New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued guidance that skilled nursing homes may soon be allowed to resume limited visitations and activities if they have been without COVID-19 – among staff and residents – for at least 28 days, a threshold set by the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Furthermore, there are additional benchmark requirements that must be satisfied prior to establishing a reopening plan to reduce the visitation restrictions, imposed by CMS on March 13, 2020.
In order to accept visitors, all nursing homes are required to submit their visitation plans to NYSDOH and affirmatively attest that they are in compliance with following the proper guidance outlined here.
Stephen Woodruff, Director of the Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (CNR), stated, “At this time, the CNR will remain closed to visitation, pending the development of a comprehensive reopening plan in accordance with the NYSDOH guidelines, ensuring the safest environment possible for visitations. There is not a better sight to see than loved ones coming into the CNR for these cherished personal interactions. Our goal is to move expeditiously but still cautiously to reopen our facility for visitor and public access.”
Once officially resumed, limited visitations at the CNR will adhere to the following rules set forth by NYSDOH:
· Residents in nursing homes and long term care facilities are allowed up to two visitors at a time.
· Visitors must:
o Undergo screening, to include temperature checks;
o Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (furnished by the CNR); and
o Maintain proper social distancing during the visit.
· At least one of the two visitors must be at least 18 years of age or older.
· Only 10% of the residents can be allowed visitors at any time in order to maintain proper social distancing and ensure safe compliance.
“As we near a reopening date, we will issue specific guidance for those wishing to visit their loved ones at the CNR,” continued Woodruff.