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

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.
  • Visits will be scheduled during specific daylight, evening and weekend hours so that an additional staff member can assist in supporting and monitoring the visits between the residents and family/friends.
  • Visits will be scheduled in an appointment book, that the Administrator and/or Director of Nursing can schedule for families/friends of residents Monday-Friday 8 AM-4:30 PM. Visits can be scheduled by calling the facility and speaking to the Administrator or Director of Nursing.
  • The visits will be held in the lobby of the facility, which is outside of resident care areas, to limit the exposure of visits to our resident areas.
  • The visits are able to have (2) visitors for each resident per visit.
  • The visitation area will be sanitized using the facility’s sanitation solution after each visit.
  • The visits will be held for (30) minute increments, with (30) minute lag time for sanitation and transportation of residents.
  • 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 schedule 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.
  • Once the visitor is successfully screened in and sitting for the visit, the resident will be brought for the schedule visit.
  • The resident will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene before and after the scheduled 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.
  • 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 schedule 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.)


Additional Guidance for Visits with Unvaccinated Residents: 

  • Visitors will be asked to sit in the designated area, which is strategically planned to adhere to the 6 ft social distancing requirement for visits with resident who are not vaccinated. The resident will also sit in the designated area.
  • 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.

Bed Side Visit

  • Residents determined to be unable to be safely transported to designated visiting area for medical reasons will be granted bed side visits.
  • Determination of residents meeting criteria for bed side visits will be determined by the Director of Nursing and IDT team and communicated to the family, when applicable.
  • Two designated immediately family members (same two at all times) will be allowed to visit at bed side for visits.
  • Visitors will need to be COVID tested weekly (either by facility or have negative test results to provide).
  • Visitors will need to wear appropriate PPE, provided by facility.
  • Visitors will be COVID screened upon entrance to the facility.
  • Visitors will be expected to only visit with the resident and not a roommate, if there is one present. Visitors are expected to limit their interaction with employees.


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.