COVID Visitation Policy
General Visitation Guidance
This section aligns with the newly released revised CMS Nursing Home COVID-19 Visitation Guidance.
Facilities shall not restrict visitation without a reasonable clinical or safety cause, consistent with 42 CFR § 483.10(f) (4) (v). A nursing home must facilitate in-person visitation consistent with the applicable CMS regulations, which can be done by applying the guidance stated below. Failure to facilitate visitation, without adequate reason related to clinical necessity or resident safety, would constitute a potential violation of 42 CFR § 483.10(f) (4), and the facility would be subject to citation and enforcement actions.
Residents who are on transmission-based precautions for COVID-19, isolation or quarantine due to known or suspected COVID-19 infection or exposure should only receive visits that are virtual, through closed windows, or in-person for compassionate care situations, with adherence to transmission-based precautions. However, this restriction should be lifted once transmission-based precautions are no longer required per CDC guidelines, and other visits may be conducted as described below.
CMS and CDC continue to recommend facilities, residents, and families adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, 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 have taken. We also acknowledge 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 cloth face mask or face covering and performing hand-hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.
According to the new CMS guidance, visitation should be person-centered; consider the residents’ physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, and support their quality of life. Nursing homes should enable visits to be conducted with an adequate degree of privacy. Regardless of how visits are conducted, there are certain core principles and best practices that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention should not be permitted to visit or should be asked to leave. By following a person-centered approach and adhering to these core principles, visitation can occur safely.
Visits may occur:
- In dedicated indoor visitation spaces
- In private rooms or
- In shared rooms provided that only one resident can have visitors at a time in-room without roommate present if possible, and core principles of infection control are maintained.
Best infection prevention strategies for all visits
- Fully vaccination for visitors is always preferred when possible but it is not required to participate in visitation (outdoor or indoor).
- Visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, should wear source control and physically distance from staff and other patient/residents, or visitors that are not part of their group at all other times when in the facility.
- Hand hygiene should be performed by the patient/resident and the visitors before and after contact.
- The facility may limit the number of visitors in the building at any given time to maintain the best infection prevention strategies.
- Maintain a record of all visitors with contact information, for potential contact tracing.
- Record date and time of visit, name, address, telephone, and, if available, email address.
- Make records available to IDPH and local health department for inspection and, as needed, for contact tracing; retain at least 30 days.
- Notify all visitors that if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 within three days after visiting, they must immediately notify the facility.
- Ensure that the best infection control strategies are used based on vaccination status.
- If a visitor chooses not to follow the above established rules, Eden Village has the right to terminate the visit and ask the visitor to leave the property.
- All visitors will be screened upon arrival for their visit.
- All visitors will receive the visitor fact sheet, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and hand hygiene prior to the visit.
- When the resident and all of their visitors are fully vaccinated while alone in the designated outdoor visiting area the resident and their visitors can choose to have close contact (including touch) and NOT WEAR SOURCE CONTROL. Visitors should wear source ontrol and physically distance from staff and other residents and visitors that are not part of their group.
- When the resident and all of their visitors are not fully vaccinated the safest approach is for everyone to maintain physical distancing and to wear source control.
- When the resident is fully vaccinated and the visitors are not fully vaccinated the resident can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their unvaccinated visitors while all are wearing well fitted source control, however the safest approach is for everyone to maintain physical distancing.
While taking a person-centered approach and adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, outdoor visitation is preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow. Therefore, visits should be held outdoors whenever practicable. However, weather considerations (e.g., inclement weather, excessively hot or cold temperatures, poor air quality) or an individual resident’s health status (e.g., medical condition(s), COVID-19 status) may hinder outdoor visits.
- The outdoor visitation areas are the pod, the patio, and the gazebo.
- Post signage to cue for 6-foot separation between groups if more than one group will be utilizing the same area, and for face covering, and hand hygiene.
- Alochol based hand rub will be available.
- Outdoor visitation hours are when staff for screening and supervision of visitors will be available.
- The number of visitors per resident at one time is based on the occupancy of the visting area.
- An appointment schedule with time slots for each visitation area will be maintained by social services.
- All visits will be prescheduled through the social service department for the care center, with the exception of compassionate care.
Facilities should allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents (regardless of vaccination status), except for a few circumstances when visitation should be limited due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission (note: compassionate care visits should be permitted at all times).
- ALL visits will be prescheduled through the social service department for the care center, with the exception of compassionate care.
- Visitation days and times are subject to change based on current health conditions, community positivity rate, the facility’s COVID-19 status, staffing and weather conditions. If Madison County positivity rate is high (> 10%), indoor visits will be limited to compassionate care, although outdoor visits may continue.
- Visits will be scheduled for 30-minute increments.
- All visitors will be required to check in with staff prior to his/her visit. Visitors will be assigned a visitation area to utilize. All visitors are required to stay in this area throughout his/her visit.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided to both residents and families for use before, during and after visitation.
- No food or drinks will be allowed in the visiting areas, if unvaccinated
- In shared rooms provided only one resident can have visitors at a time in-room without roommate present if possible, if roommate is unable to leave the room the curtain should be pulled and core principles of infection control are maintained.
- During indoor visitation, facilities should limit visitor movement in the facility. For example, visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, they should go directly to the resident’s room or designated visitation area.
Indoor visitation could be permitted for all residents except as noted below:
- Indoor visitation for unvaccinated residents should be limited solely to compassionate care situations if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is >10% and <70% of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated.
- Indoor visitation should be limited solely to compassionate care situations, for:
- Vaccinated and unvaccinated residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection until they have met criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions.
- Vaccinated and unvaccinated residents in quarantine until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.
- Facilities in outbreak status should follow guidance from state and local health authorities and CMS on when visitation should be paused.