Message from Kevin Dressler, Office of Developmental Programs
The Department of Health is about to release an announcement that indicates that Skilled Nursing Facilities should immediately implement the CMS guidance for visitations in Skilled Nursing Facilities. We are working to update the DHS guidance to reflect this announcement as it will also be an expectation for ICFs. I have attached the CMS guidance surrounding visitation in Skilled Nursing Facilities revised 3/10/21 and the CMS guidance for visitation for ICFs released 2/10/21 which will be utilized to update the DHS guidance impacting the ICFs. Please begin implementing the Skilled Nursing Facility Guidance for visitation with an eye on assuring compliance with the CMS guidance for ICF visitation.
While preparing to implement the new guidance please consider the following message from Dr. Cherpes:
“It is important to remember that when allowing visitors, facilities should continue to take infection prevention and control measures, such as physical distancing and conducting visits outdoors whenever possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
However, the guidance acknowledges that there is no substitute for physical contact, such as the warm embrace between a resident and their loved one. Therefore, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact, including touch, with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting mask. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.”
You can expect to see the revised DHS guidance for Long Term Care facilities by the middle of next week.
- QSO-21-14-ICF/IID & PRTF 2/10/21 Visitation at Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs) and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) -Coronavirus Disease -2019 (COVID-19)
- Ref: QSO-20-39-NH REVISED 03/10/2021 Nursing Home Visitation – COVID-19 (REVISED)