Visitation Protocol During COVID-19

Title:  Protocol for Visitations

Implementation Date: October 12, 2020

Revision Date(S) and Signature(s): initial draft 9/3/2020; updated 9/25/20; 3/15/2021; 5/4/2021; 7/6/2021


Intent of Policy:

  • To standardize the protocol for the facility to implement a visitation option for their residents and family members in the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 Overview of Situation:

  • With visitation being temporarily suspended for an extended period of time for skilled nursing facilities, it is very important to safely begin initiating visitation within the facility for residents and families/friends.
  • Visitation hours will be between 8A-8P every day. Doors will be locked for the hours outside of visitation hours.
  • The residents are able to have (2) visitors for each resident per visit.
  • The visitors will be screened upon entrance to the facility and will be required to answer the screening questionnaire. If a visitor fails the screening process or presents with a fever, the visitor will be asked to immediately leave the facility and will not be permitted to come for another visit for 14 days. The lobby area will then need to be sanitized.
  • The visitors will have to perform hand hygiene upon entry to the facility.
  • Visitors will have to wear a mask at all times when in the facility.
  • Residents, regardless of vaccinated status, will be encouraged to wear a mask during visits.
  • The resident will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene before and after the visit.
  • Children are permitted to visit when accompanied by an adult visitor, within the number of allowable visitors as determined by the facility. Adult visitors must be able to manage children, and children older than 2 years of age must wear a facemask during the entire visit. Children must also maintain strict social distancing for unvaccinated residents.
  • If at any time a visitor does not comply with the guidelines or does not pass the screening process the facility does have the ability to ask that visitor to leave.  The facility also has the ability to determine whether the visitor has the ability to have another visit in the future.
  • This protocol is subject to change at anytime, at the discretion of the Administrator or as directed by the local or state DOH. (IE: an outbreak or community positivity rate.)
  • Visitors will be expected to visit with the resident and not a roommate, if there is one present.

 

Additional Guidance for Visits with Unvaccinated Residents: 

  • Unvaccinated residents will be required to wear a mask during visits.
  • Visitors and residents will be encouraged to adhere to the 6 ft social distancing requirement for visits with resident who are not vaccinated.
  • The visitors will not be permitted to touch the resident during the visit.
  • The visitors must maintain a 6 ft social distancing requirement.
  • The visitors and residents must wear a mask during the duration of the visit.

 

Additional Guidance for Visits with Vaccinated Residents: 

  • CMS and CDC continue to recommend facilities, residents, and families adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection, including physical distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between people). This continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly if either party has not been fully vaccinated. However, we acknowledge the toll that separation and isolation has taken. We also acknowledge 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 in accordance with the CDC’s Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination. Visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.

VISITATION IN ISOLATION

  • Residents in isolation for 14 day quarantine will not be permitted bed side visits, unless an end of life situation exists.
  • Residents in isolation will be offered window visits and face time visits on phones/tablets during isolation.
  • Visitors going into isolation will need to be tested and will don full PPE during the visit.
  • Visits will be limited to (2) visitors per resident.

LOA

  • Residents will be permitted to leave the facility on an LOA, if permitted by the physician.
  • Vaccinated residents will be encouraged to wear masks during LOAs, when visiting public areas. Unvaccinated residents will be required to wear masks during LOAs.
  • Unvaccinated residents will be monitored daily, for 7 days, upon return to the facility after an LOA.
  • If a resident is exposed to COVID during an LOA, that resident will be placed into isolation for 14 days for monitoring.

 

Employee/Management Responsibility: 

  • Current employees will be educated on this policy and procedure.  Any questions or concerns should be discussed with the appropriate supervisor.

 

Family Member/ Responsible Party Responsibility:

  • All family members/responsible parties wishing to visit will be asked to review this policy and acknowledge the rules set forth by the policy.