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CMS Releases New Guidance Around Visitation for Nursing Homes

March 10, 2021

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance around visitation for nursing homes.  It is effective immediately.

After a year of significant restrictions imposed because of COVID-19, the new guidance allows indoor and outdoor visits for all residents, except in limited circumstances.  Infection prevention protocols are still in place and must be followed by all visitors.  Visitation is allowed regardless of vaccination status.

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.

Compassionate care visits should be allowed at all times, regardless of vaccination status, an outbreak in the facility, or the county's positivity rate.

While CMS and CDC recommend that the core principles of infection prevention be followed at all times, including physical distancing, if a resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting mask and performing hand hygiene.  

The guidance can be found on the CMS website - QSO-20-39-NH REVISED.  Also, see the fact sheet on the guidance from CMS. 

The Consumer Voice will be sharing more information in the coming days.

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