinated.
- If you would like to have visits with your loved ones with more than two visitors, please contact Kim Ratliff or Eleanor Han so that arrangements can be made to take place in a safe space that allows for social distancing.
While we can’t insist that visitors share their vaccination status or prevent visitation, it remains important to protect the residents from exposure to Covid-19. If you are unvaccinated and visiting a resident in a double room, we ask that you alert the staff so that we can make arrangements for your loved one’s roommate or for the visit to take place in another location.
We have had requests from families to take residents to other areas of our campus, unfortunately, the memo from CMS states “visitor movement in the facility should be limited and there should be no wandering in the halls of the facility or into common areas” therefore visits can only take place in resident rooms or outside. Special arrangements can be made if there are more than two visitors or if a resident is in a double room where visitors can not enter. Those arrangements can be made by contacting Kim Ratliff or Eleanor Han.
While we are happy to expand our visitation and appreciate the benefits this will have on our residents, we would be naïve to ignore the fact that this may increase the risk of our residents being exposed to Covid-19. While vaccinations have proven to limit the risk of severe illness, it still remains a possibility. Our county is still in the high range of community spread. For these reasons, we ask that all visitors remain vigilant in mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing. Please be mindful that exposure could not only affect your loved one but can also impact other residents and staff members.