This guidance is intended to develop and implement a Safer Visiting Protocol that includes effective infection prevention and control measures and addresses the psychosocial needs of the resident. Infection Prevention practices will be consistent with current CDC and local public health departments guidelines. (See Key Strategies to Prepare for COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCFs); CDC Assisted Living Guidance; contact for local health departments.)
These guidelines cover:
- Screening of all who enter the facility for all signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions or observations about signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms
- Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
- Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose) unless contraindicated. If there are barriers to masking, alternatives will be discussed with resident visitors and an individualized, acceptable plan will be implemented. Suggested alternatives could include:
- Maintain physical distancing in a ventilated room/area
- In addition to physical distancing other protective measures include wearing face shields and the possible use of clear physical barriers, such as a clear divider (Plexiglas or similar product) barrier on a table
- Social distancing at least 6 feet between persons, and reminders to maintain distancing even during the visit, as possible
- Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (for example, use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
- Cleaning and disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
- Appropriate staff use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Effective cohorting of residents (for example, separate areas dedicated to the quarantining-observation of newly admitted individuals and a separate area for those Residents that are COVID-19 care)
- Resident and staff testing conducted as recommended
These core principles are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and will be taken under full advisement at all times. The goal of taking a person-centered approach and following the guidance available, visitation can occur safely.
Also, visits will be conducted with a careful consideration for privacy. Visitors who are unable or unwilling to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention may not be permitted to visit or will be asked to leave.
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