Guidelines for nursing home visitors approved by ADHS, according to AARP

Virus Outbreak Nursing Homes
Posted at 8:25 AM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 09:31:11-04

PHOENIX — After months of isolation, residents of long-term care facilities may soon be allowed to have visitors.

The Arizona Department of Health Services approved guidelines Monday, allowing for in-person visits to nursing homes and other facilities, AARP said in a news release.

The guidelines were proposed by the Governor's Task Force on Long-Term Care.

Below are the guidelines approved by ADHS:

  • The visitor presents the facility a negative COVID test (either PCR or antigen) less than 48 hours old.
  • The visitor signs an attestation that they have isolated in the time between the sample was taken and the visit and is free from symptoms.
  • The facility limits contact as much as possible, including a dedicated visitation space.
  • The facility requires mask-wearing by residents (when safe), visitors, and staff.
  • The facility requires hand sanitizing before the visit.
  • The facility maintains a visitor log for contact tracing purposes.
  • The facility institutes enhanced cleaning and sanitation of the facility where the visits occur.

AARP said in a statement, “It is crucial that facilities clearly communicate these visitation guidelines to families and residents. The new guidelines apply to all long-term care facilities in Arizona, including nursing homes, assisted living, independent living and residential care."

Nursing homes and other similar facilities have been a large concern from the start of the coronavirus pandemic with case numbers, testing availability and personal protective equipment among the issues.

To help reduce the spread of the coronavirus among the more vulnerable population, Arizona's care facilities were placed on lockdown.

The Task Force on Long-Term Care had been working on a solution to reunite isolated residents with their families, while still keeping everyone as safe as possible.