The vulnerable nature of people who live-in long-term care facilities, combined with the risks of congregated living during a pandemic, has limited the ability for safe visits to occur. While this has been the safest approach to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it has created other unintended physical and emotional consequences for residents that may seriously threaten health and emotional well-being. The purpose of this guidance is to provide a balance between maintaining safety and supporting residents, family members and staff.
Safer Visits are based on an overall assessment to determine if mitigation approaches will effectively minimize the risks associated with relaxed visitation restrictions.
As the pandemic is affecting communities in different ways, the disease activity will be regularly monitored as considerations are being weighed when implementing visitation practices, but these should not be the sole factor in determining whether visits can occur.
If there is not an outbreak in the facility, or if the outbreak is limited to a Neighborhood, the facility may allow visitation to the other unaffected Neighborhood where an outbreak was identified (if the outbreak is contained, and interventions are in place for continued containment).
The guidance includes preventive measures to reduce the chances of the introduction of COVID-19 into the facility, while mitigating the unintentional consequences of social isolation from family and other loved ones.
We want everyone to know the parameters of what we need to do for Safer Visits and to keep everyone safe (both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons). We have come too far without a single resident contracting COVID-19 to let up on safety precautions now.
Please see also: Compassionate Care Visits