NEW CASTLE (DE): For Delaware’s long-term care facilities with low rates of COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) will begin to review proposed plans from eligible facilities to resume indoor visitation. To protect residents and staff, visitation has not been permitted at Delaware’s 88 long-term care facilities since mid-March, when the state’s first positive COVID-19 case was announced.
According to a news release from the Delaware Division of Health, Beginning in June, eligible nursing homes and assisted-living facilities were able to submit plans for outdoor visitation. As of Sept. 2, 2020, the plans of 26 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have been approved by DHSS’ Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ).
Under DHSS’ COVID-19 reopening plan for long-term care facilities, which takes effect on Sept. 8, 2020, those facilities that have not had a new positive COVID-19 case originate there within the last 14 days and have adequate staffing to meet the needs of residents would be eligible to submit a plan for resuming indoor visitation. Visits will be limited to one to two people per resident and will be by appointment only. Visits must occur in a visitation room near an entrance.
“We know that families and close friends of residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have been eager to see their loved ones indoors again,” DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik said. “We are pleased that our Division of Health Care Quality and Division of Public Health will be working with eligible long-term care facilities across the state to provide this opportunity for indoor visitation.”
As indoor visitation plans are approved by the Division of Health Care Quality, long-term care facilities will make families aware that visitations can be scheduled. Among the other requirements for indoor visitation:
In addition, assuming no infections, long-term care facility administrators can work with each resident’s family to designate one support person – a family member or other outside caregiver – who, prior to visitor restrictions, was a regular visitor at least two times per week. The support person will be able to provide companionship and assist with such activities as bathing, grooming and meal set-up if needed.
Under the guidance provided by DHSS, long-term care facilities must follow these rules in designating one support person per resident:
The facility may restrict or revoke the support person’s status if the person fails to follow social distancing, face mask or other COVID-19-
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