CMS relaxes nursing home visitation guidelines

Nursing homes should allow responsible indoor visitation for residents, according to CMS guidance updated March 10.

CMS, in collaboration with the CDC, issued guidance to safely expand visitation options during the pandemic. The latest guidance comes as more than 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered within nursing homes.

According to the new guidance, facilities should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitation for:

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated.
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions.
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

Visits for a resident whose health has sharply declined or who is experiencing a significant change should be allowed at all times, regardless of vaccination status, the county's COVID-19 positivity rate or an outbreak, according to CMS.

Facilities, residents and families should continue to follow the core principles of COVID-19 infection control, including physical distancing and conducting visits outdoors when possible.  

For a fact sheet on the updated guidance, click here. 


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