April 30, 2021

 As reported on Wednesday, the CDC and CMS issued updated guidance for visitation, testing, and activities.  The revised guidance is located here QSO-20-39-NH REVISED (cms.gov) for your review.  

In light of these changes, we have updated our facility policies to include changes that are addressed in the revised guidance.  

NEW for visitation:
When both residents and their visitors are fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) and not wear source control masks.  To clarify, if both are fully vaccinated, there is no need to wear a mask or physically distance during the visit.  However, when around employees, other residents or visitors not in your group, you must continue to wear masks and physically distance.

The facility is not permitted to ask or require visitors to notify us of your vaccination status.  However, if vaccination status is unknown, we will continue to require masking. There is no change to the fact that if a resident is fully vaccinated, he or she can choose to have physical contact (including touch) with the visitor provided both are wearing well-fitted source control masks.

Visitors may voluntarily disclose their vaccine status if they wish to visit fully vaccinated residents without the use of masks or physical distancing.  We have included this as an option in our visitation packets.  The staff will review this with you when you are scheduling your visit.  

There have also been changes to guidance for fully vaccinated residents who participate in activities and communal dining.

NEW for activities and communal dining:
Fully vaccinated residents who participate in group activities and communal dining may do so without the use of source control masks or physical distancing.  However, if there is a resident that is not fully vaccinated present during the group activity or communal dining, all participants must wear masks and physically distance.

NEW for employee testing:
Guidance related to testing of fully vaccinated employees has also been revised.  In the previous guidance, all vaccinated and unvaccinated employees were routinely tested in accordance with the county positivity rates.  The revised guidance now states that facilities will continue to conduct routine testing of unvaccinated employees in accordance with the county positivity rates.  Vaccinated employees will no longer be required to test routinely.  The Lancaster County positivity rate as of today is 7.7% so we will continue with weekly testing of all unvaccinated employees next week.

The revised guidance is reflective of the decline in positive cases since implementation of the vaccine. We are excited that life for our residents is finally getting back to normal.  

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the changes.

Sharon Eyster, MA, ACBSW, CNHA, FACHCA
Director of Operations


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