Visiting Policy Changes – Spring 2021
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: What kind of visitation is currently being allowed?
A: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments have created new guidelines on visitation for care communities that serve older adults. We can now safely expand visitation in our community with appropriate infection control and prevention measures. The guidelines state that those who are fully vaccinated will be able to come and go without the need to quarantine upon return.
Q: Do residents need to quarantine after leaving the building?
A: If a resident is fully vaccinated, they can leave the building and return without having to quarantine. If a resident is not fully vaccinated, they will be assessed for possible need to quarantine upon return.
Q: Do staff need to monitor resident visitation?
A: No, there is no requirement at this time to monitor visitation within the organization. However, we must screen visitors upon entry into our setting. Visitors are also required to practice hand hygiene and to wear a mask. We continue to educate all visitors about safe, effective infection control practices.
Q: Will visits be socially distanced?
A: As long as a visitor is masked, close physical contact between a fully vaccinated resident and his or her loved one is no longer restricted. We still request that visitors remain socially distanced from other residents and staff at this time.
Q: Will there be scheduled hours for the visitation? Are there any other restrictions?
A: Generally, indoor visits are allowed at all times and for all residents. Visiting policies may change, however, based on the status of COVID-19 in each care community. Consistent with state and federal guidance, we regularly monitor the level of COVID-19 transmission in our broader community, and changes in the transmission rate may also lead to necessary changes in our visitation policy.
Q: Will there ever be a circumstance where a visit is denied?
A: We intend to meet all requests for visitation. However, we retain the right to deny visits based on the status of COVID-19 in the building, the risk of virus transmission in our community, signs or symptoms of or exposures to COVID-19 from those who wish to visit, failure to follow our infection control requirements, or if the resident or visitor is at risk of abuse/harm.
Q: What can I expect when I arrive for my visit?
A: You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival, using the same procedure required for all staff and essential heath care personnel. You will be asked to use alcohol-rub sanitizer before your visit as you enter the building. You will also be asked to review visitation policies, which includes use of facemasks, hand hygiene and limiting your movement within our building.
Q: Must I wear a mask for these visits?
A: Yes, a face mask or other facial covering must be worn during the entire visit unless it is not medically possible. We would appreciate it if you could supply your own mask or facial covering to help us preserve our supply for staff and residents. If you are unable to supply your own mask or facial covering, we will provide one to you.
Q: Is visitation open for all ages?
A: Yes. Visitors will be asked to comply with our visitation protocols, which includes wearing face masks, abiding by social distancing requirements, limiting physical contact, and limiting movement within our building outside of the designated visitation area.
Q: Is there any other type of visitation allowed now?
A: Outdoor visits, window visits and visits through alternative modes of communication (such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime) are also available. We also continue to support compassionate care visits and designated individuals as essential caregivers as appropriate.
Q: Whom do I contact if I have more questions?
A: Start by calling your local administrator or director of housing. Feel free to reach as well out to our Chief Clinical and Compliance Offer at 952-855-5141. If you have questions that are not answered by these FAQs or the guidance, you may contact the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care at 651-431-2555 or 1-800-657-3591.