May 3, 2022
Woodlawn Commons Assisted Living
Visitation Safety Guidelines, Fact Sheet, and Policies
Policy: Woodlawn Commons will allow safe visitation at the direction of the Department of Health, accompanied by strong infection prevention and control requirements and additional safety guidelines. This policy aims to safeguard and maintain the health and wellbeing of residents and staff, while containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
According to revised DOH guidance, Assisted Living Communities or Adult Care Facilities (ACFs) can expand visitation under revised guidance provided they are able to continue to follow the core principles of infection control and prevention and have met all conditions listed within the NYS DOH Guidelines.
According to NYS regulation, these visitation guidelines are subject to change.
Woodlawn Commons must attest and ensure visitors adhere to the following requirements:
- Visitors who have a positive viral test for COID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 irrespective of test result, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should not enter the ACF. All who enter with the exception of emergency personnel responding to an emergency, must be screen for these exclusions.
- Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry to those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status).
- Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred). Sanitizer is available for visitors to use.
- All residents and visitors should wear face covering or face masks and physically distance, particularly if either is at increased risk for severe disease or i unvaccinated.
- Residents should wear facemasks when around other residents or healthcare personnel, regardless of vaccination status.
- Visitation will be allowed in designated areas as determined by the facility. At this time, visitation is allowed in designated outdoor areas (weather permitting), resident apartments, and seated common areas.
- Woodlawn Commons will not limit the number of visitors a resident can have at any one time, nor the frequency or length of visits for residents, or require advance scheduling of visits. However, the ACF must ensure physical distancing can be maintained and, to the extent possible, facilities should avoid large gatherings during which a large congregation or individuals in the same space cannot maintain physical distancing.
- While not recommended, residents who are on transmission-based precautions or quarantine can receive visitors. Such visits should occur in the resident’s room and the resident must wear a well-fitting facemask (if tolerated). Before visiting such residents, visitors must be made aware of the potential risks of visiting and the precautions necessary to visit the resident. Visitors must adhere to the core principles of infection prevention. Facilities may offer well-fitting facemasks and other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) if available, but facilities are not required to provide PPE to visitors.
- Adult Care Facilities may ask a visitor about their vaccination status however, visitors are not required to be tested or vaccinated or show proof of such as a condition of visitation. If the visitor declines to disclose vaccination status, the visitor should wear a face mask at all times. This applies to representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, peer bridgers, housing contractors, care managers and other similar providers (collectively, “Settlement Providers”), and protection and advocacy representatives.
- Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene).
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and designated visitation areas in the facility often, and after each visit.
- Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care).
- Residents in isolation or observation, and residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 status, irrespective of vaccination status, should not have visitors outside of compassionate care or end-of-life situations.
- These core principles are consistent with federal guidelines and must be adhered to at all times. Additionally, visitation should be person-centered and consider the residents’ physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, and support their individual quality of life.
Limitations per DOH: Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention should not be permitted to visit or should be asked to leave. In order to maintain orderly and appropriately staffed visitation that allows for screening and proper adherence to the core principles of infection control pre and post visit, the following visitation plan and guidelines are in place:
- Normal Hours of Visitation:
- 9am – 7pm: Monday through Friday
- 9am – 7pm: Saturday & Sunday
- Exceptions can be coordinated with administration with notice.
- Visitors and residents must always wear a mask.
- Sharing of food is prohibited unless they are fully vaccinated.
- One pet per visit is allowed in a controlled manner. Should the pet cause any disruption to core practices, staff will ask it to be removed. Proof of pet vaccinations will need to be shown on first visit.
- Any visitor arriving without a face mask will be provided one by Woodlawn Commons.
- Noncompliance with the visitation policy will result in denial of visitation.
- The facility reserves the right to cancel visitation at any time if needed based on circumstances that may impact the wellbeing of residents or staff as determined by the facility.
- Any visitor on required quarantine, due to an exposure to a positive case, as determined by their county, is not eligible for visitation until the quarantine period has been completed.
- The New York State Travel Advisory is no longer in effect. As such, travelers arriving in New York are no longer required to submit traveler health forms. All travelers, domestic and international, should continue to follow all CDC travel requirements.
- Prior to each visit, visitors must undergo a screening process that includes questions regarding signs and symptoms of COVID, temperature checks and COVID-related health questions including travel internationally in the past 14 days, any close contact with anyone who is COVID positive or any potential exposure to COVID-19.
- At this time, visitor vaccination status does not change these protocols.
- Outdoor visitation is preferred, weather permitting.
- Rapid testing is available and recommended for unvaccinated visitors.
- Outdoor visitors will still need to be fully screened and a rapid test is recommended for non-vaccinated visitors.
- Visitors shall be denied visitation if they report any COVID-19 exposure, signs or symptoms, or have a temperature of 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
- All visitors will be screened at the main entrance of Woodlawn Commons.
- Entry to the building from any entrance other than the main entrance with screening is prohibited.
- All visitors must sign in electronically and fill out all screening questions on-screen.
- As required by DOH, Woodlawn Commons will maintain a daily log of all visitors, which will include names, contact information (phone number, and email address if available) as well as the location where the visitation occurred. During the screening process, all visitors will have access to a fact sheet that outlines visitor expectations.
Masking, Social Distancing, and Hand Sanitizing Protocol:
- Visitors must continue to wear masks and maintain social distance when not in an approved visitation area. ( i.e. resident apartments, common seating areas, and outdoors.)
- All visitors must continue to use facial coverings or masks.
- 24-48 hours notice for off-campus visits including over-night is requested per our normal policy to allow for our care team to prepare any medication necessary for the duration of that visit.
- Appointments and prior notice are still requested for virtual visits.
- Designated visitation locations are inside resident apartments, outdoor patios, and have been expanded to include all common areas.
- Woodlawn Commons encourages all visitors to bring their own face masks approved by the CDC. If a visitor does not have a mask, one will be provided. Anyone refusing to wear a face mask will not be allowed entry/visit. The mask must be properly worn over the nose and mouth throughout the entirety of the visit. Visitors who mask inappropriately or pull their mask down during a visit, will be asked to leave should the behavior continue.
- Cloth masks are appropriate but must fit securely to bridge of nose and face. Surgical masks are always available at the front desk or nurses station and preferred.
- Bandanas and gators are not allowed.
- Wearing a plastic face shield without a mask is not considered appropriate protection and is not permitted.
- Visitors must sanitize their hands upon arrival and at the end of each visit. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer for frequent use, in addition to utilizing the sanitizer supplied by Woodlawn.
- If any visitor fails to adhere to the protocol, the individual will be prohibited from visiting for the duration of the COVID-19 state-declared public health emergency.
Outings and Off-Site Social Visits:
Social visitation outside of Woodlawn Commons aside from medical appointments is allowed. This, however, does not equate to an absence of risk associated with these visits.
- Residents will also be offered and encouraged to use a KN95 mask for their use while outside the facility for social on these visits. These masks are a safer option than a surgical (blue) mask. Masks are always available at the front desk for use. Upon their return, residents will not be asked to quarantine unless there has been a suspected exposure that would put our community at risk. We will ask returning residents to maintain the core principles of infection control.
- Residents may leave the facility as they choose with visitors. Woodlawn Commons will remind the resident and anyone accompanying the resident to follow all recommended infection prevention practices including wearing a face mask, maintaining physical distance, and practicing hand hygiene.
- If the resident (or family member or other individual associated with the resident) reports a possible close contact to an individual with COVID-19 while outside the ACF, and the resident is unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, the resident should be placed in quarantine and the LHD contacted. If the resident becomes symptomatic for COVID-19, the resident should be placed on transmission-based precautions regardless of vaccination status.
- Residents who leave the ACF for 24 hours or more should be managed as a new admission or readmission and follow applicable recommendations in the Centers for Disease Control’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Spread in Nursing Homes: Create a Plan for Managing
We trust that families and friends will ensure residents appropriately wear their masks, as well as practice social distancing and hand hygiene to the greatest extent possible. If a resident is suspected to have been exposed while on a visitation, Woodlawn Commons should be contacted immediately to coordinate an appropriate response.
Compassionate Care Visits:
Compassionate care visits are permitted when visitation may not otherwise be permitted in accordance with the Department of Health’s current visitation guidance. Compassionate care visits have been expanded to include:
- Newly admitted residents with difficult adjusting to the adult care facility (ACF) environment and lack of in-person family support.
- Residents recently grieving the loss of a friend or loved one.
- Residents who previously received in-person support and / or cuing from family for eating and drinking and are now experiencing dehydration and / or weight loss.
- Residents who are exhibiting signs and symptoms of emotional distress including, but not limited to, seldomly speaking or crying more frequently (when the resident has rarely cried in the past), refusing to participate in an activity or activities, staying in bed longer than usual, or exhibiting behavior considered abnormal for the individual.
- Residents who receive religious or spiritual support from clergy or another layperson.
Additional compassionate care visits may be considered by the ACF on a resident-specific basis.
Communal Activities and Dining
- Communal activities including, but not limited to a program of activities dining and resident council meetings are allowed.
- All residents must wear masks unless while dining or eating during meals or activities.
- Social distancing is still in effect when programs and activities are underway.
Please always assess your risk for exposure to COVID before visiting your loved one as a protection for all our residents and staff.