March 23, 2021
AHCA Releases Guidance This Afternoon on
the Division of Emergency Management Rescinding the Visitation Order
This afternoon, the Agency for Health Care Administration released guidance to go along with rescinding the Division of Emergency Management's latest Emergency Order DEM 21-001
Limitations in the DEM Emergency Order 20-011 Related to Visitation are Lifted Effective March 22, 2021
Nursing homes must follow revised federal CMS visitation guidelines and core principles of infection prevention. Assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities must follow state and federal recommendations and industry best practices for visitation, infection prevention, and the screening and triage of everyone entering a facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
The Emergency Order provided important protections for long-term care residents who are most at-risk for serious complications from COVID-19 infections. Limiting visitation has helped keep residents safe, but restricting access to families and friends has taken a toll on the quality of life of those living in long-term care facilities. Moving forward, all long-term care facilities should strive to help alleviate the burden caused by separation of residents from their loved ones. Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership,
Florida’s vaccination efforts with long-term care facilities have provided tremendous reduction in COVID-19 cases for long-term care staff and residents – 90% declines in the last 60 days alone.
Current COVID-19 long-term care cases represent less than 1% of residents and staff. This month, the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published updated standards and guidelines recognizing the impact of vaccinations in the fight against COVID-19. By continuing to follow these standards and guidelines, long-term care residents will have more opportunities to safely connect with their families and loved ones.