"Significant restrictions on daily group activities and on in-person contact with family and loved ones are rightfully in place to protect residents and limit the spread of COVID-19 among particularly vulnerable populations," wrote the senators. "However, this sustained isolation is also impacting the mental and emotional well-being of residents and their families."
The senators noted that previous guidance that the
"Fact and evidence-based guidance from
In addition to calling for robust guidance, the senators ask for details on how the
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Dear Administrator Verma and Director Redfield:
Residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, residential-care communities, intermediate care facilities, and hospice-care facilities, face difficult challenges as efforts to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 continue. Significant restrictions on daily group activities and on in-person contact with family and loved ones are rightfully in place to protect residents and limit the spread of COVID-19 among particularly vulnerable populations. However, this sustained isolation is also impacting the mental and emotional well-being of residents and their families. We write to request that the
The ability of long-term care facilities to safely expand in-person visitation beyond compassionate care visits will take time, and will require a significant investment from facilities and personnel, along with support from
In addition, the
These two guidance documents do not sufficiently address the specific needs of these particularly vulnerable populations, including the need for specific, clear and actionable information that allows them to understand when in-person visitation could potentially resume in their community, what factors they should consider when evaluating the risks of in-person visitation, what precautions they should take during in-person visitation, and what screening measures and additional precautions they should be expecting, and asking for, in order to ensure that they are able to visit safely.
In addition to releasing specific, plain language guidance on in-person visitation in long-term care facilities, we ask that
4. How will
5. Given the lack of widely available rapid testing, and increased evidence that many rapid tests on the market are regularly producing inaccurate results, what guidance will
6. How will
7. Do long-term care facilities currently have the infrastructure, resources and support needed to successfully reopen and allow in-person visitation when safety measures are met, or are additional resources required to meet these goals?
We appreciate your attention to this important matter.