On June 26, the California Department of Public Health released a new policy regarding visitation that, for the first time since March, REQUIRES nursing homes to permit visitors for outdoor and indoor visits. Facilities MUST permit outdoor visitation unless there is a local public health order that prohibits it. Indoor visits must be permitted if a facility meets six criteria: no current COVID-19 outbreak, a decline in cases in the community, no new COVID-19 cases in the facility for the past 14 days, no staffing shortages and not using a COVID-19 staffing waiver, an adequate testing plan per AFL 20-53, and an approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.
On June 26, the California Department of Social Services released updated guidance regarding visitation in PIN 20-23-ASC that, for the first time since March, REQUIRES assisted living facilities to permit visitors under specified narrow circumstances, and permits indoor and outdoor visitation when certain criteria are met. Providers are required to follow the guidance unless there are contradictory or stricter requirements imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), or local health departments.
Courtesy of the Center for Medicare Advocacy The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently revised its guidance on visitations to nursing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic via seven Frequently Asked Questions. CMS is authorizing additional, more flexible guidance on visitation, while reiterating the need for screening, social distancing, hand hygiene, and face coverings during all visits.
As part of continuing efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus to vulnerable people in nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which regulates most skilled nursing homes, has issued new and very stringent guidelines restricting nearly all nursing home visitors https://www.cms.gov/files/document/3-13-2020-nursing-home-guidance-covid-19.pdf. While the right of nursing home residents to visitation is protected by law, under federal and state emergency declarations, these protections have been temporarily suspended to help prevent visitors from infecting residents whose age or illness may make them very susceptible to the virus.
As part of the state government’s continuing efforts to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable people, the Community Care Licensing Division of the State Department of Social Services (CCLD) has issued new, even stricter guidelines regarding visitor access to assisted living facilities housing California elders. It is important to note that while the CCLD now supports some extraordinary new measures to limit visitor access to facilities, it has also made clear that facility administrators must work to assist families and friends of residents to provide alternative forms of access and information. As we explained in our update of March 13 , California protects the rights of residents to have visitors and to leave facilities (http://canhr.org/publications/PDFs/coronavirus_rcfe_guidelines_20200313.pdf).