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New Guidance Opens Indoor Visitation at CH Communities

Posted on: Mar 18, 2021

With new guidance now in place from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Christian Horizons communities are now accepting visitors with several rules, procedures, and protocols in place, as the health and safety of residents, staff, and the community remain our top priority.

Visitation Protocols

Outdoor visits, when practical, are still considered a safer and preferred setting but indoor visits are allowed if core principles of COVID-19 prevention practices are followed.

We request visitors call to schedule visit appointments with the community in advance. Scheduling of visits enables the community to make sure all protocols are followed and that our residents, associates, and visitors are safe.

Per CMS regulations visitation must be limited in some cases:

  1. Unvaccinated residents may not have visitors if the county positivity rate exceeds 10% and less than 70% of the residents are vaccinated.
  2.  Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infections may not have visitors until they have met the CDC criteria to discontinue isolation precautions (except for end of life/compassionate care visits).
  3. Residents in quarantine (whether vaccinated or unvaccinated) may not have visitors until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

The community will make reasonable efforts to ensure all residents have opportunity to have visitors and that they can spend a suitable amount of time together. The length of visits will depend on the community’s capacity to accommodate visitors while ensuring that core infection control principles are maintained. If you arrive early for your scheduled visit, you may be asked to wait in your vehicle, outside, or in a designated waiting area.

While there is no age restriction, all visitors, regardless of age must be able to follow all core principles of COVID-19/infection prevention (mask/social distancing/hand hygiene). 

Visitors will be screened when they arrive, which includes a temperature check, and a series of questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, exposures and travel. If the visitor has a fever, any symptoms of COVID-19 or recent exposure to COVID, they will not be allowed to visit the resident and will need to reschedule at an appropriate time.

Visitors will be required to use Alcohol Based Hand Rub for hand hygiene following the screening prior to the visit and again at the conclusion of the visit. 

COVID-19 testing is not required prior to visiting but is available if requested or under special circumstances.

Vaccination is highly encouraged but proof of vaccination is not required to visit a resident.

Visitors must wear a mask when they enter the building and throughout the entire visit. The mask must be well fitting (cloth is acceptable) and be worn over the nose and mouth for the entire time. Visitors should wear their own mask but will be given one if they do not have one. If other PPE is required, the community will provide it.

Consuming food or drink will not be allowed during the visit due to the need to wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Visitor(s) will be escorted to/from the visitation location. Generally, this will be a designated room to limit visitor movement in the community. Under some circumstances, visits may be in the resident’s room but not if the resident has a roommate. 

The designated visitation area will have oversight with reasonable privacy granted.

Visits should be conducted using social distancing of 6 feet. However, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact, including touch, during a visit while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after close contact. Examples: a hello/goodbye hug or a few minutes of hand holding. 

Residents are monitored at least daily for COVID-19 symptoms including temperature. Residents will be assisted to wear a mask and perform hand hygiene prior to and following the visit.

The designated visitation area will be cleaned/sanitized before and after each visit.

Visitors who are unable or unwilling to adhere to the core COVID-19 infection prevention principles will not be permitted to visit or will be asked to leave. 

Visitation Protocols outlined above do not impact Compassionate Care and Essential Caregiver visits.