Dear Sunrise Residents/Tenants, Families and Friends,
Last week the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new guidance for allowing visiting in nursing facilities. They start their memo by reviewing the previous guidance that had been issued and revised from March through June, and continue to state that while their guidance was focused on protecting nursing home residents they recognize that physical separation from family and loved ones has taken an emotional toll on residents.
The Sunrise administration is pleased that CMS recognizes that our residents have a need that is not able to be fulfilled without their family. Their guidance does focus on stringent adherence to infection control measures and screening of all visitors – principles that Sunrise has included in our visitation policy since June. They do continue to assert that outdoor visiting should be the first option for facilities, assuming the weather cooperates. With fall coming, we know that cooler, wetter weather is just around the corner and Sunrise team members are working to come up with solutions that would allow us to visit outdoors into the fall. If anyone has a great idea for how this could be accomplished, feel free to share! “Chat boxes” are a popular option made of plexiglass that allow residents and visitors to see each other by still have a physical separation.
Indoor visitation will be permissible, with restrictions, but NOT when the facility is experiencing new cases of COVID-19. Additionally, facilities are allowed to restrict indoor visitation if the community spread of COVID-19 is high. With the county positivity rate going over 15% today and the fact that we have active COVID-19 cases in our facility, we will NOT be able to do indoor visitation at this time. The exception to this will be for compassionate care visits, as requested and arranged by the facility. We are hopeful that in the coming weeks this situation will change.
We have posted a copy of the new CMS memo that outlines their guidance on our COVID page, titled Nursing Home Visitation COVID-19, QSO-20-39-NH. Feel free to read through this document.
Please keep in mind that all visits, even window visits, need to be scheduled so that the facility can ensure the visitors are following the infection prevention steps put into place to mitigate the risk of exposing residents to COVID-19. We ask that you respect these steps and work with us so that we can make sure the residents get to enjoy visits from their loved ones!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Sincerely, Hallie Salmen, CEO & Chris Schenkelberg, Administrator