CMS has issued seven Frequently Asked Questions to supplement existing guidance about the rules for nursing home visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with No. 1:
1. What steps should nursing homes take before reopening to visitors?
Nursing homes should continue to follow CMS and CDC guidance for preventing the transmission of COVID-19, and follow state and local direction. Because nursing home residents are especially vulnerable, CMS does not recommend reopening facilities to visitors (except for compassionate care situations) until phase three when:
• There have been no new, nursing home onset COVID-19 cases in the nursing home for 28 days (through phases one and two)
• The nursing home is not experiencing staff shortages
• The nursing home has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and essential cleaning and disinfection supplies to care for residents
• The nursing home has adequate access to testing for COVID-19
• Referral hospital(s) have bed capacity on wards and intensive care units