Statement on update to LTC visitation guidance
March 15, 2021
The Minnesota Department of Health issued the following statement today following the Wednesday announcement by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) updating visitation guidance for long-term care facilities.
Effective immediately, MDH is implementing the new federal visitation guidance for long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living-type facilities.
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), updated long-term care visitation guidance March 10. This latest guidance adds more flexibility and visitation options. It builds on existing MDH guidance that currently requires nearly all long-term care facilities to allow visitation.
According to the latest CMS guidance, facilities should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitation such as the following:
• Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;
• Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions; or
• Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.
The updated guidance also emphasizes that compassionate care visits should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate, or an outbreak.
Vaccinations and the slowing of coronavirus infections are allowing us to safely expand visitation and allow indoor visits that bring families and residents together. Minnesotans can help continue the positive momentum by taking the right steps to prevent spread of COVID-19. These include masking up, keeping social distance, staying home when sick, and getting tested when appropriate.