The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has announced limited visitation rules for nursing facilities and long term care facilities. They also are issuing enhanced emergency rules requiring additional actions by nursing facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
For the health and safety of facility residents and staff, public visitation is limited to outdoor visits only. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. There are additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited outdoor visitation include:
a. No confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in staff in the last 14 days.
b. No active positive cases in residents.
c. Any facility previously experiencing an outbreak that has fully recovered must be adequately staffed and following adequate infection control procedures.
d. Facility staff are being tested for COVID-19 weekly.
Long Term Care Facilities (except Nursing Facilities)
Limited indoor and outdoor visitation procedures are allowed. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited visitation include:
a. No confirmed COVID-19 positive staff in last 14 days
b. No active positive cases in residents
c. Adequate staffing to facilitate visitation in compliance with infection control requirements.
d. Use of plexiglass as a safety barrier for indoor visitation to prevent spread of COVID-19
They have also instituted enhanced emergency rules for nursing facilities including:
a. Each facility must have a COVID-19 response plan that includes designated staff to work with cohorts of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and staff should not change designation from one day to another, unless required to maintain adequate staffing for the cohort.
b. All nursing facilities must screen all residents, staff, and people who come to the facility in accordance with specified criteria, and each resident must be screened at least three times a day for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
c. Each facility must have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two week supply of personal protective equipment and resident recovery plans for continuing care when a resident recovers from COVID-19.
d. Texas Health and Human Services Commission continues to investigate all long term care facilities in the state that report one or more positive cases of COVID-19 as well as coordinate closely with local, state, and federal health authorities.
For more information: https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19