The main concepts of COVID-19 infection prevention outlined below are congruent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and should be followed at all times.
Wear face masks and other necessary personal protective equipment.
If the county COVID-19 community level of transmission in the nursing home is significant to high, all residents and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, should wear facial coverings or masks and keep a safe distance at all times.
In locations with low to moderate transmission, residents and visitors should wear facial coverings or masks and keep a safe distance, especially if one is at risk for severe disease or has not received all prescribed COVID-19 vaccination doses.
Residents can choose not to wear face coverings or N95 masks when other residents are not present and to have intimate contact (including touch) with their guests, regardless of vaccination status.
Residents on transmission-based precautions (TBP) or under quarantine may still have visitors, which is not encouraged. In these circumstances, visits should take place in the resident’s room, and the resident should, if tolerated, wear a well-fitting face mask. Visitors should be made aware of the potential risks of visiting and the procedures that must be taken before visiting the resident. Visitors must follow the basic principles of infection prevention.
Visitors must be allowed in the facility even if it is safer for them not to enter during an outbreak investigation. Visitors should be made aware of the potential risks of visiting during an outbreak and should follow infection prevention practices. Residents and visitors, regardless of immunization status, should wear N95 masks during visits, and visits should ideally take place in residents’ rooms. During an epidemic investigation, facilities may contact their local health authorities for help or direction on how to plan their visit to limit the potential of COVID-19 spread.
Visitors should also be encouraged to get vaccinated whenever possible. While visitor testing and vaccination can aid in the prevention of COVID-19 transmission, neither testing nor vaccination should be imposed as a condition of visitation, nor should proof of testing or immunization be asked. If a guest refuses to divulge their immunization status, they should always wear a face mask. This testing proposal also applies to visits from the Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, MDH personnel, including life safety code inspectors, and protection and advocacy systems.
During any in-person visit, the Ombudsman staff will follow MDH-recommended symptom assessment, masking, and other personal protective equipment standards. Visits between ombudsman representatives and residents should not be overseen by facility staff unless asked by the ombudsman representative.
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a well-fitting face mask when in the facility’s communal areas.
Residents must be able to leave the facility whenever they want. If a resident chooses to leave, the facility should remind the person and anybody accompanying the resident of all rules and regulations.
N95 Bulk Order