At long last, there is good news to share regarding visitation. In a communication we received this morning, CMS has revised their guidance and indoor visitation is permitted once again! While the revised guidance does not remove all restrictions, it allows for in-person visits which include physical contact. Here is an excerpt taken directly from the CMS guidance: “…physical distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between people) continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly if either party has not been fully vaccinated. However, we acknowledge the toll that separation and isolation has taken. We also acknowledge that there is no substitute for physical contact, such as the warm embrace between a resident and their loved one. Therefore, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.” This means that hugs are once again OK!
As we had done in the past, visits will be scheduled to the greatest extent possible, given the availability of volunteers to assist with visitation and the need for staff to focus on resident care. We will once again utilize the “Sign-Up Genius” scheduling tool.
The link can be found on our web page beginning Sunday evening. We will be able to accommodate visits beginning Monday, March 15th. The duration of visits will be 20 minutes, and visits need to be scheduled in advance; no drop-in visits are permitted.
We are thrilled that CMS has seen fit to relax the visitation restriction, and we pray for further loosening of restrictions very soon. At this time, the guidance regarding quarantine following doctor visits remains in place, as does the requirement for physical distancing in dining rooms, Activities, etc. But we are pleased that this significant step has been taken to lighten the burden on both residents and their loved ones.
I hope to be able to write again with more good news in the near future. Please pray with me that this pandemic is soon a distant memory. Thank you for your support of Regina Health Center. May God continue to bless all of us!
Deacon Mark Yantek