ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York state announced a revision to its visitation guidelines for assisted care facilities.
Under the new guidance, visitation will be allowed in adult care facilities after a 14-day period following no new confirmed staff or resident COVID-19 cases.
Nursing homes still require a 28-day period without COVID-19 cases before visitation is allowed.
Stephen Hanse, who heads the state health facilities and assisted living associations, called the new policies thoughtful and a true safeguard for residents, staff and visitors. He also said he is hopeful that a similar plan will soon be implemented for skilled nursing facilities.
Guidance from the state is below:
ACFs may resume visitation and specified additional activities from the date of this advisory
and under the following conditions:
- The ACF completed the NY Forward Safety Plan, submits a copy of the completed plan
to firstname.lastname@example.org, and retains the original onsite at the facility where
it is easily accessible upon request of the Department or local health department. Such
plan shall include attestation of compliance with all State and federal guidelines as
described in number 6 below.
- The ACF has complied with the staff testing requirements, including furlough of staff
having tested positive for COVID-19 and the facility has no staffing shortages.
All of the consenting in-house ACF residents have undergone diagnostic COVID-19
testing, and the most recently submitted daily HERDS report indicates no new confirmed
staff or resident cases in the last fourteen (14) days based on the HERDS report date.
- The ACF has undergone an Infection Control survey on or after May 1, 2020 by the
Department and was found to be in substantial compliance.
- The ACF is compliant with all reporting requirements associated with COVID-19
response, including but not limited to the daily HERDS and weekly staff testing surveys,
and is compliant with all applicable guidance. Approved plans of correction have been
received for all citations related to the aforementioned reporting requirements.
- The ACF is in full compliance with all applicable State regulations, Executive Orders,
and State guidance related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
Health Advisory: Visitation in Adult Care Facilities
Please distribute immediately to:
Adult Care Facility Administrators
- A copy of the ACF’s formal visitation plan is posted to their public website and broadcast
via email or social media to provide visitors with clear guidelines for visiting, and to
announce if and when visitation is paused due to an increase in the number of residents
and/or staff with a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
When an ACF meets all of the criteria above, the ACF may:
- Only allow for visitors (including resident advocates, peer bridgers and care managers)
a. Visitor is 18 years of age or older or accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or
b. Adequate staff are present to allow for personnel to help with the transition of
residents, monitoring of visitation (including adherence to social distancing
requirements), and cleaning and disinfecting visitation areas after each visit.
c. The ACF maintains signage regarding facemask utilization and hand hygiene
practices and uses applicable floor markings to cue social distancing
d. Visitors are screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to resident
access and are refused access if they exhibit any symptoms or do not pass the
screening questions. Screening must consist of both temperature checks and
asking screening questions to assess potential exposure to COVID-19 which
shall include questions regarding international travel or travel to other states
designated under the Commissioner’s travel advisory. The facility must maintain
documentation of the screening questions asked onsite and make it available
upon the Department’s request.
e. Documentation of visitor screening must be maintained onsite in an electronic
format and available upon the Department’s request for purposes of inspection
and potential contact tracing. Documentation must include the following for each
visitor or representative of the long-term care ombudsman program (LTCOP) to
i. First and last name of the visitor;
ii. Physical (street) address of the visitor;
iii. Daytime and evening telephone number;
iv. Date and time of visit;
v. Email address if available; and
vi. A notation indicating the individual cleared the screening (both temperature
and questions) that does not include any individual temperatures or other
individual specific information.
f. Areas where visitors and residents meet are appropriately disinfected between
visitations using an EPA-approved disinfectant.
g. There is adequate PPE to ensure residents wear a facemask or face covering
h. Visitors maintain social distancing and wear a face covering at all times. The
facility will provide a facemask if the visitor shows up lacking a face covering.
i. Facilities provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer to visitors and residents, and staff
demonstrate appropriate use.
j. Facilities establish additional guidelines as needed to ensure resident and staff
safety and continuity of facility operations. Such guidelines shall include
provisions for limiting the number of visitors at any one time and limited visitor
hours to ensure all residents may have visitation.
k. Visitation should be limited to outdoor areas, weather permitting. Under certain
limited circumstances, as determined by the facility, visitation can be inside in a
well-ventilated common space with no more than 10 individuals who are
appropriately socially distanced and wear a facemask or face covering while in
the presence of others.
l. At no time shall the total number of visitors exceed 10 percent of the in-house
m. Currently COVID-19 positive residents, residents with COVID-19 signs or
symptoms, and residents in a 14-day quarantine or observation period are not
eligible for visits.
n. The ACF should develop a short, easy-to-read fact sheet outlining visitor
expectations including appropriate hand hygiene and face covering
requirements. The fact sheet must be provided upon initial screening to all
- Allow for resumption of external renovation projects with written consent of the
applicable regional office of the Department subject to receipt of a requisite Resident
Safety Plan and/or licensure project via NYSECON and weekly staff testing of the
contractor staff consistent with Executive Order. Those renovation projects impacting
resident space are not currently permitted.
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