Louisiana to implement new federal guidelines on expanded nursing home visitation

Coronavirus

Nursing Homes Continue To Fight Against the Coronavirus

BATON ROUGE, La. — Governor John Bel Edwards announced on Friday, September 18, 2020, that Louisiana will move to quickly implement new federal guidance that eases restrictions on visits to nursing homes.

The new guidance, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), allows nursing homes to conduct outdoor visitation with social distancing. Nursing homes in parishes with no more than 10% test positivity and without new onsets of COVID cases in the last two weeks can allow indoor visitation.

The CMS guidance does recommend that nursing homes limit how many visitors a resident can have at one time limiting the number of visitors that can be inside of the home at one time. It also recommends that face coverings and social distancing should be required at all times and that all visitors must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

“Recognizing the impact of isolation and the importance of connectedness, Louisiana’s Department of Health was slated to release details today of a nursing home visitation pilot in our state; instead, we will move quickly today to implement this new federal guidance,” Gov. Edwards said. “We know these past several months have been tough, especially for our nursing home residents and their loved ones. It’s time for us to do something. At the same time, we are still in the middle of a pandemic and these residents are among our most vulnerable. We all must do our part to make sure this new policy is successful. That means wearing our masks and staying six feet away from others, including when we visit our loved ones in nursing homes.” 

The Louisiana Department of Health will update it’s State Health Officer Order today.

To read the full guidance from the CMS, click here.

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