As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and senior living communities begin to reopen, Argentum has released visitation guidance for vaccinated communities. It contains protocols, considerations and generation practices.
Argentum’s “Model Visitation Protocols for Vaccinated Senior Living Communities,” released Friday, was compiled by clinical experts, risk managers and other stakeholders to guide visitation decisions by senior living operators.
“We know how critically important visitation is to the health and well-being of senior living residents, and we are committed to working hand in hand with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and state regulators to provide counsel on further guidance specific to our sector,” Argentum President and CEO James Balda said in a statement.
The association also encourages communities to follow guidance from all state and local health departments, state licensing agencies and other jurisdictional authorities.
General visitation practices that are part of Argentum’s guidance include continued screening of employees, residents and visitors; a contact tracing plan; and continued use of masks and hand hygiene. The guidance also calls for allowing essential caregiver and compassionate care visits while infection control protocols are followed.
In-room visits, where allowed, can include contact between the resident and visitor, but the use of face masks is encouraged. It is not necessary for vaccinated residents and visitors meeting in a private room to wear face masks, according to the guidance, but visitor movement in a community should remain limited.
The guidance also encourages communities to have a plan in place to vaccinate, or verify vaccination, of new employees and residents.
An Argentum spokesperson told McKnight’s Senior Living that the association is working with the CDC to develop specific guidance for senior living communities. In the meantime, the national association encourages state partners to use its guidance in communications with state regulators.