COVID-19 Indoor Visitation Policy

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Policy & Procedure

Policy

It is the policy of this facility to adhere to CDC guidelines and best practices for indoor visitation to support each resident’s quality of life. The facility will not restrict visitation without a clinical or safety reason. Visits will be person-centered with consideration of the residents’ physical, mental and psychosocial well-being.

It remains a best practice to continue to limit potential exposure, as much as possible, especially while new positive diagnoses continue to rise across our state and region. The continued use of outdoor visits (weather permitting) and electronic technology for virtual visits is strongly encouraged to keep connected as much as possible.

Basic Protection Matters

Face coverings (covering nose and mouth), social distancing of 6 feet or more, and frequent hand washing for 20 seconds or more or the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer all remain critical in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Guidelines:

  • Inside visitation will be permitted when there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases within the past 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting any outbreak testing.
  • Visitors must be able to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 prevention. Team members will monitor visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles, such as children or a non-compliant visitor.
  • Core principles include but are not limited to:
    • Screening of temperature; questionnaire related to exposure, signs or symptoms (cough, recent onset of shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, chills, or new onset of loss of taste or smell); and a COVID-19 rapid test. Visitation will be denied to individuals with a temperature greater than 100 degrees, having signs or symptoms, answering yes to any of the screening questions, or a positive test until conditions change;
    • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer is preferred);
    • Face covering or mask (covering both mouth and nose);
    • Social distancing at least six feet between persons;
    • Instructional signage throughout the facility;
    • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of high frequency touched surfaces;
    • Appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
    • Effective cohorting of residents, when appropriate;
    • Resident and team member testing conducted, as required;
    • Respecting facility time restrictions to allow others to visit loved ones.
  • Visits are to be scheduled in advance. Normally visitation appointments will be scheduled in the order they are received. Prioritization for visitation will be taken in consideration for a resident with emotional distress, or when determined by the care team that health and well-being necessitates. To schedule an appointment, contact either- Ivy Clippard at (704) 865-5556 (phone), [email protected] (email); Michelle Higby (704) 865-5556 (phone), [email protected] (email); or Tammy Hendrix at (704) 865-5556 (phone) [email protected] (email) to schedule a visit. 
  • Beginning Tuesday, March 30th Indoor visitation will have the following guidelines:
    • Indoor visits will be conducted Monday-Sunday by appointment only between the hours of 9am-5pm. Exceptions will made on a case by case basis for family member who are unable to visit during these times.
    • The number of visitors per resident at one time will be limited to one per resident.
    • The number of visitors in the facility at one time will be limited to two.
    • Visits will be scheduled in advance and the length of time allowed will be limited to 30 minutes to ensure all residents are able to receive visitors.
    • Visits will be conducted in the resident’s room or the designated visitation area- activities room next to the dining room.
    • Visits with residents in shared rooms will not be conducted in the resident room but rather in the designated visitation area.
    • If the health status of a resident prevents them from leaving their room, an in room visit will be coordinated.
  • Indoor visiting will be determined by the county COVID-19 positivity rate, found on the COVID-19 Nursing Home Data site https://data.cms.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-Nursing-Home-Data/bkwz-xpvg: 
    • Low (<5%) = Visitation can occur according to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and facility policies (beyond compassionate care visits).
    • Medium (5% – 10%) = Visitation outdoors would be preferred but can occur indoors according to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and facility policies (beyond compassionate care visits).
    • High (>10%) = Visitation can only occur for compassionate care situations or outdoors, according to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and facility policies.
  • Residents who are on transmission-based precautions for COVID-19 will only receive virtual visits, “window visits”, or in-person for compassionate care situations.
  • Visitors visiting a resident in transmission-based precautions receiving compassionate care will adhere to transmission-based precautions.
  • The facility will offer rapid testing prior to a visit.
  • The facility may also encourage visitors to be tested on their own prior to coming to the facility (e.g., within 2–3 days) with proof of negative test results and date of test.

Procedure

  1. Visits are scheduled with facility designated contacts. Contact Ivy Clippard, Michelle Higby or Tammy Hendrix to schedule a visit.
  2. Visitor will be screened prior to entering facility.
  3. Visitor entry will be through the front door if visiting in a resident room or the activity room outside door, on the back side of the building. Go directly from the rear parking area to the visitation area (Activities).  
  4. Visitation will be limited to a specific visitation area, private resident room, or an alternate designated private location.
  5. Each visitor must bring a face covering or mask (covering both mouth and nose at all times) and perform hand hygiene upon arrival.
    1. Facemask will be provided, in an emergency, if visitor does not bring a face covering or mask.
  6. Each visitor will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. temperature; rapid test; and potential exposure, signs or symptoms questions).
    1. Those with a temperature of 100 degrees or greater, having signs or symptoms and/or test positive will be denied entry until conditions change.
  7. Visitors will provide contact information on a screening log to assist with contact tracing, if needed by the county health department.
  8. Visitors will be provided the visitation policy and instruction regarding infection control & prevention measures and ask to sign an acknowledgement of such.
  9. Visitors will be provided, prior to entering the visitation area, a (1) Visitor At-Risk Policy, and (2) Informed Consent and Assumption of Risk Policy and asked to sign an acknowledgement. If a visitor refuses to sign, the refusal will be documented, and documentation maintained in the visitation file.
  10. Visitors will be reminded to adhere to the core principles and team members will monitor for those who may have difficulty adhering to the core principles, such as small children. Core principles include but are not limited to:
    1. Pre-entrance screening for COVID-19 symptoms
    2. Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer is preferred)
    3. Face covering/mask (covering mouth and nose) at all times during the visit
    4. Social distancing at least six feet between individuals
    5. Respect of facility visitation times to allow others to visit loved ones
  11. Visitors will perform hand hygiene prior to entering resident care areas.
  12. Residents who are fully vaccinated may choose to have close, physical contact with visitors if both parties wear well-fitted masks and perform hand-hygiene before and after contact.
  13. Visitors will have limited movement in the facility by going directly to the resident’s room or the designated visitation area.
    1. Visitors may not move through areas/corridors where residents suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are present.
  14. Visitation area(s) will be cleaned with an EPA-registered disinfectant before and after each visit. 
  15. Privacy will be maintained during visits unless otherwise contraindicated due to the resident’s medical status or failure to follow infection control measures and/or core principles.
  16. Upon exit, visitors will be reminded that if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 within 2-14 days after visiting the center they should immediately notify the center of the date they visited.

a. Any individuals who had contact with the visitor will be screened for the level of exposure and discussed with the Medical Director and county health department for guidance.

Policy Updates or Changes 

Facility will communicate, via email, letter or phone, to our residents and their responsible person any updates or changes as they may occur to this indoor visitation policy and its requirements. The responsible person will be asked to communicate with other family members or friends any updates or changes.

If required, reasonable attempts will be made to ensure changes have a reasonable basis for modifying indoor visitation requirements and/or reducing visitation opportunities.

Failure to Comply

ANY VISITOR WHO FAILS TO FOLLOW THE FACILITY’S INDOOR VISITATION POLICY REQUIREMENTS WILL FORFEIT THEIR VISITATION PRIVILEGES AND WILL NOT BE PERMITTED FUTURE INDOOR VISITATION, EXCEPT IN A COMPASSIONATE CARE SITUATION (e.g. End of Life, etc.)

I have read, understand and agree to adhere to the requirements outlined in this policy and procedure.