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Florida Community General Visitation Update

Florida Community General Visitation Update

We are excited to be able to invite you back to our Florida communities to visit your loved ones. It is vital for us to follow the correct protocol for the safety of our residents, and we appreciate in advance your understanding and compliance with these guidelines. Read more below to learn about visitation guidelines and restrictions for the state of Florida.

On September 1, 2020, the Division of Emergency Management issued Emergency Order 20-009, which provides additional flexibilities and criteria to authorize limited visitation to Long-term Care facilities. The Order represents the work of Governor DeSantis’ Task Force on The Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities. The full report of the Task Force is available here.

When does the Order take effect?

The Order went into effect on September 1, 2020. However, all communities must comply with requirements listed in the Order before they may be open for visitation. We are moving swiftly to ensure we have all appropriate measures in place to enable visitors to enter our communities.

Which communities fall under the Order to allow visitors?

The Emergency Order suspends laws that allow residents to have visitors in the following types of facilities under each of the following agencies: Agency for Persons with Disabilities: Group Home Facilities Developmental Disability Centers Department of Children and Families: Adult Mental Health and Treatment Facilities Adult Forensic Facilities Mental Health Commitment Civil Facilities Agency for Health Care Administration: Long-Term Care Hospitals Nursing Homes, Homes for Special Services Transitional Living Facilities Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled Assisted Living Facilities Adult Family-Care Homes.

Do visitors need to be screened or tested in order to enter a community?

We will continue visitor screening. Some communities may perform testing for visitors, based upon the current CDC and FDA guidance.

What screening protocols will be required in order to visit the community?

General Visitors must:

  • Properly wear a face mask and other necessary PPE and perform hand hygiene.
  • Sign a consent form noting understanding of visitation policies
  • Inform the community if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of a visit

While in Facility visitors must:

  • Visit in the resident’s room or in designated areas and maintain social distance of at least 6 feet with staff and residents, while they limit movement in the facility

Do visitors have to pay the community for a COVID-19 test?

If a community requires testing of visitors prior to entry in accordance with CDC and FDA Guidelines, the cost of testing will not be passed on to the visitor.

Will Personal Protective Equipment be provided for visitors?

The appropriate PPE is required to enter the community, but it will not be provided to visitors. Visitors are allowed to wear their own PPE unless it does not meet the requirements. For example, a Compassionate Care visitor must wear a surgical mask, therefore if the Compassionate Care visitor arrives with a bandana or inappropriate face covering, that would not be allowed.

Can visitors have physical contact with a resident, such as a hug?

No, visitors entering for General Visitation may not have physical contact with a resident. Only Essential Caregivers and Compassionate Care visitors may have physical contact with the resident during visitation if they wear appropriate PPE.

Where will visits take place?

Visits can take place indoors or outdoors at the discretion of the community.

Can multiple visitations occur at the same time in a large, common area if each group maintains minimum distance from others?

Each community will have to set the number of visitors allowed at one time as they must monitor and ensure proper protocols are being followed.  Please contact your community for specific details.

How does a visitor schedule these visits? And how often can they occur?

We will schedule visitors by appointment and monitor adherence to proper use of masks and social distancing, while allowing for auditory privacy.

How long are visits?

We will schedule visitor time so that we are able to manage visitors in a fair manner for all residents. In between visits, we will clean and disinfect visiting spaces. All visiting spaces will contain handwashing or sanitation stations.

What happens if someone at the community tests positive for COVID-19?

In order to allow visitation, communities must have 14 days with no new facility-onset resident cases. The date of onset is the day a COVID-positive resident began their symptoms or tested positive if they are asymptomatic.

Are you allowing tours for prospective residents and/or families?

Yes, communities open for General Visitation, may make arrangements for a tour. In-person tours must have no more than two individuals. The visitors comply with the same requirements for General Visitation and will be accompanied by facility staff at all times.

Will communities allow Essential Caregivers and Compassionate Care visitors?

Senior living communities will allow entry of Essential Caregivers and Compassionate Care visitors who meet the requirements in the Order. Essential Caregivers must be recognized in the care plan or service plan for the resident. The Order also spells out requirements of facilities related to these individuals.

For more information on our visitation updates, or to schedule a tour, call us at (352) 621-8017.

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