EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
Visitation Plan Overview for New York Wingate Skilled Nursing Facilities:
As Wingate Healthcare buildings resume limited visitation and activities, the following guidelines from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) will be followed:
- Wingate Healthcare will maintain full compliance with all state and federal requirements, state Executive Orders and guidance, state reporting requirements including COVID-19 focus surveys, HERDS and staff testing surveys, and federally required submission of COVID-19 data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
- Wingate Healthcare will continue to follow protocols to separate residents into cohorts of positive, negative, and unknown as well as separate staffing teams to deal with COVID-positive residents and non-positive residents.
Each of our buildings has completed and submitted the NY Forward Safety Plan clearly articulating the space(s) to be used for visitation (outdoors and indoors) including the number of visitors and residents which could be safely socially distanced within the space(s).
- Wingate Healthcare will maintain appropriate staffing levels as evidenced by our staffing plans and as reported by each building through submissions to the National Health Safety Network (NHSN).
- Our buildings will resume visitation when there are no new onset COVID-19 cases among staff or residents for a period of no less than fourteen (14) days, consistent with thresholds established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Once visitation begins, if any staff or residents test positive for COVID-19, visitation will be suspended and will not resume until 14 days pass with no further cases.
- Wingate Healthcare will maintain a testing plan that ensures all consenting nursing home residents have received a single baseline COVID-19 test. In addition, we have the capability to test or can arrange for testing of all residents upon identification of any individual with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If a staff member tests positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we have the capacity to continue re-testing all nursing home staff and residents, as applicable.
- Our buildings will continue our arrangements with laboratories to process SARS-CoV-2 virus tests. As recommended by CMS, the test used should be able to detect SARSCoV-2 virus (e.g., polymerase chain reaction (PCR)) with greater than 95 percent sensitivity, greater than 90 percent specificity, with results obtained and rapidly reported to our buildings.
- Wingate Healthcare will maintain full compliance with written screening protocols for all staff during each shift, each resident daily, and all persons entering the facility or grounds of such nursing home, including visitors. Resident monitoring includes daily symptom checks, vital signs, and pulse oximetry.
Wingate Healthcare’s plan for limited visitation is posted on this website to provide visitors with clear guidelines for visiting and to announce if and when visitation is paused due to an increase in the number of residents and/or staff with a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Limited visitation includes, but is not limited to, family members, loved ones, representatives from the long-term care ombudsman program (LTCOP), and resident advocacy organizations.
Visitation is restricted to outdoor areas, weather permitting. Under certain limited circumstances, visitation can be inside, in a well-ventilated space with no more than 10 individuals who are appropriately socially distanced and wearing a facemask or face covering while in the presence of others. This may include residents visiting each other. Visitation is strictly prohibited in resident rooms or care areas including nursing units. The limited circumstances for indoor visitation are at the discretion of the administrator.
Visitation will be permitted under the following conditions:
- Adequate staff are present to allow for personnel to help with the transition of residents, monitoring of visitation, and cleaning and disinfecting areas used for visitation after each visit using an EPA-approved disinfectant.
- Signage is posted regarding facemask utilization and hand hygiene and floor markings are used to cue social distancing delineations.
Visitors must present a verified negative COVID-19 test result dated within the last week (7 days). End of life visits are not subject to a verified negative test result but are subject to all other COVID-19 screening requirements.
- Documentation of screening questions asked onsite will be retained and made available upon the request by the Department of Health. Documentation will be maintained onsite in an electronic format and available upon the Department’s request for purposes of inspection and potential contact tracing.
- Documentation must include the following for each visitor:
- First and last name of the visitor;
- Physical (street) address of the visitor;
- Daytime and evening telephone number;
- Date and time of visit;
- Email address, if available;
- A notation indicating the individual cleared the screening (both temperature and questions) that does not include any individual temperatures or other individual specific information.
- Wingate will ensure there is adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to allow residents wear a facemask or face covering which covers both the nose and mouth during visitation, if medically tolerated.
- All visitors must wear a face mask or face covering which covers both the nose and mouth at all times when on the premises. Visitors must maintain social distancing. Wingate will have masks on hand for visitors who lack an acceptable face covering. Masks with exhalation valves will not be allowed.
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained during the visit. Visitors are prohibited from touching, hugging, kissing or holding hands with residents.
- Alcohol-based hand rub, consisting of at least 60 percent (60%) alcohol, will be available to residents, visitors, and representatives of the long-term care ombudsman visiting residents and those individuals are able demonstrate to appropriate use.
- No more than 10 percent (10%) of residents shall have visitors at any one time and only two visitors will be allowed per resident at any one time.
- Visits will be limited to 30 minutes, by appointment only and each facility will establish specific visitation times and days.
- No food or beverages from outside the facility may be brought into the visitation area.
- Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.
- COVID-19 positive residents, residents with COVID-19 signs or symptoms, and residents in a 14-day quarantine or observation period are not eligible for visits.
- A short, easy-to-read fact sheet outlining visitor expectations including appropriate hand hygiene and face coverings will be provided upon initial screening to all visitors.
- Visitors must complete and sign our “Commitment to Safety” agreement prior to interacting with residents.
- An interdisciplinary team must be created by the facility to review visitation program compliance with the Department of Health Advisory.
If any visitor fails to adhere to the protocol, he/she/they will be prohibited from visiting for the duration of the COVID-19 state-declared public health emergency.