Revised Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

On March 9, 2020, CMS posted a revised QSO-20-14-NH which now includes revised guidance for visitation.  This 7-page notification has significant guidance (in red font) for visitation.  Half of pages 2 and 4 are new with page 3 containing expanded recommendations for limiting visitors in LTC facilities.

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Limiting visitors and individuals: Expanded recommendations: CMS is providing the following expanded guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (in addition to the information above about restricting visitors).

  • Restricting means the individual should not be allowed in the facility at all, until they no longer meet the criteria above.
  • Limiting means the individual should not be allowed to come into the facility, except for certain situations, such as end-of-life situations or when a visitor is essential for the resident’s emotional well-being and care.
  • Discouraging means that the facility allows normal visitation practices (except for those individuals meeting the restricted criteria), however the facility advises individuals to defer visitation until further notice (through signage, calls, etc.).

The notification provides additional, specific guidance on limiting visitors and individuals.  This is an absolute must-read for all LTC facilities.

NOTE: The situation regarding COVID-19 is still evolving worldwide and can change rapidly. Stakeholders should be prepared for guidance from CMS and other agencies (e.g., CDC) to change. Please monitor the relevant sources regularly for updates.