Updates: Visitation Guidance and Communal Dining Resource

​On September 17, 2020, CMS released a memo on visitation that also addresses communal activities and dining. Please note we also strongly encourage assisted living communities to apply the core principles in the guidance to their visitation policies.

Facilities should take all reasonably available steps to implement visitation.
Providers should adapt to this new normal in order to keep residents engaged physically, emotionally, and socially. Specifically, residents and patients need to be able to visit with their families and friends, as well as each other. Providers should use an infection control and prevention mindset to help keep residents and patients connected and engaged. How this is implemented should be viewed on a facility-by-facility basis depending on COVID-19 infections in the facility, facility accommodations, staff availability, and resident needs. 

It is important to keep families and residents updated on changes to your facility's visitation policy now and in the future. Over time your processes will improve.  

Things to consider updating and implementing for a successful visitation policy:
  • Ensure staff are well trained on the screening process. 
  • Train staff on how to supervise visitations and how to manage policy violations. 
  • Designate one scheduler to avoid conflicting information to visitors. 
    • Consider online scheduling applications. 
  • Identify ways families want to communicate with their loved ones and how to collect their feedback. 
  • Communicate PPE requirements and what will be accepted for visitors who bring their own. 
  • Communicate disinfecting practices and what visitors should expect to do and see on site. 
  • Address in your plan how your facility will accept items/gifts brought during visitation.
  • How are you going to cancel for inclement weather? 
  • How are you going to manage visitors arriving early? 

​Communal Dining Resource Update 
AHCA has updated its communal dining resource document to align with the recent CMS memo on visitation that also addresses communal activities and dining.