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Last week’s blog explained the steps (per CMS guidelines) to be takenby states when allowing some or all of their adult senior care homes or nursing homes to begin returning to normal. As promised, this week we will look at phases after the first phase called Phase One which will begin to allow visiting in nursing homes.

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(Just as a reminder, the criteria listed were designed to give states the flexibility to move between the phases for all facilities in the state, by county or city within the state, or for each nursing home specifically depending on the state’s judgment.)

Phase Two

of reopening visiting in nursing homes to the public can begin when there have been no rebound cases after 14 days or more in Phase One. There should also have been no new, nursing home-onset COVID cases in the homes in question for 14 days. Nursing homes must not be experiencing staff shortages, and must have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and essential cleaning and disinfection supplies to care for the residents. Before visiting in nursing homes can be established, the nursing home must have confirmed, adequate access to testing for Coronavirus. And local hospitals must have bed capacity on wards and intensive care units.

Visiting in the Nursing Home include the same rules as in Phase One.

Visits in the nursing home are mostly prohibited except for compassionate care situations. Any visitors must still be screened, and use social distancing and frequent hand washing or hand sanitizing. Anyone who visits in a nursing home must also wear facemasks for the duration of the visit. Non-essential heathcare personnel or contractors may begin to come into the nursing home as the facility deems necessary, with screening and using social distancing, hand hygiene and covering faces. No changes in Phase Two for communal dining (still discouraged) and group outings. Some group activities can resume for asymptomatic or Covid Negative residents only, with no more than 10 people and social distancing, hand hygiene and facemask use.

Check with our blog next week when we will cover Phase Three.