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COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities

COVID-19 Homepage    Visitation

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Recent News & Resources:
*  All nursing home and assisted living facility residents and staff can receive a COVID-19 vaccine from the long-term care facility where they live or work.  Read our information sheet to learn more.
*  Consumer Voice, with partner organizations, sent a letter calling on CMS to restore nursing home residents' visitation rights.
*  New Fact Sheet: Nursing Home Visitation and Quarantine: FAQs & Advocacy Strategies for Families


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Consumer Voice Resources for Advocacy & Families

The resources below will help you advocate for yourself or your loved one in a long-term care facility:

Part of being a good advocate is taking care of yourself, read our fact sheets for tips on how family caregivers and residents can take care of themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic:

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How Vaccinations Affect Visitation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance (3/10/2021) around visitation for nursing homes.  The new guidance allows indoor and outdoor visits for all residents, except in limited circumstances. Visitation is allowed regardless of vaccination status of residents or visitors, though vaccination is encouraged.

Vaccinated residents can now have close contact with visitors, including hugs.

Limitations on visitation may occur:

  • for unvaccinated residents if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10% and less than 70% of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;
  • for residents with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, until they have met criteria to discontinue precautions; or
  • for residents in quarantine, regardless of vaccination status, until they have met criteria to be released from quarantine. 

Learn more about what this visitation guidance means.

CDC Guidance on Quarantine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidance (3/29/21) regarding infection prevention and control to prevent COVID-19 spread in nursing homes. It includes important information about when nursing home residents are required to quarantine.  Whether a resident should be quarantined depends on factors such as vaccination status, exposure to someone with COVID-19, and length of time outside of the facility. Read the summary from Consumer Voice providing basic information about quarantine and indicating when quarantine is necessary.

Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Accessing COVID-19 Vaccines in Long-Term Care Facilities

Until early April, the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program facilitated on-site COVID-19 vaccination of residents and staff at participating long-term care facilities through three on-site vaccination clinics. Although these vaccination clinics have concluded, all nursing home and assisted living facility residents and staff can receive a COVID-19 vaccine from the long-term care facility where they live or work.  Read our information sheet to learn more.


COVID-19-Related Webinars

Using CMS Guidance to Open Nursing Home Doors (4/30/2021) - A conversation with Consumer Voice's Robyn Grant and Jocelyn Bogdan about how residents, families and advocates can use guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to facilitate in-person visitation. 

Revised Nursing Home Guidance Webinar (3/12/2021) - This webinar provided an overview of the revised CMS visitation guidance, presented by Evan Shulman, CMS Director, Division of Nursing Homes. We also shared Consumer Voice’s initial thoughts about the guidance and next advocacy steps.

See more webinars about issues related to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.


CMS Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated their visitation (QSO-20-39-NH Revised) and testing (QSO-20-38-NH Revised) guidance (4/27/21) to reflect the newest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) lifting restrictions on dining and other activities for vaccinated nursing home residents.

CMS rescinded emergency waivers related to notice prior to discharge/transfer, care planning, and submission of Minimum Data Set. Waivers related to nurse aide training remain. QSO-21-17-NH (4/8/21) Read Consumer Voice's summary.

CMS updated its guidance on visitation in nursing homes - QSO-20-39-NH REVISED (3/10/21).  Read Consumer Voice's summary, key takeaways and concerns about the guidance.

See more information about guidance issued by CMS, CDC, and ACL.


Congressional Action

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Staying Connected with Family and Friends Living in Long-Term Care Facilities

With new directives placing strict limits on visitors to nursing homes and many assisted living facilities taking similar precautions, friends and families of residents living in long-term care facilities are using creative ways to stay in touch with their loved ones.  

Creative Ideas and Practices for Staying Connected While Social Distancing and Visitation is Limited


Additional Resources

Additional Resources

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