Covid Visitation Guidelines

POLICY

It is policy of Park Avenue Extended Care to begin visitation for residents, families and resident representatives while ensuring safety and adherence to infection prevention strategies to minimize any potential spread of infection. This will be done in accordance with all state and federal guidance for the prevention of COVID-19.

PURPOSE

To promote and enhance resident quality of life by implementing visitation to combat psychological impacts of isolation from family and representatives. 

CRITERIA FOR ALLOWING VISITATION 

Facilities in Phase 3 regions may resume limited visitation and activities beginning July 15, 2020 and only under the following conditions:

  1. The facility is in full compliance with all state and federal requirements, state Executive Orders and guidance, state reporting requirements including COVID-19 focus surveys, HERDS and staff testing surveys, and federally required submission of COVID-19 data to the NHSN.

  2. The facility has protocols to separate residents into cohorts of positive, negative, and unknown as well as separate staff teams to deal with COVID-positive residents and nonpositive residents.

  3. The facility has completed the NY Forward Safety Plan and submitted a copy of the complete plan to. The facility must retain a copy of the plan at the facility where it is accessible and immediately available upon request of the Department or local health department.

    1. The plan must clearly articulate the space(s) to be used for visitation (outdoors and indoors) including the number of visitors and residents which could be safely socially distanced within the space 

  4. The absence of any new onset of COVID-19 among staff or residents as reported to the Department on the HERDS and staff testing surveys and as reported to the NHSN for a period of no less than (14) fourteen days, consistent with CMS guidelines.

  5. Adherence to written screening protocols for all staff during each shift, each resident daily, and all persons entering the facility or grounds of the facility, including visitors. Visitors must present a validate lab report with visitor name, date test taken and result on screening form. Visitors may be asked for ID as needed. The seven- day timeframe is from the date the test was taken, not the date of the result.

  6. Resident monitoring must include daily symptom checks, vital signs, and pulse oximetry.

  7. A copy of the facility’s formal visitation policy is posted to their public website and broadcasted 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 confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

  8. Limited visitation, including, but not limited to, family members, loved ones, representatives from the long-term care ombudsman program (LTCOP), and resident advocacy organizations will be permitted.

  9. In accordance with the October 23, 2020 NYSDOH Memorandum visitation will also be affected if the facility is in a red or orange zone.

- Red Zone – All visitation is suspended in residential congregate facilities located in red zones, except for in the following instances: compassionate care (including end of life/hospice situations), medically or clinically necessary (i.e. visitor is essential to the care of the patient), and essential companions to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities or with cognitive impairments, including dementia.  

- Orange Zone – Visitation shall be suspended at a residential congregate facility in an orange zone if a staff member or resident in the facility has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 14 days, except for in the following instances:  compassionate care (including end of life/hospice situations), medically or clinically necessary (i.e. visitor is essential to the care of the patient), and essential companions to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities or with cognitive impairments, including dementia.  

PROCEDURE:

  • Facility visitation will be conducted indoors in the lobby, area with no more than 10 individuals who are social distanced and wearing facemask / face covering at all times while in the building.

  • Visits will be no more than 30 minutes in duration and scheduled in advance at the family member’s convenience through an automated online system. For those who aren’t able to access the internet phone appointments will be available. The Social Work Director, or designee will be responsible for confirming the appointments through the automated system, as well as printing and distributing the daily schedule of visits.

The facility will assign staff to assist with the transition of residents, monitoring of visitation, and cleaning and disinfecting areas used for visitation after each visit using an EPA-approved disinfectant.

    • The facility will post signage regarding facemask utilization and hand hygiene and uses applicable floor markings for social distancing.

    • The facility will screen all visitors for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to resident access and visitation will be refused if the individual(s) exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms. This will include temperature checks and screening questions to assess potential exposure to COVID-19, international travel and to states designated under the Commissioner’s travel advisory. The facility will maintain screening questions in an electronic format and make it available upon the Department of Health request.

    • A log will be kept for all visitors that includes:

      • First and last name of the visitor;

      • Physical (street) address of the visitor;

      • Daytime and evening telephone number;

      • Date and time of visit;

      • Email address, if available;

      • Date of negative Covid test within the last week (7 days) and

      • As per NYSDOH a notation indicating the individual cleared the screening (both temperature and questions) that does not include any individual temperatures or other individual specific information.

         

    • Visitors and residents are required to wear masks at all times during the visit. Face-mask or face covering (must always cover both the nose and mouth when on the premises of the facility). Visitors are asked to come to the facility with appropriate nose and mouth coverings, however masks will be provided if needed.

    • Visiting areas will have easily accessible alcohol-based hand rub, for residents, visitors, and staff.

    • No more than 10 percent of the residents (based on facility current census) shall have visitors at any one time and only two visitors will be allowed per resident at any one time.

    • Visitors under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by an adult 18years of age or older.

    • Current COVID-19 positive residents, residents with COVID-19 signs or symptoms, and residents on temporary quarantine or observation period are not eligible for visits.

    • The facility will provide and post a fact sheet outlining visitor expectations including appropriate hand hygiene and face coverings. The fact sheet will be provided upon initial screening to all visitors.

    • The interdisciplinary COVID-19 Response Team will review the visiting program and monitor for any needed adjustments, reporting to the QAA Committee as needed.

  • If any visitor fails to adhere to the protocol, he/she/they will be prohibited from visiting for the duration of the COVID-19 state declared public health emergency.

  • Written communication to both residents and designated resident representatives will be distributed/mailed prior to limited resumption of visitation. Such communication will clearly outline the days, times, locations, and procedures for visiting.

  • The facility’s approved NY Forward Safety Plan will be made available to DOH and/or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

  • Residents will also be assisted to go outdoors with staff supervision weather permitting. The appropriate infection control and safety and social distancing requirements must be maintained.