HHSC to allow visitation at nursing facilities and long-term care facilities

Local News

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced on Thursday they will allow limited visitation rules for nursing facilities and long-term care facilities.

The latest guidance reads as follows,

Nursing Facilities

Public visitation is limited to outdoor visits only. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted.

Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited outdoor visitation include: 

  • No confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in staff in the last 14 days.
  • No active positive cases in residents.
  • Any facility previously experiencing an outbreak that has fully recovered must be adequately staffed and following adequate infection control procedures.
  • Facility staff are being tested for COVID-19 weekly.

Long-Term Care Facilities (except Nursing Facilities)

Limited indoor and outdoor visitation procedures are allowed. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited visitation include:

  • No confirmed COVID-19 positive staff in last 14 days.
  • No active positive cases in residents.
  • Adequate staffing to facilitate visitation in compliance with infection control requirements.
  • Use of plexiglass as a safety barrier for indoor visitation to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Emergency Rule Enhancements

Enhanced emergency rules for nursing facilities include:

  • Each facility must have a COVID-19 response plan that includes designated staff to work with cohorts of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, and staff should not change designation from one day to another, unless required to maintain adequate staffing for a cohort.
  • All nursing facilities must screen all residents, staff, and people who come to the facility in accordance with specified criteria, and each resident must be screened at least three times a day for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Each facility must have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two-week supply of personal protective equipment and resident recovery plans for continuing care when a resident recovers from COVID-19.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are constantly assessing what actions are necessary to keep residents and staff safe in these facilities,” said Phil Wilson, Executive Commissioner, Texas HHSC. “By following these procedures and rules, facilities can more effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help us achieve our shared goal of reuniting residents with their families and friends.”

“Access to family and loved ones is an important part of every resident’s health and well-being, which is why this policy shift is a move in the right direction for some of our most fragile Texans,” said Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (SD-18), Chair, Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. 

“Today’s announcement is a critical first step for every person in a long-term care facility and their loved ones,” said Rep. James Frank (HD-69), Chair, Texas House Committee on Human Services. “This decision underscores that state leaders recognize the need to balance the emotional and physical health impacts of isolation against the serious dangers that COVID poses to these vulnerable Texans.”

For more information visit the HHSC website here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

COVID-19 SAFETY TIPS

COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands

COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing

COVID Tip: Disinfecting

COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth

COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact

COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas

COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often

ValleyCentral App Links

App Store Link
Google Play Link
More Throwback Thursday