Details Regarding New Visitation Guidance for Pediatric SNFs
LeadingAge NY is extremely pleased to report that the Department of Health (DOH) issued guidance on Sept. 9th announcing a change to requirements for visitation for pediatric skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), most notably changing the timeframe from 28 to 14 days of a “lookback period” for any positives per the date of Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) reporting and providing more clarification on “medically necessary” and “support visits” and where visitation can take place. Specifically, as analyzed by LeadingAge NY counsel Hinman Straub, the guidance:
- reduces the “lookback period” for positive COVID-19 cases among staff or residents within the facility from 28 days to 14 days.
- opens visitation to not just parents or legal guardians, and immediate family, but also authorized representatives of the pediatric resident, and removes age restrictions of 18 years or older.
- includes visitation within open lobbies, activity, television, and computer rooms for no more than 10 individuals who are appropriately socially distanced and wear a face covering while in the presence of others for purposes of visitation and small congregate group activities.
- directs that all contractors, vendors, students, and others performing services in the pediatric SNF are subject to the same infection control requirements as staff, including but not limited to testing for COVID-19 with the same frequency as for staff, screening, wearing a face covering, performing hand hygiene, and maintaining social distancing.
- permits that students who are enrolled in programs to become licensed, registered, or certified health care professionals may work, volunteer, or engage in internships and practica at pediatric SNFs provided the nursing home environment is appropriate to the student’s education, training, and experience. Such students are subject to the same infection control requirements as staff and non-essential personnel.
- directs that the pediatric SNF must (as opposed to “should”) immediately suspend visitation and inform the Department if the facility falls out of compliance with the requirements listed in the guidance.
We encourage members to review the guidance carefully.