The MA Department of Public Health recently revised its visitation protocols for nursing homes. Starting Thursday, March 18th, any resident who has been fully vaccinated (14 days have passed since receiving the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine) is now eligible to receive fully-vaccinated visitors in his or her room. Please review carefully the FAQs below that outline the new protocols for in-resident room visits.
Please note that residents of Anna Bauer and Schrafft Pavilion are currently excluded from this program until at least Tuesday, March 23rd due a staff member recently testing positive. In accordance to the CDC and DPH regulations, all scheduled in-person visits for these affected residents will be held outdoors.
For those who are not eligible for in-resident room visits, the process for indoor and outdoor visits remains the same. All in-person and virtual visits can be scheduled on our website at http://www.germancentre.org/german-centre-acuity/.
Who is allowed to receive in-resident room visits?
Residents who are fully vaccinated (14 days after their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine) AND who either do not have a roommate OR have a roommate who is fully vaccinated may receive in-room visits. Residents with active or suspected COVID-19 infections as well as any residents who are symptomatic or under quarantine will not be able to receive any in-person visitors.
Who can visit residents in their rooms?
Family visitors who are fully vaccinated (14 days after their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine) may visit residents in their room. Eligible family visitors must verbally confirm their vaccination status, including the date of their final dose, in order to be allowed in the building for in-room visits. This must be verbally confirmed at every visit, no exceptions. Eligible family visitors must also pass a temperature check and screening questionnaire at the start of the visit. Please note that only 2 people can visit a resident at a time. No children or pets are allowed.
When can in-resident room visits occur?
Eligible family visitors are allowed to enter the building during the following hours daily: 10-11am and 1-4pm. We kindly ask that all family visitors exit the residence by 8 pm. In order for staff to make the necessary preparations, in-resident room visits must be scheduled in advance through our website at http://www.germancentre.org/german-centre-acuity/. Schedules will be determined on a first come first serve basis. However, we believe we have allocated enough slots to accommodate anyone who wants to visit. Unlike the supervised indoor/outdoor visits, there is no limit to how many visits a family visitor can book each week.
Will family visitors undergo screening?
Eligible family visitors must verbally confirm their vaccination status, including the date of their final dose, in order to be allowed in the building for in-room visits. This must be verbally confirmed at every visit, no exceptions. Eligible family visitors must also pass a temperature check and screening questionnaire at the start of the visit. Family visitors must fit the following criteria to be able to visit:
- Do not feel ill
- Free of symptoms of COVID-19 infection including fever ≥ 100.0° F, shortness of breath, sneezing, chest pain or pressure, cough, sore throat, headache, loss of taste or smell, chills, uncontrolled shaking, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Come from households without COVID-19 symptoms listed above
- No close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 15 days
What is the protocol before and during the in-room family visit?
Upon entry into the residence, family visitors will be provided a visitor badge that they must display prominently while in the building. They will also be given a mask. During the in-room family visits, residents and family visitors must wear a mask at all times but do not need to maintain social distancing. Touching, hugging, etc are allowed. Family visitors must proceed and stay in the resident’s room at all times or as directed by staff. Use of common areas on the unit is prohibited.
What happens if there is a positive case of the virus in the residence?
Per regulatory guidelines, all in-resident room and indoor visitation on the unit are not allowed when there is an outbreak, defined as at least one positive case of a staff member or resident in the unit. Weather and temperature permitting, an alternate location outdoors may be available. If we are unable to hold a family visit, we will be in contact to let you know and help you reschedule.
My loved one has not been fully vaccinated and/or I have not been fully vaccinated. What can I do to stay connected?
For those who are not able to have in-resident room visits, we strongly encourage you to schedule a supervised indoor family visit or a family video call using our website at http://www.germancentre.org/german-centre-acuity/. Virtual visits will continue to be available to our residents and families.
The virus is still in our communities and we are working hard to keep you and your loved ones safe. Please respect and follow the rules so everyone can enjoy this newly issued guidance. Let us work together so we can all enjoy this new time together.