Long-term care and assisted living facilities will be allowed to welcome visitors again next Wednesday, July 8th, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is announcing today.
Last month, RIDOH provided guidance to facilities on how to develop safe visitation plans. Roughly two weeks ago, as facilities continued to work on their plans, RIDOH allowed facilities to start communal dining and communal activities again. Facilities that do not have visitation plans completed and approved by July 8th will be required to implement a standard Visitation Plan for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Residences developed by RIDOH. Among other things, the standard plan states that:
- Visits will be limited to only those essential to the resident's physical and emotional well-being and care.
- All visits must be scheduled in advance. Visits will be allowed for 30-minute increments.
- Facilities must actively screen everyone for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter.
- Facilities must keep a daily log with names and contact information for all visitors.
- Outdoor visits are preferred. If a visit must occur inside the facility, the visit shall be restricted to the resident's room or other area specifically designated for visits. If a resident's room is used for visitation, only one visitor per resident at a time is allowed in the resident's room.
- Regardless of the location of the visit, visitors must maintain a six-foot distance from staff and residents.
- All visitors must wear a cloth face covering.
- All visitors shall perform hand hygiene upon entry to the facility or to the outside visitation area or before entering the resident's room.
While RIDOH has provided general guidance to facilities, and has developed a standard visitation plan for facilities without their own plans, all facilities are different. Some facilities may take different approaches, based on the uniqueness of their layout or resident community.
COVID-19 Data Update RIDOH announced 59 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island's case count to 16,991. RIDOH also announced one additional COVID-19 associated fatality. Rhode Island's number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 960. A full data summary for Rhode Island is posted online. (See below.)
Key messages for the public
- More information about the reopening process is available at www.reopeningri.com.
- Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or healthcare).
- Close contacts of someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, even if they haven't been tested, should quarantine for 14 days following contact. Close contact means being within approximately six feet of a person for a prolonged period.
- When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering.
- Keep your groups consistent and small.
- People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
- People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022.
- Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.
Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.