Our top priority at this point is to prevent COVID-19 from getting into long-term care facilities. Our national partners at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) have developed new guidance documents for
assisted living communities
to take reasonable efforts to prevent the entry of the virus.
The SNF guidance includes a recommendation to restrict all non-essential visits
. This includes restricting family visits, school groups, bands, and other outside group activities. As we learn more about how serious this virus is for the elderly - particularly the experience in facilities caring for the elderly and how it can spread once it's in a facility - we believe this new guidance is prudent to help achieve our collective goal to prevent the entry of the virus and to put our residents first.
The AL guidance recognizes that assisted living communities vary in size, scope of care, and residents and families' ability to enter and exit the building freely.
Therefore, the AL guidance includes some possible suggestions for the limitation of visitors, including asking residents to encourage their loved ones
to visit, establishing specific visiting hours, limiting the number of entrances, and enacting a sign-in policy for all visitors at a central entry point.
Local or State Public Officials may make additional restrictions depending on data about the local spread of COVID-19, which you should follow. Also, CMS and CDC may issue additional guidance in the future. We will keep you informed of any changes that impact SNF and AL guidance.