The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) both recommend that post-acute and long-term care providers limit visitor access to help curb the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). In a press briefing earlier this week, David Gifford, MD, AHCA/NCAL chief medical officer, said, “Limit the visits with the elderly in our facilities to prevent the spread there and use a common-sense approach of how to deal with that.”
In its guidance, CMS says:
- Facilities should “actively screen and restrict” visitors who have experienced symptoms of a respiratory infection, come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, traveled internationally within the last 14 days, or live in a community where the virus is spreading.
- If visitors pass this screening, they should only have access to the room of the person they are visiting.
- Facilities should post additional signage at points of entry, conduct body temperature checks, and increase the availability of hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment to people who are allowed to enter.
For HR and other staff, consider prohibiting vendors, job interviewees, and others from entering the premises until otherwise notified. Identify employees who can effectively work from home and have them telecommute temporarily.