Guidance for Safer Visits in Assisted Living Facilities

DHS Logo Original 07/11/2018

Division of Quality Assurance: Assisted Living

Attn: Regulated Assisted Living Facilities

Guidance for Safer Visits in Assisted Living Facilities

In general, all assisted living facilities should continue to restrict visitors and nonessential health care personnel. Facilities should notify potential visitors of the need to defer visitation until further notice (through signage, calls, letters, etc.). COVID-19 is a serious viral infection and, based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (HHS, 2020). This increases the need for vigilance in avoiding the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 into congregate living settings, such as assisted living facilities.

Additional guidance to assisted living facilities regarding safer visits for residents has been developed for facilities with no known or suspected COVID-19 cases. The guidance includes preventative measures to reduce the chances of the introduction of COVID-19 into the facility, while mitigating the unintentional consequences of social isolation from family and loved ones. For purposes of this document, facilities include community-based residential facilities, licensed adult family homes, and residential care apartment complexes.

Assisted living facilities will need to determine whether they can follow these guidelines to ensure they can provide safer visitations. Due to PPE availability, staffing patterns, and facility lay-out and/or location, every facility may not be able to meet the guidance requirements necessary to offer all of the safer visit options, nor will the options available at each facility necessarily be available at all times.