The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued revised guidance for visitation in nursing homes during the COVID-19 public health emergency, in part due to the impact of Covid-19 vaccination.
The revised guidance now permits nursing home visitation for all residents at all times.
Previously, CMS restricted nursing home visitation in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 among vulnerable residents. However, current nursing home Covid-19 data shows approximately 86% of residents and 74% of staff are fully vaccinated.
If proper infection prevention protocols and practices are being followed, the number of new Covid-19 cases should continue to decrease.
The new guidance permitting visitation continues to extend several restrictions such as pre-visitation symptom screening, social distancing, face coverings, and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of the facility. These are consistent with good infection prevention practices.
Previously, many nursing homes shut out visitors for more than a year, leaving family members to worry about the care and treatment their loved ones were receiving out of sight.
New Jersey law and federal regulations require family members to be notified of significant changes in a nursing home resident’s condition.
Unfortunately, many family members have reported feeling like they were not kept informed of their loved ones’ physical and mental status while confined to a nursing home without visitation during the height of the pandemic.