MANCHESTER (September 30, 2020) – As of September 28, 2020, Governor Lamont and the Department of Public Health lifted the restriction on indoor visitation in nursing homes in Connecticut.
As of this week, all iCare Health Network care centers will be allowing and supporting indoor visits in addition to continuation of outdoor visits, weather permitting.
Each care center will have some specific guidelines depending on the center’s layout, staffing and other needs. Below are a list of guidelines and infection control measures. These policies are intended to maintain a safe environment while encouraging residents to engage with their friends and loved ones.
NOTES, UPDATED OCTOBER 6, 2020:
- Click Here for VISITATION INFORMATIONAL POSTER
- Should a facility experience an outbreak (1 or more positive staff or residents), indoor, outdoor or open window visits will be suspended immediately and for 14 days.
- Closed window visits and end of life (compassionate) visits can continue during an outbreak, but with very strict parameters and infection prevention measures.
- Because of the potential for very short notice on a facility’s outbreak, potential visitors should call in advance of a visit to determine status, type and availability of visits.
- At the present time, we will be requiring negative results COVID-19 PCR testing (in addition to symptomatic and risk assessment screening) for visitors, other than End of Life and certain Compassionate Care Visits in order to allow indoor facility visitation. If you need information about local COVID testing locations, please let us know.
Indoor Visitation Guidelines
- To ensure proper preparation and resources, it is preferred that indoor visits be scheduled in advance through each care center but every effort will be made to accommodate unscheduled visits.
- Shall occur provided there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing;
- Visitors should be able to adhere to the core principles and staff should provide monitoring for those who may have difficulty adhering to core principles, such as children;
- The number of visitors per resident at one time shall be limited as are the total number of visitors in the care center at one time (based on the size of the building and physical space).
- Visits may be scheduled for a specified length of time to help ensure all residents are able to receive visitors; and
- Care centers will limit movement in the facility. For example, visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, they should go directly to the resident’s room or designated visitation area. Visits for residents who share a room should not be conducted in the resident’s room.
- For situations where there is a roommate and the health status of the resident prevents leaving the room, the care center shall attempt to enable in-room visitation while adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention.
- Visits that fall under the definition of Compassionate Care visits will be assessed and managed on a case-by-case basis to ensure proper preparation, prevention measures, while allowing the visit to take place in the resident room, at their bedside and with interpersonal contact whenever possible.
The following infection prevention measures will be in place during indoor visits:
- Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions or observations about signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms
- Hand hygiene including the use of alcohol-based hand rub
- Face covering or mask covering mouth and nose
- Social distancing at least six feet between persons
- Instructional signage throughout the facility
- Proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
- Cleaning and disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
- Staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated COVID-19 care) will continue and be maintained
- Resident and staff testing conducted as required
For more information please contact the iCare Health Network care center directly. Email inquiries can be directed to moc.nheraci@ofni. For more COVID-specific information from iCare, go to icarehn.com/covid-19/