Nursing facilities are moving toward safe reopening while adhering to guidance described in the CMS reopening recommendations, CDC guidance and state and local directives. While recognizing the potential psychosocial effects of resident separation from family and other loved ones, resident and staff safety are the priority as reopening proceeds.  General considerations for advancing through the phases of visitation resumption include, but are not limited to state and local outbreak data, local hospital capacity, adequacy of testing and lab processing of tests, PPE supplies, staffing shortages, and new COVID-19 nursing home onset cases.

Facility specific visitation processes should consider:

      • Screening of all visitors for symptoms and exposure history related to COVID19
          • Visitors with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or those exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms should not come to facility.
          • Maintain entry logs and records of screening with consideration of HIPAA compliance
      • Residents who are in Isolation due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should not have in-person visits.
      • Establishment of specific visitation hours and limiting the number of visitors per resident (e.g., no more than 2 visitors at one time).
      • Maintaining social distancing, with visitor and resident staying at least 6 feet apart throughout the visit
      • Process for scheduling visitation in advance (e.g.24-48 hrs) to enable social distancing.
      • Consolidate visitor entry to a single access point and establish a designated location for visitations to occur
      • Consolidate staff entry access points. When possible, establish a separate entry for COVID-19 positive units
      • Creating safe spaces within the designated visitation areas (e.g., see-through separation walls or other areas so that residents may physically see their family members, if not visiting outside).
      • Physical and Visual demarcations in common room areas may be used to ensure social distancing during visitation (e.g. markings on the floor or chairs and tables arranged with appropriate spacing).
      • Communication of visitation/re-opening plans to residents, staff, family and the community
      • Visitor education regarded infection prevention and visitation requirements
      • Both visitors and residents should perform hand hygiene before and after the visitation
      • Both residents and visitors must wear cloth face covering or facemask for the duration of the visit following state and local guidance
      • Cleaning and disinfecting visitation areas between each visit